There were many memorable moments at the UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries. It is clear that cities and regions are focusing on cultural clusters which means they are gathering cultural enterprises into close proximity to each other to promote synergy between them. From Milan to Zenchen City outside of Hong Kong, cities and regions are very dedicated to supporting specific cultural clusters. It seems the current thinking is that the best investment of public funds is in the culture clustural approach, which allows for innovation to flourish, synergy can occur and networks are created. It is a strategy for of us involved in building cultural clusters to consider.
The Fundacion Prada and the Hermes Foundation were present. The foundations are supported by luxury goods companies who to this day employ highly skilled artisans. What is significant to me is that both of these foundations promote culture and cultural industries.
It was good to reunite with Nilda Callanaupa of The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco whose work to revive Peruvian textiles is widely recognized and admired.
Felissimo was represented by the creaive and entrepreneurial Haruko Smith. Felissimo has supported young designers for years and continues to collaborate with UNESCO in order to promote promosing designers.
Tony Pigott of Brandaid Project spoke eloquently at the Forum about the importance of brand development for cultural enterprises. The purpose of Brandaid is to create a strong brand for individual artist groups. The first Brandaid Project was this past September with two Haitian folk artist groups. Brandaid Project created logos and marketing material for the artists of Jacmel and Croix de Bouquet. The introduction of the two groups was held in New York. The brand development for the two artist groups developed by Tony and his team caught the attention of the mainstream media.