The April 23 concert in Perugia by Seattle pianist Angelo Rondello was a great success with about 85 people in attendance, including officials from the city. The concert was part of the Seattle Music Exchange which encourages the exchange of music and musicians from other cultures through concerts, residencies and educational programs. It was held at the Conservatorio Francesco Morlacchi.
Rondello has selected four sister cities in which to kick off the sister city concerts. In addition to Perugia, the other concert locations are in Pècs, Hungary; Bergen, Norway; and Kobe, Japan. The exchange series closes with a recital of music by the sister city composers in Seattle's Nordstrom Hall on May 11.
Grazie mille to our colleagues and friends in Perugia for their very warm welcome and help with making this concert such a success.
This weekend is the International Children's Friendship Festival at Seattle Center. The FREE event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 15 and 16. The ICFF is focused on helping children from around the world overcome their differences and unite in peace and harmony by fostering cultural exchanges and friendship.
The event is a festival FOR kids and run BY kids. Kids can get their passports stamped at the many cultural display tables, enjoy fun and colorful stage performances, play international games and more.
The City of Seattle will have a display table at the event showcasing our 21 sister city programs. Be sure to stop by!
A recent Seattle Times column by Nicole Brodeur explores the impact that the current administration could have on sister city friendships and exchanges.
The article explores the rationale for establishing Sister Cities International, begun by President Eisenhower as a way to encourage more people to become citizen-diplomats. As people connect on a one-on-one basis, reasoned Eisenhower, they will help foster understanding and world peace.
Seattle has 21 sister cities, beginning with Kobe, Japan, a relationship that goes back to 1957.
On a rainy Friday afternoon, a group of 10 SPSCA members took a behind-the-scenes guided tour of Umbra Cuscinetti, an Italian manufacturer of aircraft components that has a plant in Everett, Wash.
Umbra Cuscinetti is the U.S. affiliate of the Italian aerospace firm, Umbra Group, headquartered in Foligno, outside Perugia. The company is a long-time supporter of SPSCA.
Umbra first moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1999, and in 2013, the company purchased and remodeled its current 68,000-square foot manufacturing plant. The company's 115 employees work on aircraft components primarily for Boeing's 777 and 787 aircraft.
While our members enjoyed a delicious aperitivo of meats, cheeses, fruit and assorted breads, Umbra Cuscinetti's president Leonardo Baldaccini (above) spoke about the company's history and his family's role in it. "When we bought the company, Umbra was doing about $3 million to $4 million a year," said Baldaccini. "This year, we expect to do about $170 million worth of business."
Baldaccini, whose family is from Cannara, Italy, says aircraft manufacturing is in his blood. "I was working in the shop in Foligno when I was six," he said. Umbra is currently expanding its product development capability and hopes to bring new products to market in the future.