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Indy Library Begins Sister City Relationship With Hangzhou, China

April 25, 2012

A Sister City Celebration with Hangzhou, China

Creating cross-cultural connections through free public programming and the eventual exchange of library staff will result from the newly-formed Sister City relationship between The Indianapolis Public Library and the Hangzhou Public Library in China.

The Library initiative is part of the City of Indianapolis' Sister City relationship with Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province in southeastern China, which was established in 2008 as the City's fifth Sister City project to encourage participation in programs that help strengthen ties with our Asian partner.

The first event associated with the Indianapolis-Hangzhou public library partnership is a special book exhibition, "Reflections of West Lake," which begins Monday May 7 and continues through Saturday, July 28 at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street, during regular library hours. The free exhibition consists of books donated by the Hangzhou Public Library in the areas of Chinese performing arts, music and instruments, calligraphy and painting, literature, city development, and arts and crafts. The books are also available for patrons to check out from The Indianapolis Public Library. In return, the local Library has donated a collection of works representing American and Indiana literature to the Hangzhou Public Library.

Another opportunity for the public to celebrate the Sister City relationship with Hangzhou, China will be an evening of cultural interaction and special performances entitled, "Hangzhou, China: A Sister City Celebration of Shared Literature, Cultures and People," on Wednesday, May 9 beginning at 6 p.m. at Central Library. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a free public reception in Central Library's Riley Meeting Room. It will include opportunities to meet individuals with roots to Hangzhou, taste Chinese cuisine, and view the "Reflections of West Lake" exhibit.

At 7 p.m., a series of Chinese cultural performances will be presented in the Library's Clowes Auditorium. These programs will include Chinese traditional folk dances, music, instruments, choir, and martial arts presented by such local Chinese organizations as the Confucius Institute in Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Chinese Community Center, Inc., the Indianapolis Chinese Performing Arts, Inc., and individual performers Li Huang, Xiao Chen and Xinsin Li. 

"It is a great honor to host this celebration of our Sister City Hangzhou and to celebrate the wonderful partnership that our two public libraries are developing," said Jackie Nytes, CEO of The Indianapolis Public Library. "The wonderful books that they have gifted to us offer Indianapolis greater insight into the beauty and vibrancy of Hangzhou and of China in general."

"There are no boundaries when it comes to culture," stated Shu Qing Chu, CEO of the Hangzhou Public Library. "I sincerely hope that through readings and communications, we can further develop our friendships between the two countries, two cities, two libraries, and the people."

The Indianapolis Public Library is one of several organizations working in partnership with the volunteer Indianapolis-Hangzhou Sister City Committee and the Mayor's Office of International and Cultural Affairs to develop programming and exchange opportunities.