Indonesian Institute of the Arts Surakarta is one of the state art universities under the supervision of the Directorate General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture (KEMDIKBUDRSITEK). ISI Surakarta was originated as an academy-level university under the name Indonesian Karawitan Art Academy (ASKI) Surakarta, which was established as a forum to pioneer the development of traditional arts.
Traditional art higher education institutions can thrive if they are established in the midst of a supportive environment, which can provide reasonable feedback. The growth and pace of art development itself can only be realized with the presence of innovators/creative staff such as educators, artists, critics and art connoisseurs who have the ability and an open attitude.
Seeing the sources and the potential of existing traditional arts, Surakarta as a city of culture is sufficiently qualified to be a place for the establishment of a traditional arts higher education institution. History has given the fact that Surakarta has a strong position and a wide aerial of ​​cultural support.
Based on these considerations, a group of young artists, with the support and blessing of cultural experts and masters, through official institutions at the central and regional levels, made efforts to establish an art higher education institution in Surakarta. From the results of these efforts, the Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia No. 068/1964 dated July 15, 1964 was issued, which opened the Indonesian Karawitan Arts Academy (ASKI) in Surakarta under the auspices of the Directorate General of Culture, Department of Basic Education and Culture.
Subsequently, on May 19, 1973, the Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture No. 039/O/1973 was issued concerning Guidelines Regarding Status, Curriculum, Teaching Staff, and Material Equipment at the Indonesian Academy of Karawitan Arts in Surakarta, which contained among other things:

  1. ASKI has two departments, namely: General Department in Surakarta, which later developed into ASKI Surakarta; and the Minangkabau Department in Padang Panjang, which later developed into ASKI Pandang Panjang which is now STSI Padang Panjang.
  2. ASKI graduates have the right to use the title Karawitan Baccalaureate, for those who pass the ASKI Baccalaureate state examination; Karawitan Artists (S.Kar), for those who have passed the state exam at the ASKI Artist level (assessed at the level of a Bachelor’s Degree).

Based on the Decree of the President of the Republic of Indonesia Number 160/M/1974 and Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture Number 02/O/1975, on March 20, 1976 the management of ASKI Surakarta was transferred from the Directorate General of Culture to the Directorate General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture.
At the time it was founded, ASKI Surakarta used the facilities of the Indonesian Karawitan Conservatory (now SMKI/SMK Negeri 8) Surakarta. Since 1972 the Central Java Arts Development Project (PKJT) in Surakarta, which occupies a building belonging to the Surakarta Hadiningrat Kasunanan Palace, has provided a place for ASKI Surakarta activities in the form of the Pagelaran, Sitihinggil, and Sasonomulyo of the Surakarta Palace buildings. Starting in 1985 the academic and administrative activities of STSI Surakarta occupied a new campus in Kentingan, Jebres, in the city of Surakarta.
The change in status from the Surakarta Academy of Karawitan Arts (ASKI) to the Indonesian Arts College (STSI) Surakarta was marked by the issuance of the Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture Number 0446/O/1988 dated 12 September 1988 concerning the Upgrade of ASKI Surakarta’s Status to STSI Surakarta.
In 2006 the Indonesian Art College (STSI) Surakarta then changed its status to become the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) Surakarta, marked by the issuance of the Presidential Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia Number 77 of 2006 dated July 20 2006, and was inaugurated by the Minister of National Education Prof. Dr. Bambang Sudibyo, on September 11th, 2006 at the Pendhapa ISI Surakarta.
Starting from the brief history of ISI Surakarta, the ISI Surakarta Anniversary Ceremony was set to fall every July 15, coinciding with the issuance of the Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia Number 068/1964 dated July 15, 1964 concerning the Opening of the Indonesian Academy of Karawitan Arts (ASKI) Surakarta as the forerunner of ISI Surakarta.
The Organization and Work Procedure (OTK) of ISI Surakarta has been approved by the Minister of National Education with the issuance of Minister of National Education Regulation Number 45 of 2007 dated December 5, 2007. ISI Surakarta currently has two Faculties, namely the Faculty of Performing Arts and the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design. The Performing Arts Faculty (FSP) consists of four Departments/Study Programs: Karawitan Arts, Ethnomusicology, Puppetry Arts, and Dance Arts. The Faculty of Art and Design (FSRD) consists of four Departments/Study Programs: Art Crafts, Television and Film, Fine Arts, and Interior Design.
ISI Surakarta has two campuses, the Old Campus in Kentingan is used for the Faculty of Performing Arts (FSP), and the New Campus in Mojosongo is used for the Faculty of Art and Design (FSRD) as well as for the development of the Faculty of Recorded Media Arts (FSRM) and Postgraduate Programs (PPs). In developing a new study program, as of 23 November 2010 ISI Surakarta was granted permission to open a Bachelor of Theater Arts Study Program, and as of 27 December 2010 was also obtained permission to open a Doctoral Study Program (S3) of Creation and Assessment from DIKTI.

Mission
Carry out education, research, and community service in the context of preserving and developing arts and sciences based on archipelago culture that are superior and beneficial to society
Vision
To become a world-class Nusantara-based arts college with an accountable and transparent management system
The Meaning and Meaning of the ISI Surakarta Coat of Arms


The Surakarta Indonesian Art Institute has a symbol in the form of a swan flapping wings flying around the world which has urna eyes in the middle of the forehead, patra ears, fins and a dolphin’s tail, and eagle legs carrying mangosteen, as well as leaves and cempaka flower petals. The ISI Surakarta symbol meanings:
• Goose means explorer;
• Urna eyes mean sharp eyesight;
• Patra ears mean wisdom to hear;
• Dolphins with fins and tails mean direction controllers;
• Mangosteen means honesty; and
• The leaves and petals of the chrysolite flower mean to spread virtue and are useful for all.
The symbol of Indonesian Institute of the Arts Surakarta as a whole means the spirit of achieving high goals, exploring the world through creativity, taste and intention, controlling the road to glory armed with intelligence, intellectual, spiritual and emotional to prosper and make the nation proud, for the sake of maturity of nobility and essential truth.