Shenzhen offers a comprehensive selection of public cultural facilities that provide splendid art displays. Elite artworks and vibrant popular culture make Shenzhen a cultural oasis.
CITY OF LIBRARIES
Library network The Shenzhen government began to implement its strategy of building a city of libraries in 2003. Since then, a pioneer library network with rich resources, modern facilities and convenient services has taken shape and expanded. There were 620 public libraries in the city by the end of 2015, including three city-level libraries, eight district-level libraries and 609 branches of city- and district-level libraries and community reading rooms. There also are 240 self-service book-lending machines offering 24-hour service on city streets. The goal of establishing one community library for every 15,000 people has been realized.
Unified service platform All 234 public libraries in the city and the 240 self-service book-lending machines are connected by a network that provides unified service to readers citywide. The network is being expanded to include other public libraries. These public libraries, carrying the logo of "City of Libraries," share resources within the network. Through this network, readers can access the resources of all libraries with one library card.
Shenzhen Library As the center of library materials collection and utilization and of information resources development in the city, Shenzhen Library holds more than 8 million volumes of books and periodicals. It serves more than 10,000 readers daily and lends 3.8 million books each year. The library is open to the public and free of charge.
24-hour self-service book-lending machines The first of their kind in China, Shenzhen's 240 24-hour self-service book-lending machines are scattered around the city in large housing developments, industrial and high-tech parks, public cultural venues, office buildings, transportation hubs and Metro stations.
CITY OF PIANOS
Led by Shenzhen Arts School, Shenzhen's piano education level tops the nation. Piano education is growing more popular among Shenzhen primary and middle school students. So far, as a city of pianos, Shenzhen has cultivated many internationally famous musicians who won prizes in piano competitions, including Li Yundi, Zhang Haochen, Chen Sa and Zuo Zhang. Renowned piano performers and educators, such as Zhou Guangren, Dan Zhaoyi and Liu Shikun, have set up piano training and education bases in Shenzhen. According to statistics, there are around 400,000 pianos in the city. Shenzhen has more than 6,000 piano teachers and 300,000 young piano learners.
MUSEUMS, ART GALLERIES AND ENTERTAINMENT VENUES
Museums There are 41 museums (including memorial halls) around the city, housing more than 60,000 cultural relics. The Shenzhen Museum broke ground in February 1984, opened in November 1988 and now houses more than 35,000 pieces. The New Shenzhen Museum, the country's first museum featuring the history of reform and opening up, opened on Dec. 25, 2008, in the east wing of the Civic Center. With floor space of more than 30,000 square meters, the new museum also displays examples of ancient local relics and folk customs.
Art galleries There are 14 public art galleries in the city. Two more are being built. With a total floor space of 38,000 square meters, the art galleries presented 320 exhibitions in 2015 and received more than 2.8 million visitors.
Theaters There are 20 theaters for performing arts in the city, covering more than 200,000 square meters of floor space and offering a total capacity of 30,000 seats.
Cultural halls There are 69 cultural halls throughout the city, occupying more than 300,000 square meters.
Reading Month The Shenzhen Municipal Government has designated every November as Reading Month, a cultural extravaganza. It's the longest reading-themed festival in the world.
Creative December This event has been held every December since 2005 with the joint effort of the Publicity Department of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee, Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Shenzhen Federation of Literary and Art Circles and the City of Design Promotion Office of Shenzhen. More than 100 events related to design, arts and culture, and architecture are held in forms of exhibitions, lectures, competitions and performances within the month.
Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture This event is sponsored by the Shenzhen Municipal Government and organized by Shenzhen Public Art Center. It is an interactive cultural event between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, the only international biennale that concerns on urbanism and urbanization in the world.
ICIF Art Festival An important part of China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair, the ICIF festival displays shows by elite artists from home and abroad. The fair also is designed to provide an international platform for original works by Chinese artists and to prosper local literary and artistic creation.
China Shenzhen International Piano Concerto Competition Sponsored by the Shenzhen Municipal Government and organized jointly by Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism and Shenzhen International Culture Association, the competition is the third international piano competition approved by the Chinese Government, after China International Piano Competition and China Shanghai International Piano Competition. The first competition was held in 2006, and the second in 2011. The competition is held every three years and has become the highest-level international professional art competition since the city was built.
Shenzhen opera master performance project Organized by the Culture, Sports and Tourism Administration of Shenzhen Municipality since 2013, the project brings a wealth of authentic Chinese opera plays to the general public.
Spring festival arts care project This is a series of free art performances and exhibitions held annually during the Spring Festival to give citizens and migrant workers free access to cultural events. The project is sponsored by the Publicity Department of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee and the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism.
Performance seasons of Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra has been staging summer and winter seasons since 1999. The orchestra gives more than 30 concerts every year.
Chinese and foreign performance season Hosted by the Shenzhen Performing Arts Company since 2003, it organizes approximately 20 performances a year.
Grand Theater Art Festival: Started in 1992, the festival is the first art festival named after a theater in China. The festival has been held for 19 years.
Art Vista It is a public event that includes art performances and lectures introducing folk music, Western-style music, opera, traditional Chinese literature and arts and is held at Shenzhen Grand Theater at 3 p.m. every Saturday afternoon. The event, sponsored by the Publicity Department of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee, is organized by Shenzhen Grand Theater and Tianli Time International Performance Co.
Weekend Guangdong Opera This event invites Guangdong opera artists from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to stage performances for Shenzhen people at Shenzhen Theater at 3 p.m. every Friday afternoon.
Beautiful Sunday Sponsored by the Publicity Department of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee and Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism and hosted by Shenzhen Concert Hall, the Beautiful Sunday project provides free concerts staged at Shenzhen Concert Hall at 3 p.m. every Sunday.
Drama Sunday A cultural event supported by a special fund for Shenzhen's cultural activities, it allows people to attend free lectures on drama and drama performances. A total of 159 lectures and performances have been held since the first event was held in September 2011, attracting more than 60,000 people.
Shenzhen Autumn Community Culture and Art Festival It is an event held every other year since 1992 that highlights music and dance contests, painting and calligraphy exhibitions as well as art performances.
Shenzhen Migrant Workers' Cultural Festival To provide cultural events for migrant workers, the annual monthlong festival was launched in May 2005 and features shows, movies, lectures, exhibitions and sports games, attracting nearly 3 million people annually.
Shenzhen Children's Art Festival The festival is held every three years and targets children 6 to 16 years old.