More than 30,000 attended the Cherry Blossom Festival on a beautiful day in Nashville at Downtown Public Square. Mayor Megan Barry and Consul General of Japan Masami Kinefuchi led the Sister Cities' Cherry Blossom Walk on the Cumberland River Greenway to kick off the day.
Sister Cities hosted a fun and new event during the Music City Irish Fest this year. The inaugural Wee Whiskey Tournament did not disappoint! Guests had the opportunity to enjoy an unlimited amount of Irish and American whiskeys and then take a turn on the creative miniature golf course at Nashville Sounds First TN Park. Prizes were awarded and guests had a great time as we celebrated our partnership with Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Sister Cities held its annual Membership Appreciation Reception on January 31 at The Freedom Center. Vice Mayor David Briley welcomed guests with a message that Sister Cities' mission to promote peace, inclusivity and cultural understanding is increasingly important in today's world. Outgoing president Gail Ashworth announced the 2017 officer slate: Marieta Velikova, President; Barry Kolar, VP Communications; Brooke Vane, VP Marketing; Julie Dobbs Allen, Treasurer; Mark Schmadtke, Asst. Treasurer; Matt Watkins, Secretary. The membership voted to approve eight new board members: Eric Beyer, Sherie Edwards, Matthew Hollenbeck, Mina Johnson, Chris Marsicano, Matthew Pierce, Becky Sharpe, and Jim Shulman,
Sister Cities signature annual fundraiser - World of Friendship - attracted more than 250 guests to "toast from the top of the town" on Friday, November 4 at the Nashville City Center. Guests sampled international fare from ten area restaurants and caterers as well as bid on unique auction items. The honoree this year was Steve Cobb, the founder and first president of Sister Cities of Nashville.
A Nashville delegation led by Metro Council member Jeff Syracuse visited Belfast in October in conjunction with the annual Belfast Homecoming 2016. The group focused on exchange opportunities with Belfast and Boston in the area of creative industries and higher education.
Sister Cities launched its first high school student exchange to Belfast during Metro Nashville Public School's fall break in October. Five students and a teacher spent a week learning about the history of Northern Ireland, visiting top attractions and attending school with their hosts at Methodist College. See video: youtu.be/mWMBVWW1yxg
Sister Cities is welcoming artists from both Edmonton, Canada and Tamworth, Australia during Americana Week. Australia at the Bluebird Café will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. And Sounds Australia and Sister Cities will host its annual Sister Cities Jam, a free, all-day music-filled jam session. The party will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25 and end at 9 p.m. All to take place at the George Jones Rooftop Bar, 128 Second Ave. N. See you then!.
Sister Cities International hosted its 60th Anniversary Conference in Washington D.C. in July. SCN Executive Director Heather Cunningham participated in the conference and six Youth Advisory Board members attended the Youth Leadership Summit along with 110 students from across the U.S. and globe. Highlights for the Youth Summit included a tour of the sites in D.C., a diplomacy simulation on nuclear proliferation and sessions on How to Engage the Emerging Generation through International Partnerships among others. All also attended a welcome reception at the Japanese Embassy and the Mayor's Welcome Reception at the Chinese Embassy. The caliber of speakers was excellent and included ambassadors, elected officials and members of the Defense, Transportation and State Departments. Informational sessions included Smart and Resilient Cities; Diplomacy through Unique Platforms; the Economic Impact of Sister City Partnerships; Digital Communications; and a Discussion on International Protocol. The adult and youth participants all gathered for the final Diplomatic Awards Dinner and Dance.
forty five students and teachers from 15 area high schools represented Nashville as Student Ambassadors as they traveled this summer on two-week cultural and educational exchanges. Student groups traveled to Caen and Paris, France; Mendoza, Argentina; Magdeburg and Berlin, Germany and Tamworth and Sydney Australia. Read their blog on scnstudentexchanges.wordpress.com.
Sister Cities of Nashville
Sister Cities of Nashville connects the people of Nashville to people of the world, promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation - one person, one community at a time.