Manises, a Mediterranean city with over 31,000 inhabitants, is internationally recognized for its ceramic crafts, which date back to the 13th century and whose production is based on the Islamic gold luster technique. In the 20th century, Art Nouveau was another period of splendor for the sector, linked to architectural art, transforming Manises itself into a living ceramic landscape, which is now protected by law. Today, arts and crafts continue to be drivers for the city’s economic growth, and a pillar of its cultural identity. Indeed, Manises is home to over 46 enterprises and artisans, 3 major associations (2 of which have a national scope), 2 official ceramic educational centres (among which the Higher School of Ceramics was the first in Spain) with a high percentage of female students, a renowned Ceramics Museum offering over 10 temporary exhibitions per year. An average of about USD 4.02 million is invested annually in ceramics and samples of Manises ceramics are viewable in about 120 of the world’s most prestigious museums. Manises’ vibrant agenda of craft events includes the International Ceramics Biennial, whose 50th anniversary will be in 2022, bringing together artists from about 40 countries. Other popular events such as the Ceramic Festival, Cabalgata de la Cerámica also take place, combining ceramics, music and gastronomy, which are attended by more than 40,000 people.
As a Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art, the following steps will be important:
● Preserving and reinforcing ceramics as a pillar of the city's identity;
● Supporting local artisans and artists for their professional growth;
● Integrating ceramics in the municipal strategic planning, making efforts to stimulate new models of development and urban regeneration based on ceramic landscapes and creative tourism;
● Promoting international educational exchanges and actions for youth within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network;
● Exchanging know-how among the UCCN member cities, especially in the creative field of Crafts and Folk Art and through other cross-cutting experiences; and
● Promoting North-South cooperation by offering ceramic training to refugee migrants to facilitate their integration.