This evening, 31st October '17, Manchester has been confirmed as UNESCO Creative City of Literature, and Bristol has been announced as Creative City of Film. Jo, Label's founder, is a Manchester girl and was over the moon to hear of this news, as many local Mancunians are. What does being a UNESCO creative city mean though, and why has Manchester been awarded this honour?
Manchester has just been confirmed as a UNESCO creative city!... but, what does that actually mean?
Well, "The UNESCO Global Creative Cities Network is a global network of cities working towards the joint mission of placing creativity and cultural industries at the core of their urban development to make their cities safe, reilient and sustainable. Made up of 180 members globally, UNESCO Creative Cities specialise in seven fields: Crafts & Folk, Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music, and Media Arts." UNESCO
Tonight was the last night of the Manchester October Literary Festival, so what a perfect finale to an amazing month celebrating literature in Manchester. The city is such a vibrant cultural hive, has so many iconic literary authors (& characters!) and I have no doubt will go on to produce many more in the future. This recognicition from UNESCO is such an honour and one that people across Manchester will be celebrating tonight.
I heard the news at the closing event of the Manchester Literature Festival listening to Rebecca Solnit in conversation with Jeanette Winterson. It was an incredible moment for the news to be announced, and so special to be at the first literary event in the newly named UNESCO city. From Elizabeth Gaskell to Anthony Burgess, we have much to be proud of, and it will be exciting to see what the next generation of Mancunians produce in this global creative city.