Wunderbar Together: Finding Similarities Across Cultures in the Mooresville – Hockenheim Partnership

Originating in a story submission, we had the opportunity to interview Ms. Rupa Venkatesh of the Town of Mooresville, who facilitates the partnership between Mooresville, NC and Hockenheim, Germany. It is heartening to learn more about the youth and adult exchanges and the outcome that, even when visiting different cultures, Mooresville and Hockenheim residents ultimately found more similarities in each other.  Visit the Town of Mooresville's website here for more information. SCI: Could you tell me a bit more about the exchanges and programs between these two ...

Read More


As part of its partnership with Wunderbar Together, Sister Cities conducted an interview with Martha Henry and Ian Cruz at the City of San Antonio International Relations Office. San Antonio had been recognized at the 2019 Houston Sister Cities Annual Conference as the "Best Overall Sister Cities Program," a well-deserved award considering both the scope and depth of San Antonio's partnership with Darmstadt, one of its eleven sister cities. The interview below depicts numerous dimensions to the San Antonio-Darmstadt relationship, including collaboration in government, ...

The Millennia-Long History of German Sister Cities

The earliest known city partnership in Europe was established in 836 between Paderborn, Germany and Le Mans, France. This partnership initially took the form of an “eternal brotherhood” between the dioceses of the two Catholic bishops. An official city partnership agreement was finally signed in 1967. Other pioneering German partnerships included Kiel, Germany and Sonderburg, Denmark in 1925 and Wiesbaden, Germany and Klagenfurt, Austria in 1930. However, the modern concept of “sister cities” as we know them was not launched until after WWII. To foster ...

Read More


Wunderbar Together: A Waterloo-Porta Westfalica Connection Formed in Heritage and Music, Sustained in Exchange

With its official biennial visits, summer student exchanges, scholarships, and a 5,000-strong “Portafest,” Waterloo’s ever-growing portfolio of programs with its sister city of Porta Westfalica, Germany has netted it “Illinois Sister City of the Year” awards in 2008 and 2017. Given the diversity of its programs now sustaining US-German ties for 38 years, it is surprising to think back to the Sister Cities of Porta Loo’s origins simply in shared heritage and music diplomacy.

Read More


Sister Cities Boulder-Lhasa: Music, Medicine and Memories

two men play piano with young lady while mother looks on
The motto, "One individual, one community at a time" is a critical piece to the Sister Cities mission. It reminds Sister Cities volunteers and community members striving to connect with the distant peoples of their Sister Cities, that the cooperation ignited by Sister Cities organizations is only as successful as the quality of the relationships the work inspires. This story from Sister Cities Bolder-Lhasa is exceptional in its ambition to help a young girl named Lhungtse suffering from an illness which required brain surgery. But what makes it such a perfect example of a ...

Read More


Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association Makes Wintertime Musical Magic

The tour’s final concert was held at the historic Emigrant Church at Sletta in Radøy, but it did not mark the end of the group’s collaboration, with plans for a new Christmas CD to be released in 2019.
By Lori Ann Reinhall, President, Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association When the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association talks about music, we mean “Music!” with a capital “M” and an exclamation mark! This is exactly what was delivered at our winter holiday production that brought together some of the best musicians from both sides of the Atlantic. From Seattle, Allion Salvador (violin), Rachel Nesvig (violin), Aleida Gehrels (viola), and Zoë Kohen Ley (cello) came together as the Seattle-Bergen String Quartet to collaborate with soprano Reidun Horvei and pianist ...

Read More


City Of Issaquah Wins SCI Award for Innovation in Arts and Culture

Two people standing in front of utility box wrapped with laminate decal displaying a painting
Sister Cities International's mission is the belief that cooperation across borders is more effective when we engage communities “one individual at a time." In this spirit, the City of Issaquah Sister Cities Commission launched a unique cultural project which introduces the works of artists from Issaquah’s Sister Cities to residents by wrapping electrical utility boxes in prints of the paintings. This innovative project enables every resident, whether stuck in traffic or crossing the street, to engage with their Sister Cities locally. Story Submitted by City of ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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. ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More