Lower Silesia houses numerous arts institutions and is home of many outstanding artists.
The cultural capital of the region is Wrocław which, beside Warsaw and Cracow, is among Poland’s most signifi cant cultural centres. Wrocław boasts two theatres, an operetta, a pantomime theatre, a puppet theatre, a philharmonic, 10 museums, numerous galleries, three arts colleges and a large group of artists. Cultural life is also vibrant in other towns of the region that have excellent arts institutions: there are theatres, philharmonics and museums in Legnica, Jelenia Góra and Wałbrzych. The sprouting of numerous informal arts groups is a new phenomenon observed recently in the region’s smaller towns and villages, where what can be termed ‘arts colonies’ (e.g. in the village of Michałowice near Jelenia Góra) and alternative culture centres are being founded. In the 1960s and 70s Wrocław was viewed as Poland’s capital of the theatre and one of the world’s capitals of avantgarde theatre. Wrocław was the home of the Laboratory Theatre led by Jerzy Grotowski, an outstanding producer and reformer of the 20th century theatre. Avant-garde tendencies are also characteristic of the Lower Silesian visual artists, many of whom boast outstanding achievements including works in glass, ceramics, poster and industrial design. Music also plays a signifi cant role in the cultural life of Lower Silesia. Many outstanding composers live in the region, and plenty of music festivals, a Lower Silesian speciality, are organized here. The most signifi cant of those is the 40-year-standing “Wratislavia Cantans” held in the historical churches in Wrocław and in a number of other towns of the region. Each year, the festival hosts a few thousand artists from all over the world.