Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami presented the Kalaimamani awards to artistes for the years 2011 to 2018 on Tuesday.
As many as 201 recipients were selected from 72 different art forms and 8 senior artistes were selected for a special cash award.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Minister said that based on an appeal from several artistes, the State government was increasing the weight of the medal from 3 sovereigns to 5 sovereigns. “Furthermore, we will institute three special Kalaimamani awards in the name of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and these will be given every year along with the other awards,” he said.
He also announced that the financial assistance given to elderly artistes every month would be increased from ₹2,000 to ₹3,000.
Music director Deva, chairman of the Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram, thanked the Tamil Nadu government for considering their appeal and presenting the awards this year.
Among the awardees were writer Sivasankari and Villupaatu exponent Subbu Arumugam, who received the Bharathi Award.
The Balasaraswathi award was given to dance exponents C.V. Chandrasekar, Vaijayanthimala Bali, V.P. Dhananjayan and Shantha Dhananjayan. Carnatic musicians C. Saroja and C. Lalitha (Bombay sisters) and T.V. Gopalakrishnan were given the M.S. Subbulakshmi award.
Sri Krishna Gana Sabha and Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai; Goodwill Stage, Chennai; and Salem Amateur Arts were the institutions which were awarded.
Actors Prasanna, Karthi, Vijay Sethupathi, Sasikumar, Pandiarajan M.S. Baskar, Thambi Ramaiah, Srikanth, Nalini, Soori and music composers Vijay Antony and Yuvan Shankar Raja were among those from the Tamil film industry who received the awards.