Katowice is the capital of the Upper Silesian Region in Southwestern Poland. Deeply marked by the industrial age, Katowice has been investing in culture and creativity to revitalize and regenerate, summarizing its vision by the motto “from heavy industry to creative industries”. This city of 310,000 inhabitants contributes 45 million euros each year in the form of grants to foster the creative economy, predominately focusing on the renovation of cultural spaces largely dedicated to the music sector, which today truly fuels the socio-economic development of the city.
Often considered underground and subversive, with a long tradition of amateur choirs and orchestras, music in Katowice testifies of a rich diversity of genres, from classical to rock, jazz, baroque, electronic and rap. Among the 27 music festivals that liven up the city’s cultural life, three major and world-renowned events – OFF, Tauron and Rawa – annually add around 2.7 million euros to the city’s local economy. Katowice is also recognized across the country as a centre of comprehensive music education. The city is notably home to the Karol Szymanowski Academy, which founded the first Department of Jazz music in Poland.
The Municipality is committed to further nurture cultural and creative industries as levers for the city’s urban renewal and sustainability, especially through its five-year Cultural Zone programme, which is the largest investment in cultural infrastructures in Poland to date. The main achievement of this programme is the establishment of the headquarters of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) and the Silesian Museum on ancient mine sites. Katowice proves that investing in creativity can transform a once-industrial district into a vibrant creative city.
As a Creative City of Music, Katowice envisages:
- establishing the MusicHUB, an incubator of local and emerging talents and creative entrepreneurs, aiming to strengthen the capacities and increase job opportunities in the music industry, especially targeting youth, women, and people from disadvantaged groups; launching the Baroque Factory, supported by public-private partnerships, aimed to develop wider audiences;
- supporting interdisciplinary research of the SoundLab Innovation Center, designed to improve and sustain the quality of urban life by tackling practical public issues; setting up the Pop Music Development Lab; an international educational platform based on a network of residencies and students;
- enhancing cooperation between Creative Cities of Music and Literature through the Col-LAB-orate project, offering a series of workshops on spoken word and slam poetry to young people from vulnerable groups; and
- involving other Creative Cities of Music to the forthcoming World Music Expo aimed to showcase talented musicians of the Network, exchange experiences and best practices, as well as to further extend the UCCN especially to the global South.