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Global and Cultural Affairs

Services for 

Sister City Partnerships

Connecting not only the diverse cultures within our community, but also linking Missoula to our sister cities around the globe, is part of promoting global and cultural affairs. This service provides a window to a world rich in cultures, traditions, customs and values, stimulating environments through which communities will creatively learn, work and solve problems together.

Encouraging cultural and educational exchanges for students in Missoula with Missoula’s sister cities Neckargemünd, Germany and Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Providing opportunities for Missoula citizens and city officials to participate in exchange programs.

Contributing to the planning and execution of sister city events such as Germanfest and New Zealand Day.

Expanding sister city programming, by adding cultural activities and events that foster cultural diplomacy.

Nurturing an atmosphere in which community involvement and development creates the foundation for growth opportunities in a variety of sectors.

 Global and Cultural Affairs – Encouraging Cultural and Educational Exchanges


In addition to connecting our community to its own rich culture, Arts Missoula also brings the world to our doorstep through the Sister Cities International program. Through a wide variety of activities engaging our sister cities Palmerston North, New Zealand and Neckargemünd, Germany, Arts Missoula promotes cultural diplomacy and cross cultural exchange.


Missoula has enjoyed a partnership spanning over two decades with Neckargemünd, Germany through the Sister City International program. Delegations and choirs alike have traveled between our two cities and our universities and high schools have take advantage of the benefits of exchange programs. Each fall we celebrate this relationship with our annual Germanfest.

Palmerston North

Initially sparked in 1981, Missoula has long held a connection with Palmerston North, New Zealand. Though the partnership has seen periods of inactivity, the Missoula Cultural Council has been working to keep the connection alive. We celebrate this partnership each spring with our annual New Zealand Day.

Sister City Partnership History

“Sister cities: a brief history…In Europe, agreements between cities tend to occur from the top down when the mayors of two cities meet and agree to become partners. In the US, however, they are more likely to be developed at the grass roots level when individuals get together to form a sister city committee and request that their local government forms an official partnership. Historically, sister city partnerships are those that begin between two cities that have something in common–be it population size, typology or even just sharing the same name. External organisations such as Sister Cities International in the US or The Council of European Municipalities and Regions in Europe act as facilitators for developing partnerships between municipalities. The first recorded modern twinning agreement was between Keighley and Poix-du-Nord in Nord, France, in 1920 following the end of the First World War. The practice was continued after the Second World War as a way to promote peace and reconciliation amongst former enemies. For example, Coventry in the UK was twinned with Stalingrad in Russia and later with the German city of Dresden, as all three cities had seen heavy bombardment during the war.
In North America, the first city to establish a sister city relationship was Toledo, Ohio, which partnered with its Spanish namesake in 1931. The US sister city programme formally began in 1956 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed a new initiative of city cooperation. In 1967, Sister Cities International became a separate corporation due to the growth and popularity of the US programme. Today it is a non-profit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between communities in the US and other countries, through the establishment of new sister cities and the support of existing relationships. Within Europe, town twinning receives political and financial support by the European Union through the ‘Europe for citizens’ programme. The Council of European Municipalities and Regions works closely with the European Commission to promote projects, activities and exchanges in the framework of twinning agreements.” – Cities Today, “How Sister City partnerships play a role in the global economy” [Full Article Linked Below]


Interested in more information about Sister City Partnerships?

Sister Cities International 

“Measures That Matter: A study on the economic benefits of sister city relationships in the U.S. and their impact on the global economy from 2014-2015” – Sister Cities International

How Sister City Partnership can play a role in a Global Economy – Cities Today April 2014 Publication



Home: Global & Cultural Affairs

1.) City & County Employees

2.) Sister City Partnerships

3.) Kindergarten – 12th Grade (K-12)

4.) Missoula Community