Virtual Classroom Links Schools in Highland Park and Puerto Vallarta and Modena through Poetry

A virtual classroom project launched this month, connecting Elm Place Middle School in Highland Park, Illinois, to Los Volcanes School in Highland Park’s sister city Puerto Vallarta, in Mexico. The joint effort of the Highland Park Sister Cities Foundation (HPSCF) and the Puerto Vallarta Sister Cities Committee connects the classes of Elm Place teacher Lori Wyatt and Los Volcanes teacher Raul Gibran through the study of poetry. Using a virtual platform called Edmodo, students will explore the values we share with people in other countries. The project also enables ...

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Legislators Bring the World to Annapolis

Legislators and officials in Annapolis welcomed delegations from Maryland’s 20 sister state relationships late last month to showcase their programs’ achievements over the past year at the annual Sister States Legislative Reception. The event also fosters greater cultural awareness in the Maryland community through special food, drinks, and items characteristic of each of Maryland’s sister states (in 17 countries total) set up at tables in an exhibit hall. This year’s reception, which was held January 30, also featured cultural performances by Chinese Taiji ...

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“The Sultan and the Saint”: Building Bridges Through Film

panel on stage
Stories move us.  Films are one of the most effective forms of storytelling and one that can be used to great advantage by Sister Cities, as the Baltimore Luxor Alexandria (Egypt) Sister City Committee did in recent months. A nonprofit film production company, Unity Productions Foundation uncovered an incredible, virtually unknown aspect of a meeting between two men – St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan al Malik of Egypt -  in 1219, during the height of the Crusades on the battlefield in Damietta, Egypt. Their meeting inspired the Sultan to make an incredible humanitar...

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Silver and Gold: Seattle Celebrates 25 Years of Bergen’s Oleana and 50 Years of Sister City Friendship

Contributed by Lori Ann Reinhall of Seattle Bergen Sister CitiesThe Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association has long had a reputation for its parties and galas, and when the opportunity came up to celebrate the silver jubilee of Bergen and Norway’s premier textile company Oleana together with our own golden jubilee in 2017, it was an opportunity too good to pass up. As president of the association, I reached out to Oleana’s representative in the Pacific Northwest, Laura Almaas of Chalet in the Woods in Gig Harbor, 50-some miles south of Seattle. Not before long, we put ...

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Kusakabe Taro: the Samurai Connecting New Brunswick and Fukui

Paying Respect to Kusakabe Taro
 From October 4th through the 7th New Brunswick, New Jersey hosted a delegation from Fukui, Japan to celebrate 35 years of friendship. The two cities formed their sister city relationship in 1982, committing to exchanging ideas and culture in order to promote peace and grow together. Their partnership has led to the growth of student exchange programs, cultural ambassador programs, and more. The Fukui delegation consisted of over 40 people including the Vice Mayor and members of the City Council; members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce; and members of the Fukui ...

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Seattle Commemorates Fifty Years of Friendship with Bergen with Gift of Northwest Coastal Tribal Art

Contributed by Lori Ann Reinhall, President, Seattle-Bergen Sister City AssociationOn Thursday, September 7, 2017, a Seattle delegation of eight from the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association visited local representatives at Bergen City Hall to present Mayor Marte Mjøs-Persen and the people of Bergen, Norway, with a gift to commemorate fifty years of friendship between the two sister cities.The following is a translation of president Lori Ann Reinhall’s speech, given in Norwegian, that accompanied the presentation of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association’s gift ...

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Leipzig Helps Sister City Houston with Charity Concert

Saint Thomas Church
After the winds and torrents of Hurricane Harvey blew through southeastern Texas and beyond, residents of multiple cities have been left with the formidable task of rescuing and rebuilding their communities. Thankfully, countless organizations are making efforts to help these cities in any way they can, from food donations to emergency health kits—even from over 5,300 miles away. Houston’s sister city partners in Leipzig, Germany extended a helping hand by hosting a charity concert where all proceeds went to the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Leipzig, ...

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Lassen Sie Die Musik Beginnen! Sister Cities Wilmington & Wilmington Children’s Chorus Host Fulda Youth Orchestra

Wilmington and Fulda Students in Washington D.C.
Contributed by Tonya R. Richardson of the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, Wilmington, DE. The Wilmington Children’s Chorus (WCC) said goodbye, again to good friends this summer after hosting Germany’s Kammerorchester der Jugend Fulda (Fulda Youth Orchestra) for a week of combined rehearsals, performances, friendship, and fun, which began on July 21. The collaboration concluded in a gala concert held on July 29.The project was sponsored in part by Sister Cities of Wilmington, Delaware and the City of Wilmington. The 2017 collaboration between Fulda and Wilmington, ...

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#BeerDiplomacy in Darmstadt: San Antonio Delegates Attend the 27th Annual Heinerfest

Contributed by the San Antonio International Relations Office Building on the momentum from the recent City Council approval of a Sister City relationship between San Antonio and Darmstadt, Germany, a 10-member cultural delegation traveled to Darmstadt to attend the 27th Annual Heinerfest. From June 29th to July 3rd, San Antonio joined the festivities of Heinerfest: a five-day festival that draws upwards of 600,000 people to the center of Darmstadt. Representing Darmstadt’s first American Sister City, the colorful San Antonio booth situated in the AlleWeltTreff (All ...

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Musical Sisters: Seattle and Bergen celebrate 50 years of friendship and the birthday of Norway’s most beloved composer with jubilee gala concert

by Lori Ann Reinhall, President, Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association“Wonderful!”, “Fantastic!”, “Amazing!”, Extraordinary!”, “Thrilling!” — these were the words heard over and over again as visitors left the sanctuary of Seattle’s Ballard First Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 18, after listening to a “almost all-Grieg” program in celebration of the Bergen composer’s 174th birthday three days earlier.It was the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association’s fourth annual Edvard Grieg Gala, this year billed as a “Jubilee Extravaganza” to ...

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