Did you know Kansas City, Missouri has 13 Sister Cities? In 1956 President Eisenhower partnered with civic leaders to create sister city affiliations around the world to “help build the solid structure for world peace”. Sister cities are broad-based, long-term partnerships between Kansas City and a foreign community. Each sister city relationship is managed by a volunteer committee of Kansas Citians who pursue projects that promote commercial, educational, and cultural exchanges. Today you can see and experience these sister city affiliations around Kansas City.
The architecture of the Country Club Plaza is inspired by Seville, Spain – Kansas City’s first Sister City established in 1967. Two statues, replicas of the Terra Cotta warriors found in our Sister City Xi’an, China, guard the north entrance of the Sister Cities International bridge over Brush Creek. The bridge honors the Sister Cities Association of Kansas City, a volunteer group promoting international understanding and peace. It features flags from each country where Kansas City has a Sister City relationship.
Conceived as a cultural exchange with our Sister City Kurashiki, Japan, you can visit the Tea Room and Garden in Loose Park and participate in a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. You can also participate in the annual Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival, on the second Saturday in June. The festival is organized by the Xi’an Sister City Committee to showcase Chinese culture and traditions.
For the more musically inclined you can partake in several concerts as part of an annual Jazz Exchange program with our Hannover (Germany) Sister City. This year our France Sister City Committee is partnering with area organizations to celebrate the 400th birthday of French comedic playwright Molière. You’ll be able to view performances at participating KC theatre companies through the 2022 season.
This past year our Morelia, Mexico Sister City Committee started the “Saving the Monarch Butterfly Habitat” program encouraging Kansas Citians to build butterfly gardens helping restore the dwindling habitat. Monarch butterflies’ winter in Mexico, particularly around Morelia, before migrating North in Spring.
Our Arusha (Tanzania), Guadalajara (Mexico), and Port Harcourt (Nigeria) Sister City Committees conduct medical missions bringing much needed supplies and medical care to these communities. Our Ramla (Israel) Sister City Committee collected toys for distribution to children of all faiths in the Ramla community.
Like the other Sister Cities highlighted above, our Freetown (Sierra Leone), Tainan (Taiwan), and Yan’an (China) Sister City Committees work diligently to promote connections between Kansas City and their respective communities.
With decades of promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation, the Sister Cities Association celebrates Kansas City’s status as a global city. To learn more about each Sister City please visit our website at www.kcsistercities.org and check out our Bridge Series videos here.
This Blog was written by the Sister Cities Association of Kansas City