International Cultural Connections
A major component of the Arts Commission's work since 2005 has been making intercultural connections within the community, raising the visibility of Santa Fe's art and culture, and bringing attention to Santa Fe's wealth of cultural resources via various global platforms. A significant building block for this effort was the 2008 Cultural Voices Report, a study of the lesser-recognized cultural and ethnic groups living in Santa Fe and their valuable contributions to the larger cultural landscape. Additionally, significant opportunities for international exchange and reinforcing Santa Fe's commitment to its cultural heritage have been established through the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, the Sister Cities program, ICCN (the Inter-City Intangible Cultural Heritage Network) and the Universal Forum of Culture.
Using these platforms to leverage international visibility, the Arts Commission is raising interest in Santa Fe nationally and internationally, attracting visitors looking for authentic cultural experiences, and increasing the sale of locally-produced art and art experiences to the economic benefit of artists and arts organizations, as well as the community at large.
Creative Cities Network Newsletter July 2011
UNESCO Creative Cities Network
In July 2005, UNESCO named Santa Fe as a Creative City of Folk Art, Crafts & Design. Two areas of creativity are the basis for Santa Fe’s designation as a UNESCO Creative City, the first city to receive this designation in the United States.
UNESCO's explanation of the Network on their website reads as follows. "UNESCO established the Creative Cities Network at the end of 2004 to support social, economic and cultural development. The cities that join the network promote their local creative scene, share their experience with a wider audience, and create new opportunities, especially in collaboration with other member cities, to drive joint development results for creative industries. The development of partnerships between the public and private sectors is a key feature of the Network."
Since receiving our designation in 2005, Santa Fe has taken a lead role in promoting the development of UNESCO's Network. In 2006 we convened a meeting in Santa Fe to plan an international conference on creative tourism. The Santa Fe International Conference on Creative Tourism was held in 2008. The delegates came from 18 countries and convened to discuss emerging ideas and practices in the development of creative tourism as a powerful economic development tool for cities, provinces, states and countries. A book was published following the conference titled Creative Tourism, A Global Conversation. It is a compilation of articles on creative tourism and arts and cultural programming written by practitioners working in ten countries. We hope it is carried by your local bookseller, but if not it can be found at Amazon.com.
Started during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the mission of the Sister Cities program is to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, & cooperation — one individual, one community at a time”.
The Santa Fe Sister Cities Program consists of a Mayor-appointed and City Council-approved Sister Cities Advisory Committee and seven Sister City relationships. Santa Fe is a member of Sister Cities International and has existing Sister City relationships with:
- Bukhara, Uzbekistan
- Parral, Mexico
- Santa Fe de la Vega, Granada, Spain
- Sorrento, Italy
- Tsuyama, Japan
- Holguin, Cuba
- Zhang Jia Jie, Hunan Province, The People’s Republic of China
- Icheon, South Korea
- San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
- Livingstone, Zambia