At its 64th Annual Conference and Tradeshow being held in San Antonio, Texas 24 -26 October, the International Downtown Association will recognise Aberdeen Inspired with the Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence for its work and initiatives related to Nuart Aberdeen 2018.
The Award of Excellence acknowledges an excellent response to an industry challenge and exceeds the jury criteria.
The multi-award winning Nuart Aberdeen, which plays host to international artists every April who use the walls of Aberdeen’s city centre as their canvas for world class street art murals and art installations, was among 22 qualified entries in the category of Events and Programming.
This category features programs and events that improved the image and vitality of the city centre.Nuart Aberdeen was developed in collaboration with Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council. Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “Winning the IDA Global Achievement Award of Excellence confirms Nuart Aberdeen’s place as a transformational festival and recognises the huge amount of work that goes in to make it possible.
This is a truly international award which places the festival on a world stage which we hope will serve as an inspiration to the city, the wider north-east and indeed the country.”
Brought to Aberdeen by the team behind Stavanger’s internationally renowned Nuart Festival, Martyn Reed, Festival Curator and Director, said: “To see Aberdeen Inspired rewarded by an IDA Award of Excellence for their foresight, not to mention the trust given in handing over their city centre to artists, is hugely gratifying.
They’ve proven that even a small investment in art can massively strengthen the social fabric of the city, boost civic pride and enrich and engage members of the community across all socio-economic backgrounds.
“They’ve co-created and supported an event that has the potential to create not just great art, but artists too; a process that traditionally takes decades. We’re excited to continue our journey with one of the most progressive, forward thinking BID’s around.
Investment in art in public space is generally viewed as a non-essential response to the challenges facing the city today, but as emerging technologies are disrupting and improving industries across the globe with dynamic and innovative new solutions to problems we didn’t know we had, so street art is doing for public art programs of old.”
David Downey, IDA President and CEO, said: “The project received the IDA Award of Excellence for uniquely implementing best practice in urban place management.
Nuart Aberdeen is a shining example of excellent urban place management delivering real value to the city and an exemplary response to a community challenge.”
Previous winners include Jacksonville, Florida Downtown Visions ‘Art Walk’ in 2017 which, with more than 10,000 people participating each month, has grown into a treasured street festival, one that is constantly reimagined to mirror the diversity of Jacksonville.
The Alliance for Downtown New York delivered ‘Game On!’ which is a summer-long program featuring classic games that would allow people to experience a dynamic street life and reimagine the area for themselves.
Game On! has not only been successful in bringing tens of thousands of people together in some of Lower Manhattan’s most underutilized public space, but it also vividly displayed the spaces’ potential.
The news of the IDA award comes as the festival has been shortlisted for an Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Award for Best Cultural Festival/Event.
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader, Councillor Jenny Laing, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the festival, our partners and city has been recognised by the IDA with this latest accolade.
The multi-award winning Nuart Aberdeen festival continues to capture the imagination of the public and, as a delivery partner, we are incredibly proud of what the festival has done to change the way we look at our surroundings and has helped to show Aberdeen as a vibrant, diverse, confident and forward-thinking place.
Plans for Nuart Aberdeen 2019 are already underway and there are big opportunities for local businesses to get involved with the festival falling over Easter weekend, 18-21 April, offering huge opportunities for promoting the city as a ‘short stay’ destination over this popular Easter break.
Reacting to the news Chris Foy, Chief Executive of destination marketing organization Visit Aberdeenshire, said: “It’s no surprise to hear that Nuart Aberdeen has been selected for an IDA Award of Excellence.
This festival goes well beyond adding a new dimension to Aberdeen’s iconic skyline – it wows, surprises, and raises smiles among locals and visitors alike.
Importantly the scale and ambition of Nuart attracts nationwide attention through press and television, helping to position Aberdeen as one of the UK’s emerging cultural visitor destinations” Nuart Aberdeen, a new international platform is designed to not only present the most interesting and relevant Street Art of its time, but also activate and inspired an emergent local scene whilst encouraging creative collaborations with twin city Stavanger.
The festival provides a platform for local, national and international artists to showcase their work through a series of site-specific murals, installations, intervenions, and temporary exhibitions.
Results of independent market research evaluation carried out on the festival by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce demonstrated that Nuart Aberdeen has increased a sense of civic pride in the city with 98% of visitors rating the festival as excellent or good and 96% of visitors stating they would recommend the event to others.
Washington, DC-based IDA is the premier organisation for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts across the world.
Aberdeen Inspired is the business improvement district that works to make Aberdeen’s city centre a more vibrant, attractive and safer place to work, live and visit. As well as Nuart Aberdeen, it delivers the annual Christmas Village, Aberdeen Comedy Festival, Inspired Nights, Aberdeen Restaurant Week and Painted Doors.