-  A Report 

Ramaa Bharadvaj receives 2003 Director's Award from California Arts Council  
January 31, 2004   

In photograph from left to right are some of the awardees: 
Chike Nwoffiah, Director, California Black Arts Alliance; Brenda Jew Waters, Arts consultant, West Coast Connections; Barry Hessenius, Director of California Arts Council; Ramaa Bharadvaj, dancer/dance activist and director of Angahara Dance Ensemble; Michael Alexander, Director, Grand Performances; Vinay Patel, Administrative Director, Asian Improv Arts.
Ramaa Bharadvaj, the Director of Angahara Dance Ensemble, was one of 11 recipients to be honored by the California Arts Council with its prestigious DIRECTORS AWARD FOR 2003.  This annual award recognizes outstanding leaders in the California arts field for their extraordinary commitment to, and dedicated support for the arts in the state and is given to those who embody the highest commitment to the arts in California.  She was the only performing artist to be honored with this award this year. 

The awards were handed out at a public ceremony in San Francisco on Jan 14th 2004.  In introducing Ramaa Bharadvaj, Barry Hessenius, the director of the Arts Council said "she is a woman with an infectiously positive spirit and a never-say-no attitude, who has made a tremendous difference in the arts community through her activism."  The awardees are not selected by a nomination process, but by unanimous choice by the council members. 

The California Arts Council is a state government agency, which was slated for elimination by the government in 2003.  Ramaa initiated a grassroots campaign in May 2003.  She organized the first public "aRTS aLIVE" Rally in Santa Monica, gathering together the community of leaders, artists and arts advocates.  She raised great media awareness and spearheaded a campaign to save the Arts Council even speaking at a public Rally in Sacramento in front of the Capitol building.  A logo designed by her was used as a symbol for the fight for Arts funding in California. 
A renowned dancer and choreographer, Ramaa Bharadvaj is the recipient of multiple Lester Horton Dance Awards in Los Angeles.