“Creativity Forum”, three days of dialogue between Italian Unesco Creative Cities scheduled for September
This morning, a press conference presented the first edition of “Creativity Forum - Carrara for the UNESCO Creative Cities”, an initiative aimed at starting a dialogue and a collaboration between all the Italian UNESCO Creative Cities. The event, scheduled for September, will bring to Carrara representatives of the institutions and experts in the fields of art, craftsmanship, architecture, economy and communication, gathered to discuss the theme of urban regeneration and the rebirth of the historical centres after the pandemic.

The goal of the Creativity Forum, an event organised by Carrara and involving the other Italian UNESCO Creative Cities, scheduled for 24, 25 and 26 September, is to provide a contribution to the debate for the rebirth of the historical centres in the post-pandemic by placing the artist and the craftsman in the salvific roles of engines of sustainable development and guardians of local identities. The Forum wants to contribute to the international discourse about possible post-pandemic scenarios of rebirth linked to the themes of sustainability (Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development), heritage (Faro Convention) and local identities (ICOM- International Council of Museums), at the same time proposing a replicable format not only of a good practice of contamination, but also of a model of urban regeneration. “The enhancement of cultural heritages – reads the dedicated press release – has been at the heart of the objectives of the UNESCO creative cities since the network was created in 2004; Italy is dotted with territorial heritages and through the work of the experts nominated by each of the 11 creative cities, Carrara aims at providing a road map in ten points as a concrete contribution for every Italian or foreign city that wishes to adopt it as a starting point for planning the cultural, social and economic regeneration of the historical centres”.

The press conference
The new initiative was presented this morning – 15 June – with a press conference, which introduced the first details of the forum that will bring together representatives of institutions and experts in the fields of art, crafts and architecture, economics and communication. The following speakers took part in the presentation: Francesco De Pasquale, mayor of the city of Carrara; Federica Forti, councillor for the city of Carrara; Vittorio Salmoni, Focal Point of Fabriano UNESCO Creative City; Daniele Vimini, deputy mayor of the city of Pesaro and representative for Pesaro UNESCO Creative City; Laura Barreca, coordinator of the Forum’s table of experts; Luciano Massari, director of Carrara’s Academy of Fine Arts; Enrico Isoppi, president of the Cassa di Risparmio di Carrara Foundation; Paolo Naldini, director of Cittadellarte; Michele Cerruti But, urban planner, lecturer and academic coordinator of Accademia Unidee; Emanuela Mazzi from Fondazione Progetti; Maria Grazia Passani, president of the UNESCO Carrara Club; Giuseppe Biagini, founder of the Itki Foundation.

The purposes
What is the general goal of the Creativity Forum? “It is to define a road map – explained the organisers – on the urban regeneration of historical centres starting from the analysis and enhancement of contemporary artisan and artistic excellence, presented as a replicable methodology according to which artists and craftsmen are involved in the design of the urban furniture and in education, as protagonists of a transformative process of tourism”. Starting from the analysis of its own identity and heritage, Carrara wants to constitute a permanent model and laboratory for planning and experimenting with good practices.

The Carrara Charter
Carrara, which since 2020 has been part of the National Coordination of UNESCO Creative Cities, intends to facilitate a moment of dialogue between the 11 Italian Creative Cities – Alba, Bergamo, Parma, Biella, Carrara, Fabriano, Bologna, Pesaro, Milan, Rome and Turin – on the theme The artist and the craftsman, engines of urban regeneration. The experts appointed by each Creative City will meet in an online working group already active since early June, aimed at drafting a strategic document: the Carrara Charter for the sustainable development of the historical centres through art and crafts. In the course of the Forum, the document, produced with the scientific advice of Carrara’s Academy of Fine Arts and Cittadellarte, will be symbolically handed over to the mayor of Carrara, to the body coordinating the Italian Creative Cities and to the UNESCO Office for the Creative Cities Network. At the same time, Carrara UNESCO Creative City, with the collaboration of Itki Foundation USA, will formally issue a declaration at institutional and international levels to recognise the role of the artist and the craftsman in urban regeneration, as co-designers of cities in the post-pandemic scenario and enhancers of local identities.

The prospects
The Creativity Forum – Carrara for the UNESCO Creative Cities aims at becoming a fixed appointment for the Italian Creative Cities and an opportunity to explore issues relating to the sustainable development of cities. The Forum, conceived as a reference event for the next programming of Carrara UNESCO Creative City, wants to represent a good methodological practice of collaboration promoting the contamination between Creative Cities belonging to different clusters.