26 November 08 | Chad W. Post

From the University of Iowa news service:

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world’s third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

“This is at once a celebration of the literary riches and resources of Iowa City and a spur to action,” said University of Iowa International Writing Program Director Christopher Merrill, who led the UI Writing University committee that submitted the city’s proposal. “We look forward to working with our new partners in the Creative Cities network — to forging dynamic relationships with writers, artists and others committed to the life of discovery. This is a great day for Iowa City.”

Iowa City joins Edinburgh, Scotland, and Melbourne, Australia, as UNESCO Cities of Literature. Other cities in the Creative Cities Network — honoring and connecting cultural centers for cinema, music, crafts and folk arts, design, media arts and gastronomy, as well as literature — include Aswan, Egypt; Santa Fe, N.M.; Berlin, Germany; Montreal, Canada; Popayan, Colombia; Bologna, Italy; Shenzhen, China; and Seville, Spain.

The Creative Cities Network was designed to promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world. The cities that apply to join to the network seek to promote their local creative scene; they share interest in UNESCO’s mission toward cultural diversity. Once the city is appointed to the network, it can share experiences and create new opportunities for itself and others on a global platform, notably for activities based on the notion of “creative tourism.”


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