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1997 — The Festival of the Dreaming
Artistic Director: Rhoda Roberts
When: 14 September to 6 October 1997
The Festival of the Dreaming, the first of its kind in Australia, celebrated the world's indigenous cultures, especially those of the Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. This was one of the largest and most representative indigenous arts festivals yet to be held in the world.
The Festival of the Dreaming promoted a greater awareness and appreciation of Australian indigenous heritage. This is one of the oldest known to man, but a culture which is constantly developing and evolving. The festival had 30 exhibitions, 14 dance and theatre productions, eight performance troupes, 50 films, a literature program, three concerts and a number of special commissions.
Most of the content was Australian, with additional representation from indigenous cultures from around the world, including the United States of America, Canada, Greenland, Korea, New Zealand, Western Samoa and Papua New Guinea. The festival explored the experience of indigenous people from its earliest origins to the impact of other cultures.
Many of the projects from The Festival of the Dreaming will tour nationally in 1998 and / or internationally in 1999 in subsequent Olympic Arts Festivals.