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Interview - Kanazawa

Kanazawa, City of Crafts & Folk Art
Kanazawa has promoted crafts and performing arts for over 400 years in its history.
Craftwork that is tied to culture pushed its roots into the lives of the citizens and fostered magnificent skills and deep sensibilities towards beauty. The working of innovation has been added continually to tradition in a context of exchange with different cultures and industries, with the resulting accumulation of added value supporting the city.
Since Kanazawa was designated as the City of Crafts and Folk Art in 2009, we have gained many more opportunities to exchange with many cities inside and outside country, and it is useful for us to develop new creativity.
We established our vision for our future direction: “Aiming to Make Kanazawa a Hub of International Exchange”; and the value of the Creative Cities Network is extremely important to enhance the city’s value. We also established “Kanazawa Creative City Steering Program” to promote our creative city projects, focusing on three points: “Linking culture and business”; “Producing creative successors” and “Attracting international attention”.
We would like to furthermore exchange and cooperation among the Crafts and Folk Art Cities, and collaborate beyond the domains for “Linking culture and business”, and inspire from all the creative cities for “Producing creative successors”, as well. If the workings of innovation are not added to tradition, it will become nothing more than the handing down of what has already been done. Therefore it is important to learn from other cities by networking for culture.
After the designation, we started a program in which young craftsmen are sent to creative cities for approximately a week, where they interact with local artists, buyers, and other related parties, as well as refine their sensibilities at local art museums and universities. We named the program “Creative Waltz”, inspired by a master in Germany. Since we started the program in 2010, Ghent, Santa Fe, Icheon, Bologna, Saint-Étienne, Seoul, Bradford, Shanghai, and Berlin have cooperated with the program.It is a great opportunity to stimulate the young artists. We hope such a programme, which in conjunction with UNESCO Creative Cities Network, will expand into the world in the future.
In 2015, the completion of the Shinkansen Super Express Railway will connect Tokyo and Kanazawa. On this occasion, we would like to host the UNESCO Creative Cities Network Conference in Kanazawa in 2015, and contribute to further development of the Network.
(Hiroyuki Shimbo, 2013)
https://en.unesco.org/creative-cities/sites/default/files/kanazawa.jpgHiroyuki Shimbo
Manager of Policy Planning and Coordination Section
City of Kanazawa