Following the decision of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, Katowice was named UNESCO Creative City of Music.
Thus, the city has joined the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities Network. So far the network comprises 9 members: 6 in Europe and 3 from other parts of the world. Katowice is the first City of Music from Central and Eastern Europe and second Creative City in Poland after Kraków (City of Literature).
“We have been convinced for a long time that Katowice is the city of music. The title awarded by UNESCO confirms we were right. It is also the proof that the strategy aimed at investing in culture is successful. Katowice enters a prestigious club of cities known for their music life. This is the reason for inhabitants to be proud and a great satisfaction for me,” said Marcin Krupa, the Mayor of Katowice.
By awarding this prestigious title, UNESCO appreciated the dynamics and diversity of musical life in Katowice – a city with strong classical music and rich contribution in the development of Polish jazz and blues along with best alternative and electronic music festivals in the country. We owe the title to creative individuals connected to Katowice lead by outstanding composers who have become part of the city’s history: Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Wojciech Kilar. UNESCO also awarded Katowice for consistent investment in culture, including infrastructure of which the most outstanding example is the new concert hall of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.
The city won over UNESCO by presenting a comprehensive and innovative development programme of creative musical industries. One of the flagship projects includes opening of Music Hub, a development incubator for musical sector. This venue will be devoted to artists, managers and everyone who is active in creative music industries. This is the place to pursue talents which offers rehearsal space, recording studio or workshop rooms.
With modern city life in sight, Katowice does not forget the past.
This is why Baroque Factory will be launched – a project for popularisation and better understanding of old music aimed at combining it with contemporary artistic endeavours.
Katowice commissioned a development strategy for the musical market to be executed by consultants from Sound Diplomacy – a global leader in supporting creative music industries. Sound Diplomacy worked with authorities in Berlin, British Arts Council or the creators of Norwegian government project for music promotion called Music Norway.
Representatives of the music industry will meet in Katowice in 2017 at the city’s first music industry fairs which combine expo and showcase format, i.e. a series of concerts to promote the most interesting bands and artists.
Projects dedicated to the development of the music industry will help unleash the talents of people creating in Katowice, which in the long run presents a chance for the creative sector to become one of the city’s most important pillars of development.
As a candidate to the Network, Katowice could count on its strong supporters. The application was backed by the Polish National Commission for UNESCO and Kraków – City of Literature, the experience of which was used by Katowice. The city also managed to win favour and support of all members of the City of Music Network which reviewed the applications.
A special reason to be proud are the names of distinguished personalities from the world of music who were directly involved in Katowice efforts to become member of the Network. The Honorary Council of the Support Committee includes composer professor Krzysztof Penderecki, pianist and academic lecturer professor Andrzej Jasiński and pianist Anna Górecka.
The City of Music title is for Katowice the pinnacle of transition of this post-industrial city into a creative industry metropolis.