Paducah Named UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art


Nov. 21, 2013, Paducah, Ky. – 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.

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 (USA), Aswan (Egypt), Kanazawa (Japan), Icheon (South Korea), Hangzhou (China), and Fabriano (Italy) as UNESCO Cities of Crafts and Folk Art. 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 Astronomy.

The Paducah Visitors Bureau pursued the application as an opportunity to showcase Paducah’s cultural pedigree, exchange know-how, and develop local creative industries on a global platform. Known as Quilt City USA®, Paducah is recognized worldwide as a mecca for quilters and fiber artists.

“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.

What qualifies Paducah as an UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art? Learn more HERE.

The American Quilter’s Society (AQS) worked with the Paducah Visitors Bureau in the preparation of the application for the Creative Cities designation. AQS and art groups throughout the city have and will continue to develop activities both nationally and internationally to foster arts and crafts, and creativity throughout the world.

Press Release from UNESCO


Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director
270-898-7903, ext. 146

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” fields of Crafts and Folk Arts, Literature, Film, Music, Design, Media Arts, and Gastronomy”


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Yes, gastronomy! I am a recent transplant to Paducah, and the local restaurants have amazed me… Cynthia’s, Shandie’s, and Artisan Kitchen, just to name a few. Head south toward Mayfield and Chow 45 will knock your socks off with it’s ever-changing menu created from locally-grown produce. Bon appetit!