FORT SMITH, Ark. — UPDATE - Designation of Fort Smith as UN city for art and culture may be part of a scam.
A United Nations ambassador has recognized Fort Smith as an artistic and culturally relevant city.
The UN Ambassador of Art, Ibiyinka Olufem Alao, declared Fort Smith a "United Nations International city for artistic and cultural innovation in peace building and economic growth" on Tuesday (July 6).
Olufemi met with Fort Smith Mayor George McGill for the announcement.
Fort Smith is the 10th city across the world to receive this designation from the UN.
Ibyinka Olufemi Alao will begin a year-long residency in Fort Smith starting in September.
Alao and McGill believe this can help boost the economy and artistic tourism to the city.
Alao said he was blown away by the arts in Fort Smith, helped by numerous downtown murals and other art projects in the city. He mentioned that he came to the Mayor's Fourth of July Celebration, which helped seal the deal.