Both recognitions are based on Wagner’s work to establish and maintain Kansas City’s status as a member city of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. He was recognized by the City of Kansas City and nominated for a Public Service Award for a Leading Music Cities Professional by the Music Cities Events of Sound Diplomacy. Wagner is director of the Urban Studies Program and associate professor of Urban Planning and Design in the UMKC Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design (AUP+D).

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and the City Council recognized Wagner and his colleague, Anita J. Dixon, Aug. 27 with a proclamation citing the city’s appreciation for their work “to raise awareness, present programs and create economic strategies that support Kansas City’s musicians and membership in the UNESCO Creative City Network.”

Jacob Wagner

Wagner has also been nominated for a “Public Service Award for a Leading Music Cities Professional” by the Music Cities Awards, a global competition designed to acknowledge and reward the most outstanding applications of music for economic, social and cultural development. The awards seek to promote best practices for music cities and to demonstrate the value of music to cities around the world. ​The winners will be announced Sept. 23 at the Music Cities ceremony.

Kansas City is the only UNESCO City of Music in the United States. Other U.S. cities in the UNESCO Creative City Network include Austin (Media Arts), Detroit (Design), Iowa City (Literature), Paducah, Kentucky (Crafts and Folk Art), Tucson (Gastronomy), San Antonio (Gastronomy), Santa Fe (Crafts and Folk Art) and Seattle (Literature). Each UNESCO Creative City Network member city must maintain active participation in the network through annual meetings, cooperative projects with other cities and by providing leadership on the use of creativity as a driver of sustainable urban development.

“Both these recognitions demonstrate the value of Dr. Wagner’s work locally in Kansas City and globally with Music Cities around the world,” said Michael Frisch, Ph.D., AICP, the AUP+D department chair. “Citizens and municipal governments increasingly recognize the importance of music and creativity for local economic and community development, as well as public health and happiness. The work of Dr. Wagner and other music city professionals provides an important area of urban research and teaching for future city planners and leaders.”