The City of Ballarat has been announced as a UNESCO Creative City in the area of Craft and Folk Art.
Ballarat is one of 66 newly declared UNESCO cities and 246 worldwide. It is the first city to be named a creative city of craft and folk art in Australia.
Ballarat and Bendigo were both designated in this round, joining Geelong and Melbourne as part of the UNESCO Creative City Network and elevating Victoria’s role as a state of creative cities.
Ballarat’s submission to the UNESCO Creative City network included the city’s focus on capturing and retaining both the old techniques of Indigenous peoples and fostering the techniques and skills brought by subsequent waves of people to the city.
Ballarat Mayor Cr Ben Taylor described the UNESCO global recognition as momentous and said it cemented Ballarat’s reputation as a creative city.
“It is crucial that we collect, retain and grow our creative industry as part of a healthy creative city, and this provides the strongest of platforms for us to do just that”.
To build on this global recognition the City of Ballarat will work alongside key bodies including Craft Victoria and Federation University launching a program of events and activities into 2020 - Ballarat Open Studios – Art of Making which will take people behind the scenes of Ballarat’s creative city.
The Art of Making is a program of exhibitions, workshops, talks and creative spaces.
“The Australian National Commission for UNESCO at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Creative Victoria have already reached out to congratulate the City on its recognition, and we will work together to leverage from this for Ballarat,” Cr Taylor said.