Paducah welcomed representatives from four of the nine U.S. Creative Cities to speak to the Rotary Club of Paducah in March 2019.
From "Keeping Cultural Heritage Alive for a Vibrant Future” to "Sustaining and Developing Cultural Assets to Drive Creative Tourism,” this series of presentations offered diverse perspectives on the ways in which Creative Cities are positioning themselves for the future while representing American cultural traditions around the globe.
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) recognizes that harnessing and cultivating creativity is essential to the prosperity of any city. It aims to serve as a laboratory of innovative ideas through which Creative Cities benefit by “sharing experiences, knowledge and best practices.”
San Antonio, Texas | UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy
San Antonio's distinct flavor characteristics are drawn from the city being a crossroads of geography, geology, fauna, civilisations and cultures. As a Creative City of Gastronomy, San Antonio aims to support sustainable development and grow the "Tex Next" cuisine.
“The Creative Cities Network is meant to be all-encompassing of all creativity, not to just focus on the one thing that [the city] may have been designated for. We are all looking for the same kinds of outcomes.” – Claudia Guerra, Cultural Historian, City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation
Santa Fe, New Mexico | UNESCO Creative City of Crafts & Folk Art
The exchange of goods and ideas is central to Santa Fe's cultural heritage originating from the city's location on the trade route known as the Santa Fe Trail. Designated a UNESCO Creative City in 2005, the city's development continues through the cultural industries while Culture Connects Santa Fe is bridging diverse communities.
“As a city councilor, I’ve come to realize that the city is the most intimate point at which government and the governed interact, so there’s a commonality to the city experience that exists from Santa Fe to Beijing. To have a network of cities focused on creativity as a building block of their socioeconomic fabric is wonderful… fundamental in moving our cities forward in the ways that make sense.” – Peter Ives, City Councillor, City of Santa Fe
Iowa City, Iowa | UNESCO Creative City of Literature
Iowa City's commitment to celebrating writing is evident through countless literary institutions, programs and events with global reach. Since designation as a Creative City in 2008, the Iowa UNESCO City of Literature Office provides rich programming that supports the community's array of literary experiences.
“There are so many layers to what it means to be a Creative City. These are cities who have exemplary culture in one particular discipline but are creative beyond that and have strong international connections. It’s not an honorific, it’s membership in a network and it’s ongoing.” – John Kenyon, Executive Director, Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature
Kansas City, Missouri | UNESCO Creative City of Music
Kansas City's historic and modern day connections to jazz music are significant. Through the Creative Cities Network, Kansas City aims to leverage jazz heritage to drive sustainable community development through programs including International Jazz Day and the American Music Apprenticeship Program.
“The thing that is sustaining humanity now is creativity, the very essence of being human. Creativity is the way of the future. It is now marketable, bankable and transformable into literal economic dollars.” – Anita Dixon, Cultural Heritage Strategist & Founder, Sage Consultants