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UNESCO Creative City

Welcome to Ballarat. A UNESCO Creative City of Craft and Folk Art.

Ballarat is a city with a history forged in gold.
But while the hunt for metallic riches reached legendary status long ago, the spirit of these lands is much, much older.
That same spirit lives on in our people of today.
A creative energy borne out of soil, metal and fire.
A continuing growth of knowledge and skill, a can and will do attitude, a sense of pride and craftsmanship.
A rebellious nature born to challenge the status quo. Creativity that pushes the boundaries.
A depth, a richness, an indefinable character that comes from being, Made of: Ballarat.

What does it mean to be a UNESCO Creative City of Craft and Folk Art?

UNESCO City of Craft and Folk Art celebrates the experience of making, and the telling of stories through art.

Ballarat as a City of Craft is about celebrating the experience of making, and celebrating the experienced maker. It’s about transforming something functional into something beautiful, and it’s inclusive of everyone – from those trying something for the first time, right through to the professional.

Ballarat as a City of Folk Art, is about the use of art to tell stories.
Folk Art is rooted in the culture of Ballarat and today we revel in the re-telling of the past by re-interpreting skills of the old.

Both concepts tap into the notion of Ballarat as the home of the rebellious. We are a city which tells the traditional stories of craft and the role they play in our modern narrative, but our crafts are also used to question the status quo.

Meet the ceramists

Craft Lab + Design Expo

Meet the maker, watch an artisan at work and learn about the craft of making during this free event.

Part of the Ballarat 2021 Heritage Festival, the Craft Lab + Design Expo brings together practices passed down generations – from the practice of loom weaving and embroidery, to natural dyeing and leatherwork.
Or learn about First Nations crafts specific to the region, including the intricate task of weaving eel traps and crafting ceremonial possum-skin cloaks.

Mining Exchange, Lydiard Street
15-16 + 22-23 May

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The City of Ballarat acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land we live and work on, the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung People, and recognises their continuing connection to the land and waterways. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend this to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.