About UNESCO Creative Cities Network


Santa Fe takes pride in having joined an esteemed and select group that fosters exchanges among 246 cities in over 80 countries across the globe. As the first U.S. city to be selected, Santa Fe is part of an assembly of communities driving innovation and prosperity in arts and creativity. UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization) founded the Network in 2004 to recognize expertise in seven fundamental and significant creative fields.

The fields of Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Gastronomy, Music, Literature, Media Arts, and Film celebrate the practices that bring beauty to our communities and drive local economies. Cities participate in activities across geographies and within and across these creative fields.

Though we are designated for Crafts and Folk Art, Santa Fe hosts, strengthens and develops creativity across all the seven creative fields.

Crafts and Folk Art

UNESCO Created a Backbone for Prosperity with the Creative Cities Network

UNESCO envisioned and continues to support the great potential in cities working together and supporting each other to innovate and prosper. The Creative Cities members are considered key partners to UNESCO in support of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Agenda puts forward 17 goals to benefit people and the planet. These goals are “are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.”

The Crafts and Folk Art Cluster

Forty-nine cities belong to the Crafts and Folk Art Cluster as of 2021. Artist exchanges between Santa Fe and many other cities have promoted education about ceramics, glass, design, sculpture, crafts, and folk art.

1200x800_Institutions Fabriano

1200x800_Professional Artists Icheon, Korea

1200x800_Students Santa Fe glass artists

Visit Creative Cities in the United States

Many U.S. cities have followed Santa Fe’s lead to become members of the Creative Cities, recognizing the value of joining this backbone of creative innovation and prosperity. Members include Paducah, Kentucky, also a City of Crafts and Folk Art; Iowa City, Iowa and Seattle, Washington, both Cities of Literature; Detroit, Michigan, City of Design; Tucson, Arizona and San Antonio, Texas, Cities of Gastronomy; Kansas City, Missouri, City of Music; and Austin, Texas, City of Media Arts

Arts and creativity abound among the nine designated UNESCO Creative Cities in the United States. Explore these videos to learn more.