United Nations recognizes Fort Smith for artistic endeavors


FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Fort Smith is internationally honored today.

The city just became a United Nations’ Internaional City for Artistic and Cultural Innovation.

It’s the first city in Arkansas to achieve the declaration. Only a few cities across the world have received this honor including Barcelona, Spain; Athens, Greece; and Aberdeen, Scotland. The total declarations given around the world so far are only nine.

UN art ambassador Ibiyinka Alao says it’s because of the the city’s dedication to peace-building and economic growth through art.

“My only hope is that all cities around the world to see what Fort Smith is doing using art as this tool as an economic engine,” Alao said.

Fort Smith Mayor George McGill says the designation is great for the city, and will bring more people to the area.

“It says a lot. It tells the rest of the country and the rest of the world this is an artistic community,” Fort Smith McGill said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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