‘Visions of the Festival Centre’ Exhibition 2011

To coincide with About Time: South Australia’s History Festival 2011 Adelaide Festival Centre is delighted to present the exhibition Visions of the Festival Centre, on display in the Festival Theatre Foyer Cafe until December 2011.

Visions of the Festival Centre has been shaped to offer visitors an insight into the history of the Adelaide Festival Centre site through its previous uses and the creative visions of key personalities from Colonel Light to Don Dunstan and beyond. In pre-settlement times the area was a meeting place and ceremonial ground for Aboriginal people. The 19th Century saw the building of the government printing office and city baths, while 20th Century wartime saw the presence of the Cheer Up Hut and Migrant Hostel. The exhibition includes photographic reproductions, documents and illustrations.

Listed on the South Australian Heritage Register, Adelaide Festival Centre is an intrinsic part of the city’s history, vision and character, its architecture significant as a meaningful expression of the time in which it was built.

Adelaide Festival Centre was built in three stages.  The main building comprising the Festival Theatre was completed and officially opened in June 1973.  The Amphitheatre and the Drama Centre, housing the Playhouse (now the Dunstan Playhouse) and experimental ‘black box’ theatre, the Space Theatre, were opened by Premier Don Dunstan in October 1974.  At the Festival Centre completion ceremony in March 1977 the Festival Centre Plaza, comprising the concrete environmental sculpture City Sign by Otto Hajek, was opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

Under the current leadership of CEO and Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier, Adelaide Festival Centre remains the heart of the arts in South Australia and an integral part of the developing Riverbank Precinct.

This exhibition was curated by Sarah Northcott, a University of Adelaide Art History intern with Adelaide Festival Centre’s Visual Arts department.

What: Visions of the Festival Centre
Venue: Festival Theatre Foyer Cafe, Adelaide Festival Centre (Access via Festival Drive)
Hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm, and during performance times
When: Until December 2011
Cost: FREE entry

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