Nashville, Tennessee Wins Sister Cities International’s Innovation Award for Arts and Culture

WASHINGTON, DC – Nashville, Tennessee has won the Sister Cities International 2019 Innovation Award for Arts and Culture for a city with a population of more than 100,000. The awards competition, which is open to over 500 sister city programs nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

Sister Cities of Nashville (SCN) embarked on an ambitious new endeavor in 2018 as they worked to produce a five-day festival in Belfast that displayed the music, food and culture of Nashville. In addition to the Nashville in Belfast festival and in partnership with Belfast City Hall, SCN worked to ensure that our delegates had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with professionals in their respective industries or sectors. After three consecutive packed shows with more than 2,400 in attendance, Belfast residents were exposed to a range of talent from Nashville; and artists were able to build their international following.

Media exposure for Nashville included multiple interviews and concert broadcast on BBC, which airs on Radio Ulster with 536,000 listeners (36% of market); Waterfront and Ulster Hall “Front Row” magazines, featuring Nashville performances along with 17,000 copies; and City Matters Magazine, which featured Nashville in Belfast in which 155,000 residents received copies. Approximately 30,000 Belfast citizens were exposed to the music, culture and food of Nashville at the St. George’s Market. Cinemagic CEO traveled to Nashville to develop plans for a Belfast-Nashville project for 2020 that would bring Belfast youth to Nashville to work alongside local teens to write and produce music videos.

“We all stand to learn from these superstar Sister City programs as they impact their communities across a broad range of sectors that include business entrepreneurship, youth leadership, and arts and culture,” said Roger-Mark De Souza, Sister Cities International’s President & CEO. “These individuals and local organizations inspire us to be better citizens as their work exemplifies President Eisenhower’s vision of engaged international citizen diplomats. They create beneficial connections and lasting relationships which will help their communities today and for years to come.”

Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; business and trade; humanitarian assistance; youth and education; and professional and technical exchange categories. We also honor a Volunteer of the Year and our Youth Leadership who demonstrate exceptional efforts to advance peace through citizen diplomacy. This year we will honor all our award winners during SCI’s 2019 Annual Conference from July 17-19 in Houston, Texas.
The conference will bring together hundreds of the most influential citizen diplomats and global leaders in diplomacy, foreign affairs, policy, business, and innovation to discuss, share examples, and network. This year’s theme, Cities Mean Business, will focus on smart and resilient cities, leadership development, and entrepreneurship as key building blocks of President Eisenhower’s vision of creating a more peaceful world through citizen engagement and international cooperation between cities.
Founded as a Presidential Initiative by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International serves as the national membership organization for 500 member communities with over 2,000 partnerships in more than 140 countries on six continents. The sister city network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers who work tirelessly to promote the organizations’ mission of creating world peace and understanding through programs and projects focusing on arts and culture, youth and education, business and trade, and community development.

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Contact: Heather Cunningham ([email protected])