The Manipur State Kala Akademi (MSKA) was established in 1972. The Akademi is an autonomous body registered under the Society Registration Act, 1860. The main aims and objects of Manipur State Kala Akademi are (i) to promote research in the field of Music, Dance, Drama, Literature, Archives and Fine Arts; and (ii) to co-operate with similar institutions for the furtherance of its objects and for enrichment of Manipuri Culture.
The Akademi is now functioning at state level in the same pattern of the National Akademis and is a composite institution of 3 (three) National Akademies viz. Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA), Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA) and Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. The Akademi is extending scholarship, fellowship, pension and awards in different categories of Art & Culture of the State.
Since its inception in 1972, Manipur State Kala Akademi, Imphal, has been annually conferring Awards to distinguished artistes, artists, writers and scholars who represent highest standards of excellence and achievements making archetypal contribution in the field of Dance, Music, Theatre, Shumang Leela, Thang-Ta, Other Arts Forms (wari-leeba, mime, moibung etc.), Tribal Culture, Literature and Fine Arts. These awards symbolise not only the highest standard of excellence but also recognition of sustained individual works of the highest professional accomplishment.
At present, the Akademi annually confers 4 categories of Award, viz., MSKA Lifetime Achievement Award (1 no.), MSKA Fellow (2 nos.), MSKA Award (19 nos.) and MSKA Young Talent Award (6 nos.).
The MSKA Lifetime Achievement Award (first conferred on M.K. Binodini Devi in 2010) is the highest honour the Akademi confers to an individual. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 3,00,000/- (Rupees three lakh) only apart from a Certificate of Honour, Memento and a Shawl. This award is conferred to an individual in recognition of his/her lasting and outstanding contribution in the field of Manipuri culture (performing arts, other art forms, literature, fine arts etc.) on a sustained basis over a period of time.
The second highest honour of the Akademi is the MSKA Fellow. This award symbolises individual achievement and lasting contribution in the field of culture (performing arts, literature, fine arts etc.) and carries a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees one lakh) only apart from a Certificate of Honour, Memento and a Shawl.
The next category of award, i.e., MSKA Award is conferred to practitioners and gurus/scholars of performing arts (dance, music, drama, thang-ta, tribal culture etc.) as well as to writers/scholars/translators and to practitioners of several fields of visual arts such as painting, sculpture, graphics etc. This award carries a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees fifty thousand) only apart from a Certificate of Honour, Memento and a Shawl.
The last category, namely MSKA Young Talent Award, was instituted in 2011 and is conferred on 6 (six) young and promising artistes in the field of performing arts (Dance, Music, Theatre & Shumang Leela, Thang-Ta, Other Art Forms and Tribal Culture). Apart from a Certificate of Honour, Memento and a Shawl, this award carries a cash value of Rs. 25,000/- (Rupees twenty-five thousand) only.
During the year 2016–2017, process was under way for selection of Akademi Fellows, Akademi Awards and Akademi Young Talent Award for the year 2014.