Exploring Adelaide through a cultural lens

Cultural Heart

Adelaide is globally recognised for its thriving cultural landscape. Attracting residents, workers and visitors from interstate and around the world – it plays an important part in driving city growth.

Culture is the heart and soul of Adelaide. It embraces so much – from language and social customs to the city’s rich Kaurna heritage and activity across a diverse range of creative fields including literature, design, film, dance, fashion, festivals, food, music and many more.

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Culture is how we express who we are - as individuals, as members of a group and as a community. It’s what we value, celebrate and – ultimately – what makes Adelaide unique.

Adelaide’s cultural landscape is filled with a wide variety of culture makers: people who make culture happen by creating, supporting, coordinating, curating, presenting and collecting. There are also many hard-working industry support groups, a growing number of co-working spaces, creative collectives and studios – providing opportunities for connection and collaboration – and a strong creative industries sector.

"Our vibrant arts and culture community is internationally recognised for its unique style and key role in the education, training and development of future leaders across all cultural areas. Adelaide’s unique and vibrant character is testament to the ingenuity, optimism and extraordinary talent of the people who make culture happen in this city.”
City of Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese

The City of Adelaide supports this flourishing cultural environment through a range of innovative programs and initiatives, such as the BUSINESS of being CREATIVE, an intensive pilot program equipping creatives with the experience and expertise to forge sustainable cultural enterprises.

Most importantly, by placing ‘creative’ alongside ‘smart’, ‘green’ and ‘liveable’ as one of four themes guiding its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, the City of Adelaide formally recognises the value of the cultural sector – a move backed by members of the local creative community, among them, Nick Mitzevich, Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia

“What’s interesting about the themes is they don’t all run in parallel – they actually overlap,” said Nick. “To be creative is also to be smart and innovative; so many artists work in a green capacity; and liveable cities are really defined by cities that are creative. Where they join and touch is where the magic can happen in this city.”

The City of Adelaide Cultural Strategy 2017-2023 celebrates the strengths, dynamism and optimism of Adelaide’s cultural landscape – and sets out a roadmap for realising the vision of Adelaide as a multicultural city with a passion to create authentic and internationally renowned experiences.

The key? Working collaboratively with the community to achieve five shared aspirations. These aspirations are:

  • Adelaide’s CULTURAL IDENTITY is unique and its creative reputation renowned
  • Adelaide’s CULTURAL ECONOMY is robust, sustainable and easy to navigate
  • Adelaide has an engaged, collaborative, knowledgeable and CONNECTED CULTURAL COMMUNITY
  • Adelaide is recognised as a CULTURAL INCUBATOR where people, enterprises and audiences flourish
  • Adelaide is renowned for its authentic, vibrant and diverse CULTURAL EXPERIENCES

These aspirations are part of a cultural lens which the City of Adelaide uses when planning initiatives in the city community. The end result? An acknowledgement of the importance of cultural vitality to a flourishing city. The Cultural Strategy is also a living document that has flexibility for new and exciting projects to be explored and developed in collaboration with the community and the cultural sector.

Article by

Skye Murtagh

Skye Murtagh

Skye is Adelaide Living's main driving force. She is passionate about sharing stories from all walks of life. When she's not busy weaving beautiful words together, she's singing a line or two from her favourite song.