Hangzhou, China has become the fifth City of Craft and Folk Arts in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, joining Santa Fe (USA), Aswan (Egypt), Kanazawa (Japan) and Icheon (South Korea) in the field of contemporary crafts.
Also known as the cradle of handicrafts in China, the city of Hangzhou boasts a longstanding history of crafts and folk art traditions, with eight recognized Chinese National Intangible Cultural Heritage items associated with the city. It has been nurturing its traditional crafts techniques, and demonstrated outstanding efforts to make its traditional products and skills relevant to modern life and the creative economy.
It is committed to position crafts at the core of local strategies and policies and develop a conducive environment for its creative industries. The city aims to grow its creativity through public participation and public-private partnerships involving research and training centres as well as professional associations.
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network connects cities that want to share experiences, ideas and best practices for cultural, social and economic development. Cities may apply to be endorsed by the Network and join the programme to ensure their continued role as centres of excellence and to support other cities, particularly those in developing countries, in nurturing their own creative economy.
Photo credit: newnastyboy/Flickr – Creative Commons