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Change the world


The Department of Arts and Culture’s national South African Cultural Observatory is announcing its first annual national workshop which is being held in Johannesburg on 19 February 2016.

The South African Cultural Observatory is a national research centre hosted by a grouping of universities comprising Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Rhodes University and University of Fort Hare.

In terms of Mzansi Golden Economy strategy the Cultural Observatory is the informative ‘nerve centre’ that will provide not only the strategic vision, but also the organizing principle to develop cultural indicators appropriate to the South African context and collection of statistics based on the sector needs.

The Observatory examines the nature, trends and impact of the cultural and creative industries in South Africa. “The creative economy comprises one of the fastest growing and dynamic sectors of the world economy,” says Prof Haines, the CEO of the Cultural Observatory.

Informed by the UNESCO framework for Cultural Statistics, the SA Cultural Observatory aims to stimulate debate and enhance the exchange of knowledge in the sector through publications and reports, workshops, seminars, and, conferences coupled with high impact research outputs pertaining to the industry.

In essence the SA Cultural Observatory develops and supports the collection and analysis of data, influences policy, shares insight and builds on the intellectual capacity gained across the arts, culture and heritage sector.  It works across the breadth of all cultural domains, including the arts, heritage, tourism, museums, libraries, archives and creative industries. It will also support information networks through collaborative research projects.

The Cultural Observatory is a long-awaited and vital initiative in the cultural landscape of our society. The evidence and data collected and analysed will assist in assessing where the competiveness, job creating and income generating potential of the creative industries lies. 

The South African Cultural Observatory will host its first workshop on 19 February 2016 at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Rosebank.

The workshop on 19 February hopes to bring together thought leaders, researchers, cultural experts, cultural workers, arts managers, theatre practitioners and representatives from the art world to discuss and provide inputs towards the development of a consolidated Research Agenda and Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the industry.

For more information contact


About the SA Cultural Observatory

The South African Cultural Observatory is the development of a comprehensive cultural information system which continuously captures cultural data and monitors and evaluates government initiatives in the sector. The evidence and data which is collected and analysed assists in assessing where the competitiveness, job creation and income generation potential of the creative industries lies. It also supports information networks characterised by collaborative research projects between multidisciplinary teams.

ISSUED BY: The Famous Idea Trading

ON BEHALF OF: The South African Cultural Observatory

CONTACT: Gilly Hemphill


TEL: 011 706 8153

CELL : 082 820 8584

Contact information
Mrs Debbie Derry
Deputy Director: Communication
Tel: 041 504 3057