Seattle String Quartet Bergen Bound: A Sister Cities Musical Exchange

The String Quartet with their instruments
Contributed by Lori Ann Reinhall, President of Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association A few years ago, Reidun Horvei, a well known classical trained folksinger from Voss in Hordaland, made the long journey from Norway to Seattle to do research for her project Migrasong, an original Norwegian folk musical that would chronicle the emigrant journey from Norway to America. As president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association and a musician who had worked with the Scandinavian immigrant repertory, I was fortunate enough to be invited to meet with Reidun. With so much ...

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Ukraine in the Wild West: Tysmenytsia Visits Bandera County Sister Partnership Association

Delegation and volunteers pose in front of a mural
Visiting delegations from distant Sister Cities give hosts the perfect opportunity to take pride in their town’s traditions and hospitality. Few exchanges have taken better advantage of the opportunity than when a delegation from Tysmenytsia, Ukraine visited Bandera, Texas in August. The delegation of four included Stepan Svorak, Mayor of the City of Tysmenytsia; Igor Slubskyi, Deputy Mayor of the City of Tysmenytsia; Roman Krutyi, Head of Yamnytsia Territorial Community of Tysmenytsia County; and Ivan Semaniuk, Head of Tysmenytsia District State Administration. ...

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Norfolk Sister City Association Sends a Mermaid to Kochi

Sketch of the Mermaid Sculpture that Norfolk Sister Cities Association sent to Kochi
A city is defined by its artists. We are first drawn to the city for the design of its unmistakable landmarks and the decorated shop windows. We then leave our cities to visit other far away ones with their own distinct architecture and novel marketplaces which allow us to break out of our daily routines and become reunited with the world at large. The Norfolk Sister City Association (NSCA) has found a way to use art to define its local community and to connect with communities abroad. Recently, NSCA sent a custom-made mermaid sculpture to her Sister City of Kochi in ...

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Sister Cities Association of Sarasota Exchange Will Help Students Learn Playwriting

Sister Cities teachers, here in the U.S. on behalf of the Sister Cities Association of Sarasota, pose with Sarasota Mayor Liz Albert
In July, teachers from three Sarasota Sister Cities traveled to the United States to take part in Florida Studio Theatre’s Write-A-Play Teacher Training, thanks to the Sister Cities Association of Sarasota. During their visit, they received a tour of Sarasota sites including the Ringling Museum, the University South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Ringling College of Art & Design and Mote Marine Aquarium. They also received Honorary Sarasota Citizen Certificates from Mayor Liz Alpert at City Hall. The Write-A-Play contest is an annual event where high school and ...

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Sister Cities of Nashville Delegation Explores Community Transit with Edmonton

Sister Cities of Nashville delegates and Edmonton representatives at a hockey game
Contributed by Heather Cunningham Five delegates from Sister Cities of Nashville (including myself) have just returned from Sister City Edmonton, Canada where we discussed plans for our 30th anniversary in 2020, took in some cultural events, and discussed future plans for business, educational, and professional projects. Upon arrival, our Edmonton friends took us to the Heritage Festival: an incredible showcase of the foods, art, and culture of the many nationalities represented in Edmonton.  Festival organizers gave our group a golf cart tour of the festival ...

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“I am everyone’s mayor” Bergen’s Lord Mayor visits Seattle

Mayor Mjøs Persen and Marit Sagen Grung at Kerry Park with view of Space Needle Photo: Lori Ann Reinhall
Contributed by Lori Ann Reinhall, president, Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association Lord Mayor Marte Mjøs Persen is a woman with a very busy schedule. Besides sitting at the helm of Norway's second largest city, she is also the mother of four. Her now grown-up son was followed by triplets, still in their preschool years, as she juggles the demands of home and office. With her busy travel schedule in Norway and Europe, a trip across the Atlantic is not easy to fit in. But when the opportunity to represent Bergen at the opening of the new Seattle Nordic Museum came up last ...

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Highland Park, IL Celebrates Another Successful Art Exchange with Sister City Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

This past July, Highland Park, Illinois hosted a delegation from its sister city Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Among those in the delegation were two artists, Abdallahy and Santiago Polvos. The pieces created by Abdallahy require 4D glasses to be worn when viewing in order to be fully appreciated and they are deeply rooted in ancient Mexican culture. Polvos is a well-known artist in Puerto Vallarta and his work is known for his unique use of light and images depicting Mexican subjects and themes. The artists exhibited at The Art Center (TAC) in Highland Park and at the Mexican ...

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Congratulations to the 2018 Young Artists and Authors Showcase Winners

Building the Bridge Between Nations by McKay Osborne, 2018 YAAS winner
We want to extend a huge congratulations to the winners and finalists of the 2018 Young Artists and Authors Showcase. For decades, Sister Cities International has leveraged the power that art has to transform societies and transcend cultural boundaries through the Young Artists and Authors Showcase. The Showcase has given youth worldwide the opportunity to express their vision for a more unified, peaceful world through original artwork and literature. This year's theme was the "Art of Diplomacy," which highlights the importance of citizen diplomacy and the innovative ...

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Photojournalist Meets New Generation of Norwegian Americans in Seattle

Contributed by Lori Ann Reinhall These days the debate on immigration is hot, both in the United States and in Norway. In both parts of the world, spiraling numbers of migrants and refugees are seeking better lives, with challenges along the way. Currently there is talk of an immigration crisis at the U.S. border, with families separated and ongoing talk of a wall, and in Europe there are continual discussions of quotas and how immigrants can be better assimilated into society. Yet the topic of immigration is nothing new, and for Norwegian Americans, it has a long ...

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Xi’an Delegates Participate in Kansas City’s Dragon Boat Festival

A four member delegation from Kansas City's Sister City; Xi'an, China; participated in the 14th annual Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival on June 9, 2018. The delegation was led by Hanyun Dai, Advisor of the Xi'an Municipal Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office. The other delegates included two award-winning performers of Chinese traditional musical instruments, Nan Ma and Ting Li, and horse-dancing trainer Bing Wang. Besides dragon boat races, Kansas City's dragon boat festival has stage performances and cultural demonstrations. The hour-long music ...

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