In 2012, UNESCO invited Bogota, one of the only 35 cities around the world, to be a member of the Network of Creative Cities. Bogota joined in the Music category, in recognition of the force that movements such as rock, hip-hop, classical music, jazz, and local rhythms have in the city.
The city's cultural life also provides for a broad local and international offering of museums, libraries, literature, cinemas, plastic arts, theater, and dance.
Find the next information about Culture and Art in Bogota:
- A Multicultural City
- UNESCO City of Music: Music Festivals "At the park"
- Bogota Latin American Theater Festival
- La Candelaria, historic downtown area
Today, Bogota is the result of migrations by very diverse and broad population groups, which have turned it into a city more respectful of ethnic, social, territorial, and religious diversity.
- Colombians from different regions, ranging from the islands and coasts on the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Andes, and the Amazon jungles to the Eastern Plainlands, among others, call the capital city their home.
- Bogota extends its hospitality to foreign colonies from Ecuador, the United States, Peru, Venezuela, and many others.
- Native Colombian groups include Embera, Guambiano, Huitoto, Inga, Kankuamo, Kichwa, Pijao, Siriano, and Wayúu.
- African-Colombian communities, which account for 14% of Colombia's population, are also a vibrant force in the city.
- Approximately 13,033 members of gypsy communities reside within the city’s borders.
- Close to 750,000 members of the LGBT community find Bogota a welcoming home.
- Practitioners of different religions are also well-represented, including Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and Jews, among others.
Bogota became the first city in Latin America and the fifth City of Music along with Seville, (Spain), Bologna (Italy), Glasgow (Scotland), and Gent (Belgium).
This reflects the city’s broad offerings of free and open-air festivals that include rock, salsa, jazz, opera, hip-hop, and traditional Colombian music. Rock al Parque (Rock the Park), the largest in Latin America and the third largest in the world, saw 240,000 attendees in 2016, that enjoyed music from the 87 participating bands.
The city boasts over 600 venues for live concerts, which have opened their doors for renowned artists in all genres of music, such as Daniel Barenboim, Jesse Norman, Deborah Voigt in classical music; Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Norah Jones; as well as other independent artists such as The Killers, New Order, Morrisey, TV on the Radio, MGMT and Yelle.
Every two years, Bogota hosts the most important theater festival in Latin America, and one of the best in the world.
The 2016 edition featured more than 3,600 artists who performed 855 shows in 63 public spaces and 40 theaters achieving more than 2 million viewers.
The city offers an ever-present but constantly evolving menu of theater, dance, and music shows in over 45 performance halls, including the Teatro Mayor, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, and Teatro Nacional, as well as a number of independent venues such as Mapa Teatro, la Casa del Teatro, La Candelaria, Teatro Libre, and Teatro Varasanta.
The city hosts each year international productions such as Cirque du Soleil and receives on its stage the best companies in the world that make seasons in Bogota.
ArtBo - International Art Fair of Bogota
One of the most important art fairs in South America, it draws over 19 thousand attendees to see works from 56 galleries from countries in Europe and Latin America, and 2,000 works from 400 artists. It is held every October.
Over 70 galleries and cultural centers showcase paintings, sculptures, photographs, video art performances, and different expressions of new digital media.
In addition to a wealth of libraries and bookstores, and hosting one of the most important Book Fairs in Latin America, Bogota offers new publications, poetry readings, magazines, literary supplements and comics in traditional as well as digital formats.
Network of Public Libraries
BibloRed, comprises 21 establishments across the city. In 2014, the network was visited by approximately 4.3 million people; the libraries are classified as follows.
- 4 major libraries.
- 6 local libraries.
- 10 neighborhood libraries.
- 60 community libraries.
- 1 Biblo-bus.
Bogota International Book Fair
It is one of the three largest publishing events in Latin America, and an important showcase to foster reading, as it gathers publishers, distributors, book dealers, representatives of the graphics industry, and writers, among others.
Over a 15-day period, more than 420 local and foreign presenters welcomed approximately 433,000 visitors in the 2015 Fair.
Bogota has over 243 film screens playing the latest international releases, as well as serves home to an important independent cinema circuit, where films can be seen in specialized halls and renowned festivals such as Bogshorts, Eurocine, French Cinema Festival, Documentary Cinema Festival, and the Bogota Cinema Festival.
In terms of the Colombian audio-visual industry, 92% of all film and movie production services, 77% of all digital animation and 55% of the video-game industry are based in Bogota.
The city has 77 museums with collections that range from pre-Colombian to modern exhibits, collections with historic, archaeological, and religious value, as well as interactive and technological installations, which include:
The Gold Museum
This encompasses over 34,000 gold pieces, more than 20,000 bone, stone, ceramic, and textile objects that belonged to the 13 pre-Hispanic cultures. In addition to its permanent display, the museum has already hosted 204 exhibits in the best museums across all five continents.
The Botero Museum
Home to a collection of works by artist Fernando Botero, donated by the artist himself. It is comprised by 208 works, 123 of his own, and 85 by international artists.
The first third-generation museum built in Colombia, it allows users to interact with the objects that are on display. Its 17,000 square meters fosters social incorporation of science, technology, and innovation.
Bogota contains over 600 buildings and areas that reflect the evolution of architecture and history since the city’s founding in 1538. Specifically, the district of La Candelaria, where the Spanish and Colonial aristocracy lived for a significant period, is renowned for preserving a Colonial architecture in manors displaying their original Colonial roofs and balconies.
In addition to buildings such as the Presidential Palace, the Justice Palace, and the National Capitol, as well as other state institutions, this district also holds museums, theaters, bars, and restaurants.
Banco de la República
City Tourism Institute
Bogota Chamber of Commerce
Bogota International Book Fair
Bogota Latin American Theater Festival
City Institute of the Arts
Colombian Ministry of Culture
Updated: mm/dd/aa - 15/01/2018