Madison Sister City Collaboration Committee: Celebrate Madison’s Sister Cities event to feature Jessica, former Gov. Jim Doyle

Contact: Carolyn Gantner, chair, Madison Sister City Collaboration Committee. Ph: (608) 577-6572

According to Mayor Paul Soglin, “Our Sister City partnerships help us establish friendships
around the world. With those friendships, we foster relationships and cultural understanding between our city and country and others. During these tumultuous times in our nation and world, this is a wonderful way to express our support for our friends in other countries.”

To showcase these international partnerships Mayor Soglin referred to, the community is
invited to “Celebrate Madison’s Sister Cities” to be held Saturday, April 14 from 5 to 8 pm
at Madison College (Truax campus). The evening will include: a keynote address, “Creating
International Friendships at the Grass Roots Level,” by former Gov. Jim Doyle and Jessica
Doyle; welcoming remarks by Mayor Soglin; entertainment by Madison Youth Choirs;
informational and photo displays; and a buffet dinner. Representatives from the sister cities
have been invited and may be present.

Jim Doyle served as the 44th governor of the state of Wisconsin first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. He was recognized as a national leader in health care, energy, natural resources, biotechnology and many other areas. He has been a senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard School of Public Health and teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison La Follette School of Public Affairs.

Jessica Doyle, former First Lady of Wisconsin, teaches at Edgewood College. She developed
Read on Wisconsin, a statewide book cub that is now part of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center and a Wisconsin geography game.  Jessica spent over three decades as a teacher or administrator in public schools and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia.  She attended Northwestern University and UW-Madison.

The musical performance at the event by Madison Youth Choirs (MYC) will feature
Capriccio with Lisa Kjentvet conducting. For the academic year of 2017-18, MYC is exploring the music of Madison’s sister cities as a central theme of their programs and their performance will include selections from the regions of some of the sister cities. The hauntingly beautiful “A Circle is Cast” will be performed. The song was chosen due to its symbolism of unity and building a greater sense of community which speaks to one of the many values of international friendships.

The citizens of Madison have been creating international friendships with communities
around the world for over thirty years. The Common Council approved our first sister city
relationship in 1986 with Arcatao, El Salvador and since then many more have been formed, which currently include: Freiburg, Germany; Vilnius, Lithuania; Camaguey, Cuba; Ainaro, East Timor; Mantova, Italy; Obihiro, Japan; Tepatitlan, Mexico; and our newest sister city of Kanifing, The Gambia in 2016.

To maintain and coordinate these programs , the Common Council approved the creation of
the Sister City Collaboration Committee (SCCC) in 2008. The SCCC is comprised of a
representative from each of the nine sister cities, an at-large community member and an
alderperson. Go to for more information on this.

The sister city programs are active in a variety of areas that include human and civil rights,
environmental advocacy, cultural and student exchanges, medical and humanitarian aid, to
name a few. Mutual visits have occurred over the years with our sister cities to the benefit of all involved, and through these international exchanges we celebrate our differences as well as our shared humanity, the with theme of “people to people” at the core of our efforts. The value these exchanges represents and the significance of celebrating our differences, as well as our shared humanity will be recognized on April 14th.

Tickets for “Celebrate Madison’s Sister Cities” are $40 and are available until April 9 online
at Brown Paper Tickets ( Tickets may also be purchased by