A group of middle and high school students from McCracken County are performing in a global youth concert in South Korea this summer.
That’s a result of Paducah’s status as a UNESCO Creative City. Mary Hammond is on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. She said the mayor of Icheon, South Korea, brought a delegation to Paducah for a UNESCO Creative Cities of Crafts & Folk Art meeting last year.
Like Paducah, Icheon is a UNESCO Creative City of Craft and Folk Art.
Hammond said seven students and four adults are representing Paducah and McCracken County overseas next month in the 'Global Youth Concert' in Icheon. The event is from July 29 to August 4.
“This was a group working with the Paducah Symphony and UNESCO Creative Cities," Hammond said. "There’s 10 of them coming together to make a global orchestra in Icheon. That’s pretty exciting and a big opportunity for those students."
Hammond said the Icheon mayor's office is paying for the hotel, ground transportation and meals for the group. The Paducah Convention and Visitor's Bureau said the city's mayor wrote that the concert is an international exchange program where young musicians from each of the UNESCO Creative Cities gather together to form a symphony orchestra and play music together.
Hammond said other recent UNESCO-related collaborations involve Paducah Coffee Company sourcing beans from partner countries, artists from China working with Paducah Beer Werks and art students from a UNESCO Associated School (ASPnet) visiting schools in the area. She also said visitors from various U.S. UNESCO Creative Cities visited Paducah last March.
Paducah was named a UNESCO Creative City in 2013.