The Seven Zonal Cultural Centres functioning as an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture, were set up during 1985 to 1986 with the objective to preserve, innovate and promote the projections and dissemination of arts of the zone falling under the broad disciplines of Sangeet, Natak, Lalit Kala dnd Sahitya so as to develop and promote the rich diversity and uniqueness of various arts of the zone and to upgrade and enrich consciousness of the people about their cultural heritage. Special efforts are made to encourage folk and tribal arts and to preserve and strengthen the vanishing art forms.
The Government of India has set up seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) having their headquarters at Patiala, Udaipur, Allahabad, Kolkata, Dimapur, Nagpur and Thanjavur.
The ZCCs have been carrying out various activities and organizing programmes at the national, zonal and local levels in accordance with their aims and objectives, implemented through the following schemes:–
i. National Cultural Exchange Programme.
ii. Guru Shishya Parampara Scheme.
iii. Young Talented Artistes Scheme.
iv. Documentation of Vanishing Art Forms.
v. Theatre Rejuvenation Scheme
vi. Shilpagram Activities
vii. Loktarang- National Folk Dance Festival and OCTAVE – the Festival of the North East.
The Centre is implementing following schemes sponsored by Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.
Theatre rejuvenation scheme – This scheme is being implemented for last two years and is intended to provide support to theatre, in particular to folk theatre which needs strengthening. Under this scheme monthly theatre shows are put up in the auditorium of the centre. Time to time theatre festivals are also conducted and theatre teams sponsored inside and outside the zone for theatre festivals organized by other institutions.
Guru Shishya Parampara- This scheme is being implemented to revive dying and traditional art forms
Award to young talented artist scheme– This scheme is being implemented to award outstanding folk artists by giving away a cash prize of Rs. 10,000/- along with a medal / certificate
National Cultural Exchange Programme (NCEP) – This scheme is under implementation to ensure intermingling of art forms from one zone to other zone with a view to reinforce unity in diversity aspect of Indian culture