ORIGIN OF SISTER CITIES
The Sister Cities concept was initiated in 1956 by President Dwight Eisenhower to promote cultural and commercial ties. In 1967 it became the Sister Cities International (SCI) organization, a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network for partnerships with international communities. SCI leads the movement for local community and volunteer action by motivating and empowering private citizens, municipal officials and business leaders to promote peace one individual and community at a time.
In 1988 the Carlsbad City Council recognized the cultural, educational and economic benefits of Sister City relationships when it established the Sister City Program under city ordinance. Its mission was to create active and meaningful connections between Carlsbad and its citizens and comparable yet internationally dispersed communities. These connections were intended to promote peace, cultural awareness and economic opportunities through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.
CARLSBAD SISTER CITY AMBASSADORS, A NONPROFIT CORPORATION
Consistent with the trend for cities to turn their Sister City program administration over to nonprofit corporations, in 2009 the City of Carlsbad requested it's then Sister City Committee to create a new nonprofit corporation. This was accomplished later that year and in April 2010 the Internal Revenue Service approved the newly created Carlsbad Sister City Ambassadors (CSCA) as a tax exempt 501 (c)(3) corporation. CSCA is now working to expand participation to include more residents and businesses. Founding directors include Tom Hersant (Chair), Harriet Norris and Edna Gibson (Vice Presidents) Jacquie Thye (Secretary) and Kim Miller (Treasurer). All have been actively involved internationally. CSCA has maintained affiliation with Sister Cities International and its 88 Sister Cities in Southern California.
CARLSBAD SISTER CITIES
Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan shares a coastal similarity with Carlsbad. Located on Tokyo Bay, water sports and aqua farming can be found in this charming and tranquil city along with attractions such as the Mother Farm, Community Sports and Culture Park, and the rare Golden Monkeys’ Preserve. A Futtsu businessman wished to establish business and community relations with an American city comparable in size, location, agricultural roots and community friendliness. Visiting delegations approached the Carlsbad City Council, which approved the relationship in 1988 and formed a volunteer Citizens’ Council to coordinate the program.
In 1370 Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV recognized the city of Bohemian city of Karlsbad (now Karlovy Vary) currently situated in the northwestern portion of the Czech Republic near the German border. Legend testifies to his appreciation for the curative powers of its many hot mineral springs. It became a famous healing center for European aristocrats and maintains its fame as a spa city to this day. The water in Carlsbad, California was found to have remarkably similar mineral properties to Karlovy Vary and in honor of this connection our city was named Carlsbad. Frazier's well, a state historical site at Alt Carlsbad, features a statue of Frazier sculpted by former Karlovy Vary Mayor Vaclav Lokvenc. Karlovy Vary retains its forested and mountainous grandeur, old-world elegance and china, gem and glass industries. We established the Sister City relationship with our namesake city in 1991.
Home-stay exchanges, student and group travel opportunities, arts and culture, sports and business seminars allow Carlsbad, Futtsu and Karlovy Vary to learn about and benefit from each other. Hundreds of people from all three cities have now discovered how enriching it is to be part of an international family.
CARLSBAD EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
Japan-In-A-Suitcase is a program featuring items about Futtsu and Japan, It is presented to scouts, students and Boys & Girls Clubs. CSCA is developing Carlsbad-In-A-Suitcase programs to send to Futtsu and Karlovy Vary for similar cultural exposure in their countries. Periodically Carlsbad families host semi-annual home-stays with students from Futtsu. We too have sent several students to Futtsu over the years. A delegation of Carlsbad Girl Scouts will visit Karlovy Vary during the summer of 2011 to commemorate the 20-Year Anniversary of the Sister City relationship. The Carlsbad/Karlovy Vary International Photo Exhibitions in 2008 had high schools from both cities participating in "A Day in the Life of Carlsbad/Karlovy Vary" themed shows. Joint exhibitions were held in Karlovy Vary during the 650th celebration of its founding. The then Carlsbad Sister City Committee was invited by the Lord Mayor of Karlovy Vary to visit their annual opening of the spa season and they presented the city of a painting of our Flower Fields. Many other events over the years have fostered the close relationships between these cities and frequently they include connections with the Alt Carlsbad site of Frazier's well and the current Czech owners and re-builders, Ludvik and Veronica Grigoras. CSCA is planning new exchanges and trips to our current sister cities and welcomes our area's dynamic internationally interested citizens to share in the cultural highlights here and abroad.