Nairobi, June 2021 - An award winning film maker Lisa Russell facilitated a workshop on the creative economy at the Mathare One Stop Youth Centre in the informal settlement in Kenya’s capital. In partnership with UN-Habitat and Mathare Environmental Conservation Youth Group (MECYG), 15 young artists from the community looked at how the creative economy is growing, how  artists can tie their work to the Sustainable Development Goals, promoting their work to an international audience and basic digital storytelling skills to improve the quality of phone photos and videos.

"The power of the growing creative economy to improve livelihoods, promote sustainability and help find solutions to our world's greatest challenges is undeniable,“ said Ms. Russell, winner of a US television industry award known as an Emmy, curator and Founder of Create2030.  “For young people around the world, arts are more than an outlet to express their concerns, dreams and act as a voice against systems of oppression. It's an industry that can create economic growth.”

“The workshop on creative economy has been enlightening and very informative,” said Gerrison Lumumba, a young artist and participant.  “I now have the skills and knowledge on how to edit my videos and attract not only local but international audience.”

The 74th United Nations General Assembly declared 2021 as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.  UN-Habitat will be hosting a number of workshops, concerts and other events to bring together artists from allow over the world. On 21 April, World Creativity and Innovation Day, UN-Habitat held a joint virtual concert in the Mathare informal settlement and Regent Park, Toronto as part of Sister Neighbourhood project which links marginalized urban settlements globally. The concert provided a platform for music and visual artists to share their work virtually while as well learn from one another how to advance creative industries.