A national heritage destination, Paducah has a longstanding tradition in the fine craft of quilt making. Also known as “Quilt City”, Paducah is home to the National Quilt Museum of the United States. The largest museum of its kind in the world, the National Quilt Museum encompasses 30,000 square feet of gallery space, and features a 320-piece collection of contemporary quilts and ever-changing thematic exhibitions that celebrate traditional quilt-making methods. Workshops taught by world-class instructors are also offered.
Fabric and craft-related industries, supported by a steady stream of visitors seeking creative inspiration in Paducah’s artistic landscape, provide a favourable impact on the local economy year-round. The city’s award-winning Artist Relocation Program has brought together painters, bookbinders, leather crafters, fibre artists and jewellery makers from around the globe to the LowerTown Arts District. Located in Paducah’s oldest residential neighbourhood, the District is also home to the Paducah School of Art and Design which offers visual arts education in world-class facilities.
The Yeiser Art Centre, Maiden Alley Cinema, Market House Theatre, Clemens Fine Arts Centre and the Carson Centre all contribute to Paducah’s vibrant cultural offerings including live theatre, visual art exhibitions, independent films and classical performances by the Paducah Symphony Orchestra. Paducah’s heritage is reflected and preserved in its architecture and wall-to-wall murals. The 50 life-sized murals by internationally recognized artist Robert Dafford, depict pivotal moments from Paducah’s past. Host to AQS Quilt Week, Barbecue on the River, LowerTown Art and Music Festival, and the River’s Edge International Film Festival, Paducah offers authentic cultural experiences that reflect the creative nature of this historic river city.
As Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts, Paducah envisages:
- providing a platform for UCCN members to showcase their creativity in the United States. Since joining the Network in 2013, Paducah has arranged cultural exchanges with several UNESCO Creative Cities;
- fostering national and international awareness of the UCCN through Paducah’s branding, public relations, marketing, speaking engagements and social media campaigns;
- utilizing the UNESCO Creative Cities platform to take a leadership role in educating the tourism industry, the national arts community and government officials on the value of creativity, creative tourism and the UCCN;
- emphasizing the role of Crafts and Folk Art, notably of fibre arts, in creative expression; and
- championing partnerships with UCCN members in the United States to strengthen the Network’s collaborative impact.