Seven Paducah representatives will attend the World Folk Arts Biennale in Jinju South Korea, October 15-22, 2022.

The Jinju World Folk Arts Biennale is a celebration intended to provide UNESCO Creative Cities with an opportunity to share their aesthetic perspectives and experiences in order to contribute to the advancement of the performing arts and culture industry. Paducah will be represented by Paducah musicians The Wheelhouse Rousters along with Seth Murphy and Yeiser Executive Director, Lexie Millikan.

“We are so very excited and honored to share Western Kentucky's unique musical contributions of bluegrass, thumb picking and roustabout music in Jinju, South Korea,” says Josh Coffey of The Wheelhouse Rousters. “Sharing this music and honoring our culture on this world stage is arguably the most important moment so far in all our careers.”

Paducah joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2013 as a City of Crafts and Folk Art. Since then, Paducah has enjoyed unique collaborative opportunities with other Creative Cities around the globe. Other Creative Cities of Crafts and Folk Art participating in the Biennale include Bida City, Nigeria; Aswan, Egypt; and Baguio, Philippines. Cities of Music Amon, Indonesia; Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, are also participants.

 “After participating in a craft art biennale in Jinju last year, it is a dream to be able to travel back there, and even better that I get to do it with an incredibly talented group of musicians,” says Millikan. “We are all looking forward to representing the rich traditions of our region and making new creative connections. The UNESCO Creative City designation continues to create opportunities for exchange in the arts.”

Paducah celebrates its 10th anniversary as a UNESCO Creative City in 2023. Mary Hammond, Executive Director of Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the focal of Paducah’s Creative City program.

“Designation as one of the world’s Creative Cities has directly impacted growth in international visitation and tourism economic impact to Paducah,” says Hammond. “It’s differentiated Paducah and positioned us for the future. Building upon this new platform, Paducah has earned unparalleled national and worldwide attention for our cultural richness.”