On World Cities Day, 31 October, Novi Sad entered the unique UNESCO Network of Creative Cities of the World and thus became the first city in this part of Europe to be on the list in the category of new and digital arts (Media Arts).
After the prestigious titles of the Youth Capital of Europe, the European Capital of Culture, the Melina Mercouri Prize and the Best European Trend Brand in the field of culture, Serbian Athens stood side by side with world cities in the UNESCO list of creative cities such as Linz, Lyon, Austin, Modena, Toronto and others, strengthening its position as a centre of culture and innovation.
The recognition is all the more significant, because Novi Sad is one of only four cities in the world that were included in the category of media arts this year, and the first in this part of Europe in that field.
‘Another world recognition in the field of culture is a confirmation of the continuity of investment in the overall development of our City. Especially since it is a category that connects scientific and educational institutions with stakeholders from the field of culture, giving Novi Sad a new value, which thus equally follows contemporary world trends,’ said the mayor of Novi Sad, Milan Đurić.
The step up that Novi Sad made in the field of new and digital arts, and which also nominated it for membership in this prestigious network of cities, was made within the European Capital of Culture project. One of the main reasons for submitting and applying is the continuation of the European Capital of Culture programme legacies and the implementation of sustainable development actions in the field of culture, especially in the field of media art.
The UNESCO Creative City Network was formed in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The cities that currently make up this network, and there are 350 of them, work together towards a common goal: putting creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and active cooperation at the international level.
The new cities were recognized for their strong commitment to using culture and creativity as part of their development strategies and showcasing innovative practices in human-centred urban planning.
In June of this year, a working group that carried out all the preparatory activities and necessary actions for submitting the application of the City of Novi Sad to this prestigious network of cities was formed. The memebers are: Dalibor Rožić, member of the City Council for Culture, Zorica Šijak, acting head of the City Administration for Culture, members on behalf of the Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture Foundation Đula Ribar, Sara Vuletić, Nemanja Milenković, on behalf of the City Administration Mirjana Lukić Marinković, on behalf of the Office for Local Economic Development of the City of Novi Sad Milenko Malešev and Slobodan Milošević, Vesna Latinović master of cultural politics and management in culture, Bel Art Gallery, on behalf of the Cultural Centre of Novi Sad, Violeta Đerković and Miljana Kozarov, on behalf of the City Library in Novi Sad, Dragana Milošević and Sanja Arbutina, on behalf of the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, dean Siniša Bokan.