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Nashville in Belfast wins Sister Cities International's Innovation Award for Arts and Culture

10 Jul 2019
Belfast’s Sister City Nashville, Tennessee has won the Sister Cities International 2019 Innovation Award for Arts and Culture for a city with a population of more than 100,000.

The awards competition, which is open to over 500 USA sister cities nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

Nashville in Belfast, an ambitious new endeavour began in 2018, when city partners worked to produce a five-day festival in Belfast, showcasing the music, food and culture of Nashville. The partners also worked to ensure that delegates had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with professionals in their respective industries or sectors. Michael King of Monell’s Restaurant provided southern fare throughout the festival, while also establishing a $5,000 culinary scholarship.

Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast Peter McReynolds said: “We’re delighted to have received this award. Last year’s Nashville in Belfast event was a real success and this year surpassed our expectations as we welcomed more than 40 delegates from our Sister City, Nashville to enjoy celebrating our cities’ connections through food, film and exhibitions, history, family events along with plenty of live gigs and professional music workshops. We continue to work on developing trade and investment links in our thriving creative, professional services and healthcare industries.”
Nashville Vice Mayor and SCN Board member Jim Shulman, who proposed the Nashville in Belfast idea, remarked, “The people of Belfast are some of the warmest, friendliest people I have ever met. Considering that Nashvillians are as well, it just seemed logical to find a way to tie the two cities together.”

Roger-Mark De Souza, Sister Cities International’s President and CEO added: “We all stand to learn from these superstar Sister City programs as they impact their communities across a broad range of sectors that include business entrepreneurship, youth leadership, and arts and culture. These individuals and local organizations create beneficial connections and lasting relationships which will help their communities today and for years to come.”

Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; business and trade; humanitarian assistance; youth and education; and professional and technical exchange categories.
For more information on how Belfast is building international relationships to attract investment, encourage trade and develop international tourism, cultural and educational links in Europe, USA and China, go to
Nashville performer