In the global economies creativity has become a political agenda. Creativity is variously coupled with the arts and humanities, environmental and physical sciences, engineering, business, innovation, technology, enterprise and economic productivity. This article investigates the creative arts within the discourses of knowledge cultures, and considers the rhetoric and practices of creativity in relation to the UNESCO policies and strategies for building creative capacities for the twenty-first century, as articulated in the Road Map for Arts Education (UNESCO, 2006). To move from global to local sites, the paper identifies creativity by engaging a form of tale-telling of creative arts practices, encounters and events, as a way of witnessing aesthetic activities out of and away from teleological imperatives. A discussion of Foucault’s technologies of self and Heidegger’s questioning of the work of art assists the argument to take account of subjectivity and the politics of power relations in institutional practices and discourses. The paper argues that macro-political discourses need to be matched with micro-political action of creative subjects and educators, coupled with strategic initiatives for the arts in institutional practices, if the universalised goals of UNESCO are to be met at the local level.