"We are eight cities from four continents--a strong representation of what is happening in crafts and folk art," said Leticia Lescieru Lápez, City Councillor from San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico.

Paducah recently welcomed the world for the first official annual meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities of Crafts & Folk Art. Delegations from eight creative cities, representatives from two U.S. Creative Cities, guests from three Candidate Cities, and expert speakers from around the globe came together in Paducah!

"Paducah's creative culture set the stage for an engaging international event," said Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Mary Hammond. "The numerous cultural venues and hands-on experiences Paducah has to offer spawned important global conversations on leveraging creativity, culture, and innovation in all aspects of development."

Over three days, attendees discussed best practices for incorporating arts and culture in building identity and strategic development around three themes. The daily themes inspired plenary sessions with expert speakers, creative field workshops and hands-on study tours. "We saw in this small city, marvelous achievements especially in culture and arts," said Ahmed Almatar, a representative from Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.

"I think the exchange between international cities can be a great example of the opportunities to develop, to learn ,and to help each other," said Byung-Don Cho, Mayor of Icheon, South Korea.

The Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau collaborated with Paducah Life Magazine this year to illustrate the local and global significance of Paducah's creative culture as a UNESCO Creative City. Explore the booklet compiling the profiles from each issue of the magazines leading up to the Creative Cities meeting here!

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