Unique arts structure celebrates sister city relationship

In 2011, Tacoma Sister Cities Council inaugurated a unique structure to celebrate its relationship with sister city Fuzhou, China. The award-winning “Fuzhou Ting”, a Chinese pavilion, is aimed at supporting Tacoma’s reconciliation efforts. It is housed in the Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park, a memorial dedicated to a painful time in Tacoma’s history, the expulsion of its Chinese citizens in 1885.

The construction of the Ting, which began on September 22, 2010, was a collaborative process that involved various members of the community and its sister city. The City of Fuzhou donated pre-fabricated components and raw materials for the Ting. Construction advisors from China visited Tacoma to provide guidance. Additionally, Tacoma Sister Cities Council worked with the City of Tacoma which provided raw materials, construction management and other support activities. The city’s Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation, a number of schools, colleges, and landscaping consultants also contributed to successfully build the Ting.

The Fuzhou Ting Dedication and Grand Opening Ceremony was held on September 22, 2011. At the ceremony, Tacoma Mayor Marylyn Strickland thanked members of sister city Fuzhou saying, “…we thank you for helping us build such a unique structure and making history for us and with us.”

The Ting today enhances the motifs of the Park as well as signifies the long lasting relationship between the two cities. It is now the first and only Chinese structure in the Tacoma-Pierce area. The Council hopes the Ting becomes an icon of the Chinese Reconciliation Park and a source of community pride for years to come.

Tacoma Sister Cities Council won the Sister Cities International’s 2011 Innovation: Arts & Culture Award for the Fuzhou Ting project.