The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Paducah, Kentucky, the world’s seventh City of Crafts and Folk Art, making the city a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, announced Paducah’s designation today along with Enghien-les-Bains (France) and Sapporo (Japan) as UNESCO Cities of Media Arts. Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler hosted a news conference to announce this major international designation.
“Receiving the UNESCO Creative City Designation will put Paducah in a position to share cultural assets on a global scale,” said Kaler. “Paducah is poised for cultural and economic sustainability by creating partnerships locally and with other cities.”
Paducah joins Santa Fe, Aswan, Kanazawa, Icheon, Hangzhou and Fabriano as UNESCO Cities of Crafts and Folk Arts. The Network currently includes 41 cities from all regions of the world recognized as cultural centers in the creative industry fields of Crafts and Folk Arts, Literature, Film, Music, Design, Media Arts and Gastronomy.
The Paducah Visitors Bureau pursued the application.
“This designation is a tremendous honor for Paducah and really the entire state and will focus worldwide attention on the incredible cultural richness of Paducah and in turn Kentucky,” said Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Bob Stewart. “We are so proud of Paducah.”
The Creative Cities Network is designed to promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and developing world. Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network aims to develop international cooperation among cities that acknowledge and seek to support creativity as a strategic driver for sustainable development, through multi-stakeholder global partnerships.