UNESCO City of Music

since 2014

About the Creative City: 

A major regional centre with a rich cultural offering, Mannheim is recognized for its institutionally established cultural sector (museums, theatres, festivals, cinemas) and lively independent creative scene. Mannheim’s Cultural Office supports many projects and serves as consultant, moderator, supporter, cooperation partner and promoter of cultural and artistic initiatives from the visual and performing arts, to film, photography, literature, music and pop culture. 
Mannheim’s multitude of intercultural activities plays a constructive role in shaping the strategic objectives of the city, based on being “open for urbanity, open for others, open for creativity, and open for commitment”. 
Music is deeply etched into Mannheim’s history. A long-standing leader and innovator, Mannheim has an extraordinary infrastructure for music. The “Mannheim Music Model” – Mannheim’s support network – has received particular attention. Mannheim sees music as a driver for artistic, economic, educational and urban policy development. Notably, a comprehensive strategy for the music industry has been in place since 1999. Mannheim now wants to share this expertise with all members of the UCCN.  
Its four pillars – the Popakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg (professional education), Musikpark Mannheim (business incubator), City Commissioners for Music and Pop Culture (youth, young talent and cultural development) and Clustermanagement Musikwirtschaft (music business development) –  collaborate closely and share relevant interfaces in order to create synergies, maximize resources and promote the professionalization of the music sector. 

As a Creative City of Music, Manheim envisages:

  • introducing other UNESCO Cities of Music to the “Mannheim Music Model” through a new project called “Delegation Tour”;
  • actively participating in the UCCN’s Annual Meetings while designing innovative and effective working methods and strategies both for the seven creative fields and the global Network;
  • initiating a music-literature symposium “Twin Cities Project” with Edinburgh and Glasgow;
  • organizing an international symposium for young culture managers;
  • continuing to support candidate cities to the UCCN in the field of music; and
  • increasing the international scope of Mannheim’s music festivals.


Header photo by Nicolae Vatra |


Dr. Matthias Rauch
Cultural innovation officer / Head of cultural innovation & creative economy
0049 621 33992 x201

Facts and Figures

Mannheim (pop. 305,000) is a city in the southwestern part of Germany, the third-largest in the German state of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart and Karlsruhe. Mannheim is unusual among German cities in that its streets and avenues are laid out in a grid pattern, leading to its nickname “die Quadratestadt” (“The City of Squares”). The eighteenth century Mannheim Palace, former home of the Prince-elector of the Palatinate, now houses the University of Mannheim.

Today Mannheim is one of Europe’s largest inland ports, and its trade in coal and iron is of particular economic importance. Manufactures include medical instruments and supplies, a variety of electrical equipment and instruments, pollution-abatement equipment, chemicals, fertilizer, and food products. Publishing and tourism are also important. Mannheim remains a cultural centre, with the National Theatre and schools of music and drama. The Reiss-Engelhorn Museums and a city museum have collections of art. An annual folk festival is held in May.

Latest Music Projects

Mannheim project