Adana-Mersin Metropolitan Area, with a population of 2.87 million, is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Turkey and one of the country's leading centers of commerce and culture. Adana city has a population of 1.56 million, making it the fifth most populous city in Turkey. Merkez Park is a 33-hectar urban park with a 2100-seat amphitheatre; it is the main recreational area of the city. Adana is home town of the Sabanci family (a dynasty of Turkish businesspeople currently run by third generation business woman Güler Sabancı. Sabancı Holding is Turkey’s second largest group of companies), spending money on philanthrophy.
In the STGM database for Adana a total of 297 NGO’s was listed. Of these 28 were dedicated to education and youth, 27 to culture and 8 to arts.
Çukurova University was founded in 1973. The university campus is located 10 kilometers away from Adana city center, next to the Seyhan Dam Lake. The language of instruction is Turkish. English language courses for students are optional. There are also vocational schools in Ceyhan, Kozan, Karaisalı, Pozantı and Yumurtalık. The university is one of the well developed universities of Turkey with many cultural amenities, and many cultural activities are organized on campus. The University has connections with Delft University, Drenthe University of Professional Education, Eindhoven University of Technology and Wageningen University. There are departments of Architecture, Industrial and Textile design.
Events and organizations that are relevant for art and culture in Adana are:
- Adana Center for Arts and Culture
- Çukurova State Symphony Orchestra performed its first concert in 1992 and since then, the orchestra is performing twice a week from October to May at the Theater Hall of the Metropolitan Municipality. The orchestra consists of 39 musicians and conduct regular tours in Turkey and abroad.
- Adana State Theater opened its stage in 1981 at the Sabancı Cultural Center. It performs regularly from October to May. A
- Adana Town Theater was founded in 1880 to be the first theater in Adana by the governor Ziya Paşa. In 1926, the theater moved to the newly built Community Center. Town Theater currently performs weekly at the Metropolitan Theater Hall. Metropolitan Theater Hall also hosts Town Chorus and community theater, folklore and concert performances.
- Seyhan Town Theater and Seyhan Folkloric Dances can be seen weekly at the 1000-seater Theater Hall of Seyhan Cultural Center.
- Amphitheaters in Adana host performances from April to November. Mimar Sinan Amphitheater, the largest in Adana, can accommodate 8000 guests and hosts concerts and movies. It is located at the west bank of the Seyhan River. 2100-seater Merkez Park Amphitheater, 3000-seater Çukurova University Amphitheater and Doğal Park Amphitheater in Çukurova District also hosts theaters, concerts and cinemas.
- Recently, historical buildings are restored and converted into cultural centers. 515 year old Ramazanoğlu Hall and 130 year old former high school for girls (now called the Adana Center for Arts and Culture) serve as cultural centers hosting art exhibitions and cultural events.
- State Fine Arts Gallery was opened in Sabancı Cultural Center in 1982. It carries 59 plastic pieces of art. 75.Yıl Art Gallery in Atatürk Park, Adana City Hall Art Gallery and Art Gallery in Seyhan Cultural Center are the other public art galleries.
- International Sabancı Theater Festival is held every year in April since 1999. In 2009, festival hosted 16 theatre groups who performed 20 plays. 6 of the theater groups attended from Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Egypt and Kyrgyzistan.
- International Çukurova Instrumental Music Festival is a 2-week long festival held annually in Adana, Antakya and Gaziantep. In 2009, the festival took place for the 5th time with an opening concert from Çukurova State Symphony Orchestra.
- Çukurova Art Days is a regional festival that takes place during 4 days every April since 2007. 115 poets, painters, musicians and caricaturists from 10 different countries attended festival in 2009, which took place in Adana, Mersin, Gaziantep, Antakya, İskenderun, Tarsus and Aleppo.
- 13 Kare Arts Festival began in 1999 as a festival of photography dedicated to 13 photographers of Adana who died in an accident during an AFAD (Adana Photography Amateurs Association) trip. The festival then extended to other arts. During the festival, exhibitions of nature, under-sea and architecture photography, puppet shows, shadow theater, and several concerts are held. The festival takes place every December.
- Seyhan Cultural Events is a month long festival during Ramadan. During the festival, theater plays, sufi music concerts, folklore dances and children shows held at Seyhan Cultural Center.