Grand Rapids Sister Cities International (GRSCI) is a non-profit organization that works to build relationships between Grand Rapids and its sister cities by promoting understanding and mutual respect through exchanges in culture, art, education, and community and economic development.
Through an agreement with the City of Grand Rapids, GRSCI administers Grand Rapids’ sister cities programs and interfaces with state and nation wide efforts to bring the culture of other nations home to the citizens of our area. Because of the hard work and dedication of our members and volunteers and the Grand Rapids community, we now have five sister cities: Omihachiman, Japan; Bielsko-Biała, Poland; Perugia, Italy; the Ga District, Ghana; and Zapopan, Mexico.
IMPACT ON GRAND RAPIDS
Watch this video for a glimpse at what sister cities have meant to Grand Rapids and how Grand Rapids residents have connected with others from around the world.
GET TO KNOW OUR SISTER CITIES
Click on any of the buttons below to learn more about a specific sister city around the world.
𝙺𝚎𝚎𝚙 𝚄𝚙 𝚝𝚘 𝙳𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝙶𝚁𝚂𝙲𝙸
Current GRSCI Events:
Greetings from the GRSCI Board of Directors!
As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, the continuing relationships between Grand Rapids and our sister cities have been challenging. We want you to know that we are still very active, with each of our five current committees meeting individually, and keeping in virtual contact with our liaisons in our sister cities through Zoom.
The GRSCI Board has agreed to extend any current memberships until November 1st, and we hope to have a new membership drive in place soon, with a special announcement later this year.
The Board is also pleased to announce a new Board Director, Mr. Brent Case of The Right Place.
GRSCI continues to expand our outreach to the Grand Rapids community with partnerships or memberships in the following organizations:
- The Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
- The Right Place
- World Affairs Council of West Michigan
- Downtown GR Inc.
- Experience GR
We invite all, including the business community, to experience the rewards of planning, developing, and participating with other volunteers in a Grand Rapids Sister City program.
Contribute your talents, host visitors, volunteer at events, become a delegate as a citizen ambassador, and experience the joys of a sister city exchange in one of our sister cities.
If you would like to renew your membership, or send a donation at this time, it is possible to do so online on the GRSCI website, or you can contact Kelli Jo Peltier, our treasurer, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Membership rates: $5/Student, $25/Individual, $40/Family, $100/Sustainable, $125/Ambassador (Business) and $50/Ambassador (Non-profit).
We would like to thank you and all of our current members and volunteers for your donations and support as they make it possible for us to continue with our ongoing mission of educational, economic and cultural exchanges with our sister cities around the world.
Leonardo Tombelli, President Dante Villareal
KelliJo Peltier, Treasurer Laura Moody
Denise Taylor, Secretary Bonnie Burke
Don Bultman Brent Case
Sara Simon Kim McLaughlin
For more information, please check out our website http://www.grsistercities.org We are also on facebook and Instagram.
News Update – September 27th, 2020
J-CHAT – September 1st, 2020
Japan’s punctual, hard-driving work culture is well known. What about Japanese companies in the States? What’s similar, and what’s different?
Last summer, longtime J-Chat attendee Andrew Mulder moved to Chicagoland to work for one of Japan’s best-known food companies. He’ll share with us his rich experience working there thus far.
The event will take place Tuesday, September 1. Due to time zone differences, J-Chat will start at 7:15 PM, but feel free to join us at 7:00PM for pre-presentation fun and banter.
Email us at “grsci [dot] omi [at] gmail [dot] com” for access credentials. Be sure to give yourself a few moments to log into Zoom . You shouldn’t need to create a Zoom account, but you will need to download the software.
For those interested in learning more about our work, the Omihachiman Committee will meet before J-Chat, starting at 6:40PM.
Hope to see you there, Sara Simon, Omi Committee Chair
Exit Space Project – Welcome Mural by Dave Battjes
“Local artist Dave Battjes (Instagram: @davebattjes) is finishing up his newest mural on the retaining wall of the Ionia ramp from I-96 near Michigan Avenue downtown Grand Rapids. This is UICA’s second mural in partnership with Grand Rapids Sisters Cities and is supported by Downtown GR, Inc. We are excited to see this project come together after being delayed by COVID-19. To date, UICA has created over 16 murals as part of our Exit Space Project.” UICA Summer Update
Accepting Applications for the Perugia Scholarship January 2020 – Through March 15th!
Chiaroscuro Film Series 2020 – Gallery
2020 – Chiaroscuro Film Series
Ethnic Heritage Festival – October 2019
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?
What is a sister city? In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower created a program that was designed to enhance relationships among cities in the United States and the rest of the world. The desired outcome of this program was to gain knowledge and understanding of foreign cities through community exchanges of cultural and ethnic ideas.