Issue of November 10, 2019
Mt. Province
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UP Baguio organizes Southeast Asian folk arts & crafts confab
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

As part of the activities to sustain Baguio’s title as a creative city by the Unesco, the University of the Philippines Baguio will hold the International Conference on Southeast Asian Crafts and Folk Art on Nov. 21 to 22 at the Teachers’ Camp.

The conference will bring together experts, practitioners, scholars, and culture bearers who will discuss topics on pedagogy of art education; ethnic identity and heritage revitalization; folk art, governance and community empowerment; the CordiTex project; technological innovations in crafts and arts; economics and commerce of crafts, arts, and ecology; perspectives and issues on Baguio as a Creative City; the role of crafts and folk art in social and economic development; and the fusion of traditional crafts and folk art.

UPB organized the conference to spread information about what gains can be achieved if a locality is declared a creative city.

UPB Chancellor Raymundo Rovillos said that two years after Baguio’s declaration as a creative city, the public has not totally grasped what and how being a creative city can help boost not just those directly into folk arts and crafts but the local economy as well.

“Hindi pa laganap that we are a creative city – what it does and what it means. That is a why we are encouraging the public to attend, to participate. A creative city is actually a platform for poverty alleviation,” Rovillos said.

He said this explains why the Unesco Creative Cities Network has identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

Rovillos said while the local government has been doing efforts to meet the requirements of Unesco, there are many aspects that it has yet to fulfill to fully realize the benefits of being a creative city.

Among these commitments are the creation of a historical and cultural council, institutionalization of the Creative City Council, and allocation of more funds for infrastructure that would lead to the realization of setting-up creative hubs all over Baguio.

In the 2018-2022 plan of action, Baguio is supposed to come up with a creative circuit where all art spaces are interconnected to create one art space.

Together with the city government of Baguio, the Departments of Tourism, Trade and Industry, and the Baguio Arts and Crafts Collective Inc., UPB is among the institutions, which is implementing the four-year plan of action in order to sustain Baguio’s status as a creative city.

Rovillos said the conference aims to become a venue for creatives, craftsmakers, artists, artisans, academics, cultural workers, and other employees in non-government organizations and local government units to be able to understand the state of crafts and folk art in the Southeast Asian region.

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