BREAKING! #Tegnhåb / #DrawWithDenmark

During 2020, we in Viborg UNESCO Creative City discussed, how can Viborg actively demonstrate what it means to be a UNESCO Creative City knowing that just a few months prior, we had earned this esteemed designation? Also knowing that our designation was a result of three decades of continuously establishing itself as an internationally recognized creative hub, specifically within animation and other visual communication.

In general, we decided to demonstrate who we are – through the way we communicate.” In other words: “Don’t tell it — show it.” As such, it’s clear that Viborg should communicate itself as a Creative City through visual communication.

This among others led to Viborg in January launching a campaign entitled “Draw Hope”, which encouraged children to make drawings that give hope to children all over the world who have suffered because of COVID-19. Partners behind was the UNESCO Secretariat, Drawing Academy (TAW), Viborg Gymnasium (Visual Dep.) & Viborg’s Culture School.

Initially, the campaign was simply going to be part of Denmark’s Appeal – an annual and national charity event, whose 2021 edition Viborg would host on February 6. 

But in mid-January, we sensed that the campaign might have international potential. As such, we approached the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and they respond positively – leading to UNESCO encouraging all its 246 Creative Cities to partake in the campaign.

On January 21st, the campaign was launched. Internationally, it became known as #DrawWithDenmark – actively embracing that people outside of Denmark associate our country with great storytelling.

Each day, a new drawing challenge was presented on social media. Themes include the following:

  • Draw a superhero battling the Coronavirus
  • Draw a cool piece of armor that can stop COVID-19
  • Draw a gift you would like to present to another child etc.


Within days, drawings started to arrive from all over the world, including Wuhan in China, Morocco, Columbia, Portugal, Bulgaria, Dubai and York.

The growing success of the campaign, attracted coverage in multiple national media outlets, including the most significant evening news show, TV Avisen.

The campaign was extended twice from its original 12-day duration to a month and a half, culminating on March 11th – the anniversary of Denmark’s nationwide COVID lockdown. By then, more than 3,100 drawings have been submitted from 33 different countries worldwide

Following this an ambitious idea was born: Why not have the National Gallery in Copenhagen do an exhibit with the drawings? So on March 26th more than 400 of the drawings are projected onto the side of the National Gallery building in Copenhagen.

After this, international interest exploded:

  • Cities in China, Italy and the UK have all expressed an interest in exhibiting the drawings
  • UNESCO wishes to do so for the General Assembly in Paris in November
  • The Danish Ministry of Foreign affairs encouraged all Danish embassies around the world to share stories about the campaign
  • In April, both BBC radio and BBC television did stories on the campaign
  • An educational book about the drawings is considered
  • …and more exciting offers are arriving each week

More than a million people have heard about the campaign via social media accounts connected to Viborg and its partners or through external social media posts and press coverage in the 33 countries. In August 2021 it was announced that the campaign was awarded with a record number of the interntaional Stevie Awards.

To conclude, Viborg managed to do what we set out to do: Demonstrate to the world what it means to be a UNESCO Creative City – which is using creativity to generate positive change in a way that makes the world come together.

Short film about #DrawWithDenmark

The idea and creation of hopeful drawings

About Viborg UNESCO Creative City - Media Arts

Below you can get more information about Viborg UNESCO Creative City. We welcome you to an an an amazing world of animation, drawing, gaming, VR, film and phote and not least children and youth culture and creativity.

Viborg - a Danish hub for animation, gaming, XR and children & youth creativity

During the last thirty years a national hub of animation, gaming, XR, new media and innovative children and youth culture has evolved in Viborg through continous partnerships between education, businesses and public authorities. One of the world's best animation schools, The Animation Workshop is a central element in this development.

In 2019, it led to Viborg being designated as one of only 17 UNESCO Creative Cities in the field of Media Arts worldwide. The 17 cities are Austin (USA), Toronto (Canada) Guadalajara (Mexico), Cali (Columbia), Tel Aviv (Israel), Sapporo (Japan), Gwangju (South Korea), Dakar (Senegal), Enghien les Bains (Paris, France), York (GB), Linz (Austria), Kosice (Slovenia), Braga (Portugal), Karlsruhe (Germany), Changsa (China) and Lyon (France). Thus, connecting to Viborg you will also link up to the leading media arts cities in the world.

The visual, creative Viborg is characterized by a constant flow of knowledge, education, talent and productions, often with a high level of global involvement. This too, makes Viborg a perfect place to establish a studio or a company, that works within entertainment, digital marketing or functional animation, XR and gaming.

The Animation Workshop/VIA University College (TAW)

The Animation Workshop/VIA University College (TAW) is a very central part in our Creative City.  It enjoys a strong and wide reputation due to the top educations we provide for the international film industry, yet it is much more than a school. TAW is a part of VIA University College’s School of Business, Technology and Creative Industries and has expertise in the areas of education, culture, communication and business development. To this effect, TAW benefits from a strong international network of artists, professionals, companies, funding institutions and partner schools.


Arsenalet is Viborg’s creative cluster of businesses working with animation, games and new media. Arsenalet is situated in Viborg right next to The Animation Workshop and home to more than 40 companies, start-ups and freelancers.


Viborg Animation Festival (VAF) is Denmark’s largest animation festival. For a whole week in September, you can enjoy a carefully curated programme in the cinema for free, visit art exhibitions incorporating animation and VR in art pieces and installations, and attend conferences about learning, health and communication where animation, gaming and new technology play a key role.

Media College Denmark

Media College Denmark, was the first education in Viborg in the visual field when it opened in 1987. It teaches commercial photographers, image editors, professionals in film and TV production, and web masters. With 300 students, this is the biggest school of its kind in the Nordic countries.

Innovative children and youth culture

An innovative children and youth culture is a Viborg stronghold, too. ‘Kulturprinsen’ is an experimental development center for culture for children and youth and works from local to international level to ensure the rights of all children to experience art and culture in their everyday life. At Viborg Culture School, children, youth and adults are taught visual arts & design, music, game design & animation, performing arts and writing.

Learning and education 

Within formal education, the municipal Cultural Learning Center offers quality and interdisciplinary collaborations to children and young people, practice-related learning and cultural experiences in close cooperation with local businesses and institutions. VAF elements like ANIMOK and Game Expo invite school children into the world of animation. Animated Learning Lab promotes and facilitates the use of animation and film literacy as a didactic tool in all school subjects.

We look forward to welcome you into Viborg's fascinating world of visual creativity. 

Viborg Animation Festival -VAF

VAF is Denmark's largest international animation festival taking place each year in September. It is a celebration of the countless possibilities of animation and it shows that animation is more than entertainment: Animation is art, craft, teaching, and science dissemination.
Information about VAF

The Animation Workshop (TAW)

The Animation Workshop/VIA University College (TAW) enjoys a strong and wide reputation due to the top educations we provide for the international film industry, yet it is are much more than a school.
Information about TAW

Welcome on a visual tour into Viborg UNESCO Creative City...

A short visual film presenting the fantastic world of Viborg UNESCO Creative City...

UNESCO Viborg - logo animation

Join a visual journey into our Viborg UNESCO Creative City - Media Arts logo.


Henrik Holmskov

Specialkonsulent, Projektleder UNESCO

Tlf: 8787 8610

Henriette Svenstrup Jensen

Projektleder for animation

Tlf: 87 87 86 18