Sister Cities & International Connections
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Missoula has developed an outstanding program of student and cultural exchanges with two Sister Cities and a number of communities in other lands.
The Sister Cities and international relations projects — Besides administering the City of Missoula's official Sister City programs with Neckargemünd in Germany and Palmerston North in New Zealand, the Missoula Cultural Council welcomes visitors from many foreign countries and fosters international connections on an informal basis. Past activities involved delegations from St. Malo and Beaune in France, Date City and Kumomoto in Japan, South Armaugh in Ireland, and others.
Palmerston North, located on the south end of New Zealand's North Island, resembles its Sister City of Missoula in many respects. Of about equal size, it is home to Massey University and prides itself on being "The Information Center." Abundant recreation and cultural amenties are other shared characteristics.
The Sister City relationship began when a Missoula resident Harold Bockemuehl obtained his doctorate at Massey University and shared his admiration of his host city when he returned to the University of Montana. In addition to academic exchanges between the two universities there have been many other contacts since that beginning in 1981. A choral group came to Missoula for the International Chorale Festival. Recently the New Zealand Consul General visited Missoula to discuss more cultural and commercial connections. New Zealand Day, a celebration of our sister city partnership, is celebrated each June.
Neckargemünd, a picturesque and ancient town, has been Missoula's Sister City in Germany since 1991. Students and faculty members from there and the nearby University of Heidelberg visit Missoula on a regular basis. An extensive exhibit of work by Missoula artists was sent to Neckargemünd in 1995 and a photo exhibit was taken there in June, 1999, in connection with a cultural collaboration with the University of Montana.
2008 marks the 15th anniversary of this partnership with Missoula.
Every September MCC produces the annual
in celebration of German culture and Missoula's Sister City relationship