South African Cultural Observatory

About Us

The South African Cultural Observatory, established and mandated by the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), is a national research centre hosted by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, in partnership with Rhodes University and the University of Fort Hare. Its head office is in the new Donkin Precinct in the creative heart of Port Elizabeth.

The SA Cultural Observatory supports the collection and analysis of data, influences policy, shares insights and builds on the intellectual capacity gained across the arts, culture and heritage sectors. It works across the breadth of all cultural domains, including the arts, heritage, tourism, museums, libraries, archives and creative industries.

The key functions of the South African Cultural Observatory include:

  • Advanced theoretical and policy-relevant research on cultural trends and the cultural economy
  • The conceptualization and collection of statistics (data-bases)
  • Monitoring and Evaluating the impact of  cultural events
  • Providing physical and online access to the cultural information
  • Capacity building within the Arts, Culture and Heritage sectors and Creative Industries
  • Networking, partnering and knowledge sharing
  • Promoting cultural diplomacy

The Cultural Observatory is a long-awaited and vital initiative in the country’s cultural landscape. The evidence and data collected and analysed will assist in assessing where the competitiveness, job-creating and income-generating potential of the creative industries lies. The work of the Cultural Observatory adds value to the arts and culture sectors and enables a real socio-economic value to be attached to activities central to the rich tapestry of South African life.

More News
SA Cultural Observatory hires database coordinatorSA Cultural Observatory hires database coordinator

THE South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) has appointed Jan-Carel Van Der Linde as the SACO Database Coordinator, to head up the SACO’s database management. Database management is a critical output of the SACO, which is tasked with mapping the entirety of South Africa’s cultural and creative industries (CCIs) and arts, culture and heritage sectors, creating a viable cultural information system and developing a CCI Index as a monitoring tool for industry performance.

Chill with Gauteng Opera at Sunday Morning ConcertChill with Gauteng Opera at Sunday Morning Concert

WHAT better way to chill out on a Sunday morning than in the tranquil urban space of IT Corner in Melville while listening to the ambient light classical sounds of Gauteng Opera with guest artists from Coert’s Studio. During interval, you can enjoy a tasty brunch with family and friends. Gauteng Opera and Coert’s Studio present Classic Chill on Sunday, 26 March at 11:00.

Deadline for creative economy conference submissions nearsDeadline for creative economy conference submissions nears

THE creative economy is one of South Africa’s most underappreciated economic drivers, keeping thousands in jobs and contributing almost 3% to GDP.

BASA Celebrates 20 years of Partnerships, People and ConnectivityBASA Celebrates 20 years of Partnerships, People and Connectivity

2017 sees Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) celebrate twenty years of arts business partnerships, with an invigorated focus on growth, research, connectivity and celebration that confirms the organisation’s standing as a leader on the African continent.

Research bodies partner to analyse impact of Cape Town CarnivalResearch bodies partner to analyse impact of Cape Town Carnival

IT’S AN extravaganza of creativity and culture not to be missed – but how much does the Cape Town Carnival add to the bottom line of the City and more?

Upcoming Events

SACO2017 – South African Cultural Observatory 2nd National Conference

Date:24 May 2017 - 25 May 2017
Venue:The Forum Turbine Hall

Platteland Preview Arts Festival

Date:30 Jun 2017 - 02 Jul 2017
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