Local Residents Head for Ireland
As established by town dignitaries last year, Southern Pines has a sister city, Newry, in Northern Ireland.
Led by Denise Baker, an art professor at Sandhills Community College, and Frank Pierce, a painter and photographer at A Southern Studio, a delegation from Southern Pines will spend 10 days in the area this summer and attend the Maidens of Mourne Festival.
Participating in the festival as teen maiden will be Jenna Woronoff, a summer intern at A Southern Studio, and Liz Schilling, a Maiden of Mourne participant who is an art student at SCC. As contestants they will be asked to take part in a variety of activities, including visiting local shops, council offices and the city hall in Belfast, where they will meet the lord mayor. They will tour the Mourne Mountains and visit a typical cottage, sample Irish food and music and be asked to join in the entertainment. They will be interviewed by judges and be expected to perform a piece, singing, dancing, reciting, etc.
The "Photos Across the Atlantic" exhibit, which opened here in the spring as part of the Palustris Festival, has already been shipped. It is the first joint Sister Cities project and will open in Newry and be a part of the festival. The newly formed Southern Pines Sister Cities Committee will be meeting with a similar committee in Newry.
The Maiden of the Mournes International Festival has a wide range of activities, including concerts, outdoor entertainment, sporting competitions, parades, children's events and the Maiden of the Mournes competition.
Sister Cities International is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between the United States and international communities. Currently more than 2,000 cities, states and counties are partnered in 136 countries around the world. The organization strives to build global cooperation at the municipal level, promote cultural understanding and stimulate economic development.
The U.S. sister city program originated in 1956 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed a people to people citizen diplomacy initiative. It became a nonprofit corporation in 1967.
The traveling delegation is made up of painters, golfers, SCC representatives and members of the local committee.
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