(Pictured is Mayor Dean speaking to the Magdeburg City Council during his visit to Magdeburg in November 2012.)
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean will help welcome to Nashville a delegation from Nashville's sister city, Magdeburg, Germany, during an official five-day visit May 26-30, 2013. The delegation, which includes five council members, is being led by Magdeburg Vice Mayor Dr. Rudiger Koch to commemorate the 10th anniversary of its twinning with Nashville, TN. Sister Cities members are invited to attend various events during the delegation visit.
"Our relationship with Magdeburg has been enriched by several cultural visits and educational programs," Mayor Dean said. "I'm particularly pleased that this relationship has resulted in young adults from Magdeburg being able to complete their military service obligations by participating in service work at the Martha O'Bryan Center here in Nashville. I look forward to seeing our Magdeburg friends again."
The Nashville-Magdeburg relationship grew out of a series of personal contacts and friendships that developed into informal exchanges and, finally, official recognition in May 2003. This partnership has featured artistic, musical, cultural, educational and social services exchanges.
"This has been a wonderful and mutually beneficial partnership, involving hundreds of citizens in both cities," said SCN Board member Douglas Berry. "It has been exciting to witness first-hand the economic upturn and spirit of renewal in Magdeburg since the Fall of the Wall. Sister Cities of Nashville raised money in 2004 to purchase a commemorative paving stone next to the statue at the Magdeburg cathedral honoring the East German citizens who demonstrated for freedom. On the other hand, we were particularly touched when Magdeburg organized a benefit concert for Nashville after the 2010 flood and raised money that was contributed to Hands On Nashville."
Sister Cities members are invited to:
Monday, May 27
4 – 8 p.m., Memorial Day picnic featuring bbq, beer and bluegrass music at Douglas Berry Farm, Route 2. West Harpeth Road, Franklin, TN 37064 with bluegrass music and the "Magdeburg Hemispheres" Square Dance Club. Sister Cities members are invited to the picnic. Complimentary admission.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, May 28
4 p.m. – Dedication of Magdeburg Greenway sign – the connector to Cumberland River Greenway in Germantown
5:30 p.m. – Reception and dinner celebrating 10 year partnership – Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis, 27th Floor, 511 Union Street. Sister Cities members are invited. Cost is $50 per person.
Please RSVP to email@example.com.
Plans are firming up for the biennial trip to Caen, France, by members of the Nashville Bar Association and Sister Cities of Nashville. The trip will take place the week of September 1st, 2013. The trip has been a tradition since 1985 and any member of the Bar or Sister Cities is welcome to participate. Non-members may join either or both organizations and participate!
Activities will likely begin in Paris on Tuesday, September 3rd, although participants are encouraged to arrive at least a day or two early to get over jet lag and enjoy Paris. We will complete our first day together in France with our regular gala dinner before heading out to Caen the next day by car or train. In Caen, we will meet with our colleagues from the Caen Bar and Sister Cities organization. The French have traditionally housed us with families at no cost, although nice hotels are available for those who prefer at very reasonable rates.
This year we have a special treat with the French hosting us at the Deauville American Film Festival.
Deauville is a wonderful beach resort, made famous by Proust's "In Search of Lost Time." For additional information about participating in the trip, please email Steve Cobb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sister Cities of Nashville welcomed a delegation from Kamakura, Japan who traveled to Nashville in order to participate in the Cherry Blossom Walk and Festival. For the past three years, Sister Cities of Nashville, together with the Consulate General of Japan and other local organizations and individuals, has been fostering a partnership with Kamakura. The delegates spent five days in Nashville, touring major attractions, visiting a variety of music venues, meeting civic leaders and participating in the Cherry Blossom Walk and Festival. The group was recognized at the Festival and each received "Honorary Nashvillian" certificates; Mayor Dean presented a beautiful epiphone acoustic guitar donated by Gibson Guitar to the delegation to take back to Kamakura City Hall. The guitar was signed by Nashville civic leaders and SCN Kamakura committee members. The delegates also toured University School of Nashville and met with students there who will be traveling to Kamakura in June. A farewell reception was held at LeQuire and Company in Green Hills, where delegates mingled with Sister Cities' members and artists whose works are currently featured at LeQuire. SCN members Nari and Eko Ishii hosted a farewell dinner for the delegates at the Stockyard Restaurant. To view more photos of the delegation visit, please click here.
A delegation from our sister city Belfast, Northern Ireland visited Nashville for a whirlwind of fact-finding meetings just prior to St. Patrick's Day. Councillors Christopher Stalford and Niall O'Donnghaile along with Carolyn Mathers, Tourist Culture and Arts, Economic Initiatives Officer for Belfast convened with members of Nashville's Metro Council, the Music City Music Council, and Sister Cities of Nashville. They also met with Mayor Karl Dean and Convention & Visitors' Bureau V.P. Terry Clements. Additionally the civic delegates and a delegation from Queens University met with faculty and administrators at Vanderbilt, where they have a long-standing partnership. Vanderbilt and Sister Cities of Nashville hosted the delegates at a welcome dinner at Sunset Grill. For more pictures of the exchange, please visit our facebook page.
Photo credit (Layda; Metro Nashville Government)
We've had a busy month of exchanges, with high school students visiting from Magdeburg, Germany and from Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Additionally, we had college students visiting from Mendoza, Argentina. In addition to staying with host families and attending school with host students, the groups have seen many of the favorite sites and attractions in Nashville including the Nashville Symphony, a Predators game, The Frist Center for Visual Arts, Country Music Hall of Fame, United Records Pressing, Ryman Auditorium, Grand Ole Opry, Tennessee State Museum, Music City Roots show, Cheekwood, and recording studios. The German students also volunteered at the Martha O'Bryan Center while the Korean students volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank. The Argentine students also spent time visiting various companies including Bridgestone, Nissan, Cat Financial, and Bongo Java.
WSMV Channel 4's Terry Bulger profiled some of the exchanges on an evening news story. Click here to view. Click here to read more about the Mendoza student visit. For photos of the visiting exchanges, please visit our facebook page and view our albums.
More than 200 guests enjoyed the "Wines of Chile and Argentina" tasting co-hosted by Sister Cities, Vanderbilt's Center for Latin American Studies and Midtown Wines. Guests dined on empanadas and gourmet cheeses while sampling a variety of wines being poured – Malbec, Carmenere, Torrontes, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot from a number of vintners. Additionally, experts on wines from both Argentina and Chile offered their insight (and photos)!
SCN Honorary Chairman Mayor Karl Dean made opening remarks at our annual meeting and reception. SCN members then voted to approve the nominating committees candidates for board of directors. Elected to serve a three-year term on the board are: Allison Cutler (Senior Director of Development for Patient and Community Engagement, Vanderbilt University Medical Center); Jose Gonzalez (Professor of Entrepreneurship at Belmont University and Co-Founder of Conexion Americas); Frank Harrison (Metro Councilman, District 2) Sue Mendes (Community Volunteer), Dr. Jeff Overby (Professor and Director of Center for International Business at Belmont University) , Mark Schmadtke (Partner, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLC); and Mary Turner Khim (Community Volunteer). Additionally, Dr. Marieta Velikova is serving as the Young Leaders Council SCN Board representative in 2013.
Sister Cities of Nashville's 2012 officers will continue in their roles in 2013. They are: Tracy Kane, President; Gail Vaughn Ashworth, Vice President; Julie Dobbs Allen, Treasurer; and Jackie Shrago, Treasurer.
Nashville ambassadors recently returned from the Caen (France) International Fair. Amy Bertram Read, a professor at Watkins College of Art & Design, Madison Renner (Brentwood Academy) and Hannah Silverman (Hume Fogg) were selected to represent Nashville at the Fair. They distributed information about Nashville at our booth at the Fair, and the students also collaborated on a video project with student ambassadors visiting from Caen's other sister cities in Germany, England, Romania, Macedonia and the U.S. They reported having an incredibly rewarding experience, getting to work with an international delegation as well as enjoy the wonderful hospitality and intriguing sites in France. For more photos, please visit here.
From November 6 through 11, Mayor Karl Dean led a 13-member delegation of Nashvillians on an official visit to our German sister city of Magdeburg. Other members of the delegation included Sister Cities board member and council-woman Burkley Allen; Councilman Frank Harrison; former Metro Councilman Bob Bogen; Sister Cities Executive Director Heather Cunningham; Dr. Robert Kriebel; Candy and Jim Higgins; Charlie and Annie Trost; Yvette Sebelist; David Bordenkircher; Mark Schmadtke, and Douglas Berry. The hospitality was lavish. On the night of the delegation's arrival, the Nashville group was honored at an election eve party, although of course the final returns were not available until the next day. Mr. Berry was asked to participate in a forum two days later with local journalists and professors to discuss the outcome of the American presidential election. Mayor Dean was invited to sign the city's Golden Book, an honor reserved for the most distinguished guests to Magdeburg. He also made a formal address to the city council. On this same occasion, the council named Mr. Bogen "Honorary Ambassador" for Magdeburg, owing to his long years of service to the Sister City partnership. Bogen introduced the resolution before Nashville's Metro Council in 2002 that established the sister city relationship. He has lived in Magdeburg for longer periods of time and has dedicated many hours to all manner of project, in particular having a portion of Nashville's Greenway System, the segment running to Germantown, named the "Magdeburg Greenway."
Other highlights of the trip included a tour of the city by bus, guided tours of the Gothic cathedral, the oldest in Germany, the medieval cloister, St. John's church, a ruin that has been converted into a concert hall, a fascinating museum exhibition about Otto the Great and the Holy Roman Empire, and other sites of interest. The Nashville visitors also heard presentations about green and renewable energy, in which Germany is a world leader, and the German vocational educational system. Finally, the group was given a tour of the former Stasi prison, now a memorial to the victims of the East German police state. We were also asked to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of the old synagogue to commemorate the anniversary of Reichskristallnacht, the "Night of Broken Glass," when violent pogroms against the Jews intensified in 1938. On the final evening the visitors attended a performance of Rossini's ballet "Don Quichotte" at the city theater.
The tenth anniversary of the Magdeburg-Nashville partnership will be celebrated in Nashville next Spring, probably in late May or early June. A committee of Nashville Sister Cities will work with the Mayor's office to prepare a program that we hope can match the warm hospitality we experienced in Magdeburg. For more photos, visit here.
Sister Cities’ Fourth Annual World of Friendship attracted
more than 200 guests for an exciting auction and international
fare at the Farmers’ Market on October 4. Guests bid
on trips to Argentina, Europe and Napa Valley, as well as gift
items from Nashville’s sister cities; art; and cultural
attractions. Board president Tracy Kane welcomed the elected
officials and honorary consuls in the audience before presenting
an award to honoree Ed Nelson. She thanked Ed, his wife Carole
and their family for everything they have done to help Nashville
become a global city. Ed’s daughters accepted a beautiful
platter created by local artist Tom Turnbull which was designed
specifically for the occasion. Proceeds from the event support
the many cultural and educational programs implemented by Sister
Cities as well as help provide financial assistance to students
needing support to participate in one of SCN’s educational
exchanges. Click here for event photos.
A delegation from Caen, France came to Nashville this past
week for our annual legal exchange with the city. Jack
Waddey of Nashville and Sarra Ygouf of Paris and Caen, France
prepared a program on copyright law in their respective countries
as a point of discussion. In addition to the seminar,
the delegation enjoyed the Nashville downtown honky tonks;
a reception at the Nashville Bar Association; a luncheon at
Jack’s Barbecue hosted by The Higgins Firm and Angie
Washington; an official visit with Mayor Dean; a tour of Jack
Daniels distillery and a meeting with the master distiller;
and a dinner at the Waller offices provided by First Tennessee
See more photos here and here.
More than 25 Australian musicians descended upon Nashville
for Americana Music Week, where they entertained audiences
at various venues around town. Sounds Australia together
with Sister Cities of Nashville, the Tamworth Regional
Music Festival and Roots Music Exporters hosted the “Sisters
Are Doing It!” concert in celebration of the growing
connection between Tamworth and Nashville. Felicity Urquhart,
Tamworth’s Friendship Ambassador, presented a gift
and greetings to Sister Cities’ Board President Tracy
Kane at the concert. Sister Cities members, friends and Americana
attendees enjoyed a great concert featuring Felicity, Kasey
Chambers & Shane Nicholson, Lachlan Bryan and 8 Ball
Aiken from Australia. Kim Richey represented Nashville
on the stage, with a stirring performance.