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“… 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.” Ramaa Bharadvaj was thus introduced by Barry Hessenius as she was awarded the California Arts Council’s Directors Award for 2003. Hessenius is director of the Arts Council.

Bharadvaj, who is well known in the community as a talented proponent of bharatanatyam dance, is the director of Angahara Dance Ensemble. She was one of 11 recipients of the award and the only performing artist to be thus honored this year. This annual award recognizes outstanding leaders in the California arts field for their extraordinary commitment to, and dedicated support for the arts in our state, and is given to those who embody the highest commitment to the arts in California. The award ceremony was held in January this year in San Francisco.

Bharadvaj’s long association with dance also intertwines a resolve to create awareness and generate support for the arts. In May 2003, she initiated a grassroots campaign and organized the first public aRTS aLIVE Rally in Santa Monica that brought together the community of leaders, artists, and arts advocates. In the past she has also received multiple Lester Horton Dance Awards in Los Angeles.