“In New Orleans, our cultural businesses and producers represent a significant economic engine. Our unique cultural economy goes beyond our food, music, and traditions and impacts the day-to-day lives and livelihoods of the people that call New Orleans home. The World Cultural Economic Forum provides the ideal setting for leaders of our world’s greatest cultural cities to come together and shape the dialogue on the impact of culture on the global economy.”
The World Cultural Economic Forum (WCEF) is an annual convening held in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hosted by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the WCEF highlights the role of culture as an economic and social force that drives the creation of vibrant cities.
The City of New Orleans partners with the US Conference of Mayors to create a unique platform for mayors from around the world to come together to exchange ideas, build new collaborations between their cities, and shape the international discussion on culture as an effective tool to spur innovation.
The World Cultural Economic Forum began in 2006 as an initiative of the State of Louisiana’s Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism. During his service as Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, Mayor Mitch Landrieu led the development of the WCEF into an event attended by Ambassadors, Ministers of Culture, businessmen and cultural leaders from around the world. The WCEF became an ideal opportunity for international leaders to come to Louisiana, discuss the importance of culture to our own unique economies, and to build new partnerships to create benefit for their countries and constituencies.
In 2012, Mayor Landrieu hosted the WCEF as an initiative of the City of New Orleans in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The Forum welcomed nearly 50 delegations representing cities and countries from around the U.S. and the world.
During the plenary panel entitled "The Impact of Culture on Global Change", international mayors and thought leaders explored how culture is not only impacted by global events, but also how culture defines them.
Furthermore, dignitaries participated in a one-of-a-kind Global Town Hall on themes and best practices related to the development of a robust cultural economy. The dialogue was streamed live to an international audience.
The 2012 Forum culminated with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, one of the greatest global examples of the cultural economy with an economic impact of more than $200 million.
The WCEF showcases the best of New Orleans’ hospitality and the full culture of one of America's greatest cities – from its melting pot of heritages and traditions and unique cuisine to its irresistible music and diverse neighborhood architecture and design.
Participation in the World Cultural Economic Forum is by invitation only.