Danville, Kentucky Wins Sister Cities International’s Innovation Award for Arts and Culture

WASHINGTON, DC – Danville, Kentucky has won the Sister Cities International 2019 Innovation Award for Arts and Culture for a city with a population of less than 25,000. 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.

Having established good will through previous exchanges between Sister Cities, Danville, KY and Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, 2018 featured a very successful artist exchange. Each city nominated three artists to their Sister City. The hosting city made their selection from among the candidates based upon their needs and interests. Danville artist, Brandon Long, employed software to combine drawings by children with special needs into a design for a whimsical mural that answers the question, “What makes your community great?” Then, the children painted the mural for their school.

Playwright and 2013 Sister Cities exchange artist, Liz Orndorff, upon returning from her residency to Danville, wrote two plays based on the exchange. Her second play, The Return of Tinker Doyle, premiered in June at Danville’s outdoor summer theater, Pioneer Playhouse. Then in July, DSCC enjoyed the annual visit of Irish UPLIFT, an arts organization from Carrick Fergus that comes to Danville’s West T. Hill Theatre each summer to run arts camps for 200 schoolchildren, to promote and prepare for Northern Ireland Artist Dee Craig’s upcoming visit.

“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: Mary Beth Touchstone ([email protected])