York wants to become a ‘City of Media Arts’: here’s why

Greg Dyke on the media arts video

York’s ambition to become a UNESCO City of Media Arts has gone digital with a video, website and call for support from businesses and residents.

The video explains the council’s bid for media arts status by showcasing a few of the city’s media tech stories in two minutes. These include Illuminating York, the Shift Happens conference and Revolution Software.

Former Director General of the BBC and current York University chancellor Greg Dyke is one of those backing the bid on the video.

The council will submit York’s bid to become a UNESCO City of Media Arts and join the global Creative Cities Network on March 20.

It follows talks with selected members of the city’s digital and media economy, said Cllr Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism.

Greg Dyke on the media arts video

Greg Dyke on the media arts video

“Winning this designation would put York in the international spotlight as a key destination for creative firms and practitioners to operate and do business with,” said council leader James Alexander.

“It will serve as a catalyst for new investment, connections, exchanges and ideas being shared with York from across the globe.”

The new website, created by David Thompson at VS, celebrates achievements so far and invites people to show their support for the bid.

You can also join in the conversation by following @mediacityyork on Twitter.

This is the second time York has bid for Media Arts status. A York delegation travelled to Seoul, South Korea, in November 2011 to pitch the case to UNESCO – the United Nations’ cultural arm.

But this attempt was scuppered when the US withdrew funding for UNESCO.

The video was made for the original bid by Parashoots, York, and re-edited for 2014. Creative director of Parashoots Paul Richardson went on to take up the same role at the city council-backed local TV station York Channel.

Enghien-les-Bainsin France and Sapporo in Japan were designated UNESCO Cities of Media Arts last year.