'Developing, renewing and maintaining human cultures that create positive, enduring relationships with other peoples and the natural world.'
One way that the City of Marion is helping build strong and sustainable local communities is through the work of the Council's Arts and Cultural Development Team. We believe that creative, participative and diverse local cultures are a necessary foundation for building sustainable communities.
The work we do to support this is often called 'community cultural development'. The 'Habitat' project (pictured above) is one example of a community cultural development project supported by the City of Marion.
Photo: 'Habitat' project participants sharing views of the Tree of Life.
What is cultural sustainability?
Most people think of the environment when they hear the word 'sustainability' - and looking after our precious earth is certainly important. Social, cultural and economic sustainability are very important too.
Together the four areas make up what is described as the 'the Four Pillars of Sustainability'. As with environmental, social and economic sustainability, local government has a vital part to play in supporting cultural sustainability at a community level.
'Cultural sustainability' is a new term, and one not easily defined.
'Culture' means many things to many people. Here we use it in the broadest sense to mean 'our values and aspirations, traditions and shared memories, the ways we develop, receive and transmit these, and the ways of life these processes produce'.
'Sustainability' can be defined as 'meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations'. Put these ideas together and you have cultural sustainability - 'developing, renewing and maintaining human cultures that create positive, enduring relationships with other peoples and the natural world'. In the words of Nelson Mandela,"Like truth, culture and creativity are enduring."
For more information on cultural sustainability, 'The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability: Culture's essential role in public planning' by Jon Hawkes is a useful resource ($25.00 - order online).
Community Cultural Development at Marion Council
Community has an important relationship to cultural sustainability, as it is through our communities that our different cultures are maintained.
Culture and the Arts. The arts have a special place in relation to culture. Artistic expression and creativity are powerful ways in which we develop our cultural identities. People have always come together to sing, dance, and express themselves through the arts, and these shared rituals and creativity are at the heart of a strong community identity.
If you would like to know more about community cultural development, a good place to start is the Community Arts Network SA website.
Marion Celebrates Sustainability
The City of Marion supports a biannual community festival called Marion Celebrates. The last festival was held on Sunday, 27 March 2011.
Past festivals have seen a powerful expression of Marion's commitment to cultural sustainability, pioneering the theme 'Many Cultures - One Earth'.
As well as encouraging people to look after our fragile environment, former events have promoted cultural sustainability. From the opening ceremony with the Tree of Many Colours activity to the cultural workshops, the day is all about active participation in creating our own cultures.
Council is also promoting sustainability at a community level through projects like Habitat and the Footprints Community Arts project.
Through the Footprints project, a team of artists and musicians used recycled materials to create art with schools and community groups. The workshops encouraged people to explore some tricky questions such as: What does 'sustainability' mean in different cultures? How do we sustain our own cultures? How do indigenous cultures teach us to respect our earth?
For further information or to get involved please contact Elizabeth Sykora or Marg Edgecombe using the below details.
Cultural Development Officer
Phone: (08) 8375 6600
Unit Manager Arts & Cultural Development
Phone: (08) 8375 6600