City Programs (Kortrijk, Tianjin, Bergamo)
These are our core programs requiring member contributions. Member assistance is helpful to maintain and grow our official and community connections between these cities and Greenville. Those who have business or personal interests in understanding these communities and country cultures are welcome. Here are some of the activities that can be the focus of our city programs:
- Business, culture, youth or art exchange activities
- Official relationship activities
- Community outreach and information collection
- SCI activity sponsorship
Citizen/Youth Diplomacy (new 2010 program!)
This program includes a major Youth Diplomacy initiative including Greenville Middle School, Greenville Tech Charter and the Greenville Parks & Recreation Youth Council. This Program was submitted to SCI for national recognition as part of its 2010 program launch. Assistance is needed with youth outreach and mentoring, application review, Diplomat scholarship assignment and Diplomat alumni engagement.
In 2010, TCM delighted the community by tailoring its Boo!seum event to Greenville’s three Sister Cities. Using this initial experience, GSCI and TCM wish to continue to participate in annual Boo!seum activities as well as act as an outreach partner for youth diplomacy, pen-pal, SCI Youth program exploration and other Museum connections with our Sister Cities.
This year we are exploring ways our GSCI members and the SC Children’s Theater can reach new audiences and community understanding. We look forward to the 2011 spring production of Mulan, a joint effort.
Many Sister Cities have zoos and represent a common community interests. Understanding how our global interests connect through animals, climate and preservation interests will be explored. Zoo residents such as the Red Panda present interesting ways to learn more about our Sister Cities.
In 2008, UVA helped us participate in Sister Cities International Trading Faces project. This produced an artwork collection provided by children in Tianjin and Greenville that was displayed at Michelin headquarters as well as other public places. Exploring how we can continue a yearly program of youth/adult contributions through the arts and the SCI competition is desired. This group will explore artwork display in permanent or rotating locations at City Hall and other locations as well artist exchange opportunities and other joint community project interests.
GSCI is a registered Hands-On participant. Coordination of this effort involves setting up 4 four workshops for public participation (3 City Programs and Citizen/Youth Diplomacy), interfacing with Hands-on Greenville activities and assisting with connection of workshop participations to desired volunteer assignments.
Pocket Park/City Tribute project
The 2010 GSCI Board approved this project based on an understanding of support with Greenville and the willingness to work us to identify individual sites along the Swamp Rabbit Trail for each of our City relationships. Initial funding of $500 per City was approved. Bergamo Piazza redesign will also be a site for additional tribute activity. Design and GSCI funding of these tributes requires conjunction with City departments. Each Tribute will consist of a bench or other central feature, a plaque acknowledging the GSCI/City involvement and some item of uniqueness appropriate to the city/country. For example, Bergamo Italy might be located near a fountain or Tianjin China might include a contemplative garden. Cultural understanding, coordination with the City Programs and sponsorship identification are key activities.
Friendship city designations
Before undertaking formal activity with new communities, demonstration of strong community interest and a history of relationships built upon common interests and commitments needs to be established. The 2010 Board approved Friendship City exploration on behalf of Clermont-Ferrand France and Fukui Japan. Currently GSCI has a strong connection with Clermont-Ferrand France due to the history of exchange with Michelin employees and community groups. Therefore they are considered a steady and expected City partnership. Similar efforts have been initiated with Fukui Japan.