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 western Kentucky Ohio River city a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
UNESCO director general Irina Bokova announced Paducah’s designation November 20.
The Creative Cities Network 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.
Paducah joins Santa Fe, New Mexico; Aswan, Egypt; Kanazawa, Japan; Icheon, South Korea; Hangzhou, China; and Fabriano, Italy as UNESCO Cities of Crafts and Folk Arts.
“Receiving the UNESCO creative city designation will put Paducah in a position to share cultural assets on a global scale,” said Paducah mayor Gayle Kaler.
Paducah is recognized as a mecca for quilters and fiber artists and is the home of the National Quilt Museum and the original American Quilter’s Society Quilt Show. Billing itself as “distinctively creative,” Paducah has also garnered national attention for its artist relocation program that has attracted artists and artisans from around the nation to spur the redevelopment of a 26-block neighborhood of historic houses and structures known as the Lowertown Arts District.
Launched in 2004, the Creative Cities Network is designed to promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and developing world.