Obama nominates Indian-American to National Council on Arts

Obama nominates Indian-American to National Council on Arts

US President Barack Obama today nominated Indian-American Renee Ramaswamy, a Bharatanatayam exponent, to the prestigious National Council of the Arts for a five year term.

Ramaswamy founded the Ragamala Music and Dance Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1992 and has been popularising this classical Indian dance form in America.

The White House said Obama has sent her nomination, along with others, to the Senate for its approval.

"Ranee Ramaswamy, of Minnesota, to be a Member of the National Council on the Arts for a term expiring September 3, 2018, vice Miguel Campaneria, term expired," it said.

The National Council on the Arts advises the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, who also chairs the Council, on agency policies and programmes. It reviews and makes recommendations to the Chairman on applications for grants, funding guidelines, and leadership initiatives.

According to her bio posted on her website, since 1984, Ramaswamy has been a disciple of Alarmel Valli, one of India's greatest living masters.

Ranee has worked with celebrated artists such as poet Robert Bly, jazz musician Howard Levy and legendary composer/ violinist L Subramaniam.

Among her many grants and fellowships are 13 McKnight Artist Fellowships, a Bush Fellowship, and an Artist Exploration Fund grant from Arts International. Her work is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Dance Project, and the Japan Foundation.

In 2011, she was chosen as the McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist. Ranee and co-Artistic Director Aparna Ramaswamy were named the 2011 'Artist of the Year' by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.