City Leaders and Citizen Diplomats Explore Entrepreneurship, Cultural Understanding, and Smart Cities at “Cities Leading the Way” August 2-4

Ron Nirenberg and Tim Quigley at the 2016 Annual Conference Flag Parade
Aurora, Colorado will be the nexus of worldwide connections as Sister Cities International hosts their 2018 Annual Conference and 2018 Youth Leadership Summit. The conference will bring together more than 300 elected and municipal officials, business leaders, and engaged citizen diplomats and over 100 high school students from across the U.S. and the globe to learn about citizen diplomacy. The theme of the conference is “Cities Leading the Way.” “This landmark gathering will demonstrate how citizen diplomacy forges mutual interests and ties of respect across ...

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Nashville, Tennessee Celebrates Another Successful Summer of Student Exchanges

In June, Sister Cities of Nashville said farewell to 35 Nashville area high school students and 4 teacher chaperones as they embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. Through our Student Ambassador program, students have the opportunity to participate in two-week cultural and educational immersion programs where they stay with local families in our sister cities each summer. Both outbound and inbound exchanges take place with six of Nashville’s eight sister city partners. This year, groups traveled to Mendoza, Argentina; Caen and Paris, France; Magdeburg and Berlin, ...

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2018 Annual Awards: Congratulations to This Year’s Winners

2017 Annual Awards Winners
At Sister Cities International, we know that the work our members do to promote peace through mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation changes the world--one individual, one community at a time. Since 1962, we have recognized a few of our most outstanding members all over the nation for the work they've done in the last year to advance the citizen diplomacy movement through our Annual Awards Program. There are 4 award categories broken out by city population size: best overall, innovation, volunteer of the year, and youth leadership. The innovation category has ...

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Seattle Celebrates Friendship with Sister City Bergen with Gala Concert Extravaganza

Submitted by Lori Ann Reinhall President, Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association June 15, 2018, marked the 175th birthday of Bergen’s most famous composer, Edvard Hagerup Grieg. It was a day of celebration in Norway with a 30-hour marathon concert with many of the country’s leading artists at Grieg’s home Troldhaugen in Bergen. The concert was broadcasted throughout all of Norway and streamed online all over the world. In Seattle, the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association (SBSCA) was listening in preparation for their own celebration. The following ...

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Park City Strengthens its Sister-City Partnership Through Innovative Exchange Programs

Park City, Utah is rolling out two exciting new programs this year with its Sister City, Courchevel, France. Both ski resort communities, the cities are independently known for their massive resort sizes and terrain; superior guest experiences; and small town, historic atmosphere. Park City and Courchevel have been sister cities since 1984 and focus heavily on educational exchanges, with French and American high-school students participating in an annual homestay exchange. Over the past four years, the relationships between Courchevel and Park City municipal officials ...

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Crestview, FL Prepares to Welcome Delegation from Noirmoutier-en-l’Île, France

Crestview exchange students posing for picture with ukelele
Crestview, Florida and its sister city Noirmoutier-en-l'Île, France will continue their annual high school exchange this upcoming fall. The October 19 to November 2 visit by a 35-member delegation from Noirmoutier, including 21 students, is the latest exchange in the 23-year relationship between the Floridian city and the congenial island off France’s west coast. The exchange initially began in 1995, when Crestview and neighboring cities sent a group of community leaders to France. Two years later, in 1997, the relationship between Crestview and Noirmoutier was ...

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Tacoma, WA Celebrates 1st Student Exchange with Biot, France

On April 8th, the city of Tacoma, Washington welcomed 19 eighth grade students from the College I’Eganaude in its sister city of Biot, France. This marks the first-ever student exchange between Tacoma and Biot, who have traditionally had a very strong arts exchange program. Recently, the two cities have looked for more ways to expand their relationship. In October 2012, Biot become Tacoma’s 12th sister city; and while most Sister Cities relationships focus on ties stemming from common geography, size, or economy, Tacoma and Biot’s commonality is glass blowing. ...

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A Priceless Experience: Shoppers Get a Taste of Their Sister Cities

Visitors to the Mall in Columbia, Maryland last month enjoyed an afternoon of music, performances and tables spotlighting Columbia's four official sister cities (Cergy-Pontoise, France; Tres Cantos, Spain; Tema, Ghana and; Cap-Haitien, Haiti) and a 5th soon-to-be sister city: Liyang in Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China—which is awaiting signature of the official partnership agreement. Volunteers from the sister city committees staffed the display tables, and dancers and drummers offered performances representing the cultures of each city. The event on April ...

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Sister Cities Stitch Together Washington and Cameroon

A typical sewing circle at First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Church in Seattle, Washington, draws a crowd that spans culture, race, gender, and generational divides. Folks come from all over the Seattle metropolitan region, some even crossing the Puget Sound to get here every month. Other participants bring friends from out of state. Everyone is here to create feminine care kits for girls in Cameroon, to enable them to stay in school during their periods. But the sewing circle program extends far beyond the congregation at FAME. Similar sewing circles, again ...

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Nashville Descends on Northern Ireland

Sister Cities of Nashville, Tennessee led scores of public officials, musicians, entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, education leaders, diplomats, and many more to Belfast, in Northern Ireland, early this month. They were there to celebrate “Nashville in Belfast,” a week of events highlighting the Music City’s food, history, culture, and (of course) its music. They brought with them guitars and accordions, brochures and little Tennessee state flags, gold- and platinum-record lapel pins, fried chicken, corn pudding, and lemonade, in hopes of giving folks in Belfast a ...

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