On December 8, 1986, Ningbo, known as "the State of Antiquities", was declared a State-level historic and cultural city among the second group of cities in the country. Now, as one of the 99 current historic and cultural cities of the country, it is well known both at home and abroad as the origin of the Hemudu Culture, the famous port for shipping, trading and cultural exchange since the Tang and Song Dynasty, the cradle of East Zhejiang Culture, the outpost of wars against foreign invasions since the Ming and Qing Dynasty, and for the birthplace of the "Overseas Ningbo Folks" and the large number of well-preserved historic relics and remains.
In August 2000, Ningbo Municipal Government summoned a meeting on the cultural activities of Ningbo, where were defined the overall requirements for cultural activities in Ningbo for the time being and for the time to come, namely, to uphold the theories of Deng Xiaoping, the guidelines of the 15th Conference of CPC and the Three Representations; to train all citizens to have their ideals, to have proper ethic conduct and to be educated and disciplined; to adhere to the principle of serving the people and socialism whole-heartedly; to let a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend; to stand firmly and look out to the future, to achieve breakthroughs in the restructuring of the city's cultural profile through innovation; to turn over a new leaf in the industrialization of cultural activities and promote the coordinated development of culture, economy and society to provide a sound ideological motivation, intellectual support and cultural environment to an earlier realization of the Four Modernizations.
As a nationally cited traditional cultural city, the cultural undertakings flourish in the city of Ningbo. The International Fashion Festival has been successively held in Ningbo for six years. In the 2002 year, Ningbo sponsored or co-sponsored many other major cultural activities such as the 10th Golden Rooster & Hundred Flowers Film Festival, and The Plum Award of China. Such cultural facilities as theatres, libraries and museums were extended and improved.