Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan Faculty of Performing and Visual Arts was inaugurated by the late Mr. S. Nadesapillai in memory of his father-in-law, Sir Ponnampalam Ramanathan on the 6th of October 1960.
Ramanathan Music Academy was taken over by the government in April 1974 and renamed as “Ramanathan Government Fine Arts College”. Then it was taken over by the Jaffna Campus of the University of Sri Lanka with effect from 1st of December 1975 renaming it as “Ramanathan Academy of Fine Arts”, as a unit under the Department of Fine Arts until it was upgraded as a separate department of study program namely “Performing Arts” in the Faculty of Arts in 1992.
The Faculty commenced Degree Programs in Carnatic Music and Bharathanatiyam in 1993. In 1996, the Department of Performing Arts was bifurcated into the Department of Dance and Department of Music. The subject of Art and Design was introduced as a discipline in 1999 at RAFA, it was placed under the Head, Department of Dance.
It has been upgraded as ” Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan Faculty of Performing and Visual Arts” according to the special gazette notification released on 16th of August 2022 with six departments namely Music, Instrumental Music, Dance, Painting, Sculpture and Drama &Theatre Arts .
To be a leading center in the field of Aesthetic studies, towards teaching, learning, research, and dissemination of the system.
To produce competent graduates with sound knowledge and skills in performing and visual arts and innovation in performing and visual arts with special emphasis on the social and spiritual development based on cultural heritage.