Kansas City, Missouri is a UNESCO City of Music and a member of UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Kansas City received this designation in 2017 and remains the only UNESCO City of Music in the United States.

As a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Kansas City has a unique opportunity to continue its national leadership on sustainable development. This designation and membership provide Kansas City with a unique opportunity to support its on-going work to address climate change, integrate the arts into the development of the City, and to pursue sustainable, inclusive, and equitable development practices moving forward. In particular, the designation will require Kansas City to make progress on affordable housing goals and other sustainable city development principles.

Click here to learn about the founding of UNESCO and the United Nations Charter.

The Kansas City Museum is proud and honored to be a partner with UNESCO Creative City-KC, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization that ensures the City fulfills and sustains its designation and membership. As a partner, the museum collaborates with UNESCO Creative City-KC, led by Anita Dixon and Dr. Jacob Wagner, to develop and implement programming and initiatives (such as creative placemaking) for the Kansas City Museum and the community.

Click here to view the four-year report of the programs and initiatives UNESCO Creative City-KC has produced from 2017-2021.

Lee Langston, Bukeka Blakemore, Bryan Alford, and Odell Talley are Kansas City-based gospel ambassadors who participated in a musical performance in 2018 in
San Cristóbal de las Casas for a creative and cultural exchange between UNESCO Creative Cities of San Cristóbal de las Cruces, Mexico (Crafts and Folk Art) and
Kansas City, Missouri (Music).

On November 6, 2017, Ms. Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), informed the City of Kansas City, Missouri that the City’s application to be recognized as a UNESCO Creative City of Music was accepted.

The Kansas City application was prepared by Anita Dixon. John James, President of the Wendell Phillips Neighborhood Association, in conjunction with the Center for Neighborhoods of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, supported the application process. Students from UMKC’s Urban Planning and Design program helped to complete the research in 2015 that led to this application. This team included: Ben Bachwirtz, Brady Brewster, Brandon Keller, David Gress, Drew Pearson, Jamilah Cross and Jenn Hillyer.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development

The Network covers 7 creative fields including Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, and Music. The 180 member cities that form the Network come from diverse regions, have different income levels and populations.

The Network is first and foremost composed of cities ready to share their experiences and knowledge for the common objectives laid out in the Network’s Mission Statement. UNESCO Creative Cities are key partners to UNESCO for the implementation of the development agenda regarding urban sustainable development.