Councilmember Tom LaBonge and officials of the Los Angeles Nagoya Sister City Affiliation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the relationship between the two cities with a ceremony on the lawn of City Hall South today.
“The Los Angeles Sister City relationship with Nagoya has enriched both cities during good times and brought us help and friendship in times of need. That is what friends are for and friendship is what the Sister Cities program is all about,” said Councilmember LaBonge.
Besides eating birthday cake, the celebrants admired a hand-made quilt honoring the 50-year connection. Over the past half-century, the two cities have sent aid to each other during natural disasters and engaged in on-going student and cultural exchanges. This quilt that memorializes this relationship is pictured here. It is decorated with the city flowers, city seals and iconic images of Los Angeles and Nagoya. Students at the Barnsdall Arts Center's Ragan Art Academy designed and assembled the quilt.
Los Angeles and Nagoya became sister cities in 1959, the first such relationship for each municipality. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the Sister Cities program to strengthen international relations by fostering one-to-one friendships, cultural exchanges and education programs among people in different countries.
Helping the Councilmember celebrate the anniversary were Consul Heroshi Futusawa, Government Attaché for community affairs for the Japanese Consul; Vice Consul Yuki Okada, in charge of the Sister City Program for the Japanese Consulate and Peter Langdenberg of the Nagoya Sister Cities committee. The Ragan Art Academy students who worked on the quilt under the direction of Barsndall Art Director Ms. Quan Yen Trang were: Diana Umana, Emma Smith, Nancie Cruise, David Shapiro, Matthew Mekchai and Shareen Maganiego.
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