Creative State of Mind to celebrate Victoria’s four UNESCO Creative Cities

Attendees at the Victorian Creative Cities Network launch of Creative State of MindA new marketing initiative for the Victorian Creative Cities Network aims to elevate Victoria’s profile as a hub for artists, makers and creators to thrive.

At its core, Creative State of Mind heroes Victoria’s four UNESCO Creative Cities: Melbourne (Literature), Geelong (Design), Ballarat (Craft & Folk Art) Bendigo and regions (Gastronomy). As the only state in the world to boast four UNESCO Creative City designations, Victoria is a global creative leader.

Victoria’s creative industries contribute more than $38 billion to the state’s economy. Creative workers make up almost 9% of Victoria’s total workforce. The state’s creative industries play a hugely significant role in Victoria’s social and cultural reputation.

For over 15 years, Victoria has been involved in UNESCO’S Creative Cities Network – an international program that recognises culture and creativity that contributes to sustainable development. The UNESCO designation is both a statement of intent and an international marker of quality.

The Creative State of Mind campaign captures Victoria’s creative spirit and encourages Victorians, Australians and global visitors alike to explore and experience the Creative Cities Network.

Victoria’s Creative Cities
In 2008, Melbourne was recognised as UNESCO’s second ever City of Literature as an acknowledgement to the breadth, depth and vibrancy of its literary culture, including its iconic libraries and bookstores, events, and publishing industry.

Victoria’s second largest city, Geelong, followed in 2017 as City of Design for its commitment to creating a thriving, prosperous and socially inclusive city, through its reimagination of urban spaces. Each year, Geelong hosts Geelong Design Week as a celebration of the power of design. Last year, the new Geelong Arts Centre opened, connecting regional Victoria with world-class multi-arts experiences and a space for local creatives to thrive.

More recently in 2019, Bendigo and its surrounding regions joined the network as the City of Gastronomy in recognition of its commitment to addressing areas such as sustainability, food production, climate change, primary production, First Nations food and fibre, and innovation. The region holds 11 hatted restaurants, as recognised by The Age’s Good Food Guide Awards, including Masons, Midnight Starling, Surly Goat and more.

In the same year, Ballarat – known as home to acclaimed artists and creators – was recognised as the City of Crafts and Folk Art for its commitment to celebrating traditional crafts and protecting lost and forgotten skills.

In 2022, the city opened the Centre for Rare Arts and Forgotten Trades, a space dedicated to allowing the nation’s artisans to pass on their unique skills through workshops and master classes.

The Victorian Creative Cities Network’s Creative State of Mind campaign has been supported by the Victorian Government, through Creative Victoria.

Image: Attendees at the Victorian Creative Cities Network launch of Creative State of Mind (supplied)