About the Creative City: 

Located in southwest of Bogotá, Santiago de Cali holds a prominent position as the urban, economic and cultural centre of the Colombian southwest. Thanks to its thriving industry and drive for modernisation, Santiago de Cali has historically attracted migrants and national workers, today resulting in a diverse and multicultural city. Through collaboration, these different cultures have all heavily influenced the development of local artistic expression, driving creative innovation within the city, especially in the areas of visual arts, performing arts and software. Now regarded as an industry leader in these fields, Santiago de Cali’s media arts sector generates over US$ 1.7 million in annual sales and represents 2.2% of the regional GDP.

To further promote media arts, Santiago de Cali hosts the country’s first, and only event exclusively dedicated to showcasing animation. The Truca Festival, organized by 5 universities, works with local and international experts to host a number of workshops aimed at developing various animation fields including experimental animation, transmedia, performative arts and film. This event not only provides key opportunities for professionals to learn new skills, but also provides young media arts students and designers with the chance of exploring the field’s diverse themes.

Since the 1990s, media arts have played a pivotal role in the city’s development and continues to drive social change. Schemes, including the Estimulos grant, have provided financial support for creative projects, enabling them to champion digital arts and promote activities such as curatorial residencies, exhibition festivals, production and post-production. The city’s 10-year culture plan 2028 stimulates creation, production, research, dissemination and circulation of cultural manifestations, promoting the respect for interculturality, freedom and human rights, so as to strengthen the city’s social fabric and guarantee access to cultural goods and services. Within the culture plan, policies on culture and economic development, have also strengthened the relationships among the local stakeholders.

Added Value: 

As a Creative City of Media Arts, Santiago de Cali envisages:

  • strengthening research, creation, production, management and circulation of media arts and the other creative sectors within the city;
  • fostering inclusive participation by bringing media arts closer to the vulnerable population of the city, overcoming access barriers through education, creative and innovative processes in public spaces of the communes and townships;
  • promoting cooperation between members of the UCCN, to share experiences, knowledge, human capital formation, and foster business and open new markets; and
  • ensuring that creativity and culture are integrated into the city's local policies and sustainable development plans.
Member since: 
Maria Elisa Holguín Holguín Executive Director, Library Municipality of Cali creativecitycali@cali.gov.co