The School of Performing Arts which consists of two departments, the Department of Folklore and Culture Studies and the Department of Fine Arts and Aesthetics was formed in the year 2002. Among the Universities of Tamil Nadu, Madurai Kamaraj University is the only university which has a separate School for pursuing studies in the Folk and Elite arts of the Tamils and non-Tamils. The Department of Folklore and Culture Studies attracted the Ford Foundation by its innovate research programmes and got Rs 74 lakhs for a three-year research Project on Folk Crafts, Folklore and gender. Similarly the Department of Fine Arts and Aesthetics also got Rs 5 Lakhs from the Government of Tamil Nadu for a project on collection of Folk Songs. The School has the pride of getting recognition from the UGC as the Department for Research Support (DRS) under SAP-I.
In order to be the voice of the voiceless, the departments engage in the mission of documenting, preserving, analyzing and disseminating the rich folk cultural traditions of Indian society. The Department of Folklore and Culture Studies is known for its state-of-the-art Folklore Archives and Recording Studio. It has the collection of 500 odd hours of video recordings, 350 odd hours of audio recordings and 5500 odd still photographs depicting the folk tradition of South India. School of Performing Arts has a separate specialized library holding 3608 books on Folklore, Fine Arts & Performance, Anthropology, Philosophy, Psychology, Communication, Literature, Religion, History, Sociology, Modern theories and Women Studies.
The School Consists of the following Two Departments
- Department of Fine Arts and Aesthestics
- Department of Folklore and Culture Studies
Open air Museum of Agrarian Folk life.
PG diploma in Ethnographic Film Making.
Digital Documentaries on Folklore.
International Research Journal for Folk Culture Studies.
Becoming Nodal centre of Culture Studies.
News letter from folk Artist helping Desk.