Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler and Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Mary Hammond will travel to China over the weekend to represent Paducah at a conference
Earlier this year, Suzhou reached out to Paducah in support of its application to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network. Paducah was invited into the network last November, and Suzhou is applying in the category of Crafts and Folk Art.
"Part of our responsibility as a member of the Creative Cities Network is to promote creativity and integrate culture into development," Kaler said. "Suzhou, China, is working to become a member of the network and is looking to us for support, guidance, and inspiration. We are honored to be invited by Suzhou and are grateful that our expenses will be covered."
The trip is covered by the city of Suzhou, which offered to pay for airfare, accommodations, meals and other expenses. The pair will be traveling from April 18-20.
While in China, Kaler and Hammond will attend an Expo, meet with leaders from the municipal government of Suzhou, and visit various creative industries. Suzhou, a city with a history of more than 2,500 years, is located in the center of the Yangtze River delta. The city, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.