08/10/2020 - 20:52

Culture and arts key to shaping Perth’s identity.

08/10/2020 - 20:52


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Culture and arts key to shaping Perth’s identity.
Boorna Waanginy in Kings Park for the 2019 Perth Festival. Picture: Toni Wilkinson

I love this stunning city of ours – a glorious home between desert and sea.

This is a place of great natural beauty, culture and enterprise, full of big dreams and stories as diverse and compelling as the people who call it home.

We have unique strengths and opportunities. Out here on the western edge of our vast continent, we are grounded on Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar and share an ocean and time zone with the most populous and dynamic region of the 21st century.

Many of us trace our heritage to cultures transplanted here, cross-pollinated by generations of migration and learning to adapt to a land that is home to the oldest continuous culture on Earth.

For nearly 70 years, as an arm of The University of Western Australia, Perth Festival has helped reflect and shape Perth’s distinct identity. It is at Festival time when all these ideas and influences are condensed, magnified and shared by Festival participants in their hundreds of thousands each year.

Artists find ways of celebrating humanity in joyful, unexpected ways, but also seek to bring new perspectives to some of society’s most intractable problems.

As it has for decades, our Festival commissions WA artists to create new work in a supportive, collaborative environment – work that speaks with clarity and immediacy to audiences here, and from here onto the world.  

This year, like no other, we have a unique opportunity to support and promote local brilliance that would thrill people anywhere in the world. We can make the most of what some may say, particularly in these times, is our splendid isolation. COVID-19 may have closed our borders for now but it has opened our minds to the special experiences here in our own backyard.

As the UWA founders of Perth Festival knew, culture is our bridge to a better world.

Today, creativity is paramount in achieving broader social, environmental, economic and educational objectives. Here, it can be inspired and informed by Perth’s position on the lands of the Wadjuk Noongar people in an interconnected, multicultural world.

Perth Festival 2021 runs February 5-28. The program will be announced on November 18. For more information visit www.perthfestival.com.au



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