Regularly Scheduled Monthly Meeting
The Baltimore-Xiamen Sister City Committee usually meets at 6pm on the second Thursday of every month. Monthly meetings are held virtually, with selected special programs and events conducted in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid format.
Interested persons who are not committee members should contact the Committee Chair in advance to receive the meeting call-in information.
– Current & Upcoming Programs –
Bard High School Early College Baltimore Partnership
|2022-2023 and 2023-2024 school years
The 2022-2023 school year program featured a calligraphy demonstration and class by master calligrapher Bing-jib Huang 黃秉驥, a luncheon featuring food from long-time Charles Village institution Orient Express, and awards for top students.
• Sep. 20th: Exhibit featuring photos previously shown in the lobby of Baltimore’s World Trade Center
• Sep. 29th: Fall Dean’s Hour featuring lantern-making for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
• Dec. 1st: Field trip to Washington, DC, including a visit to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and an exploration of Chinatown; see the BSC website for details
• Dec. 13th: Chinese Embassy reception in honor of the 50th anniversary of “ping pong diplomacy” hosted by Ambassador XIE Feng
• Jan. 26th, 2024: Lunar New Year Family Teacher’s Union (FTU) Community Event including fall semester Chinese language and culture awards for top students, performances, and special guests; see the BSC website for details
• Spring field trip
• Spring Dean’s Hour
• Spring semester Chinese language and culture awards for top students
– Selected Recent Programs –
Baltimore Welcomes Guests from Xiamen
|December 13th and 14th, 2023
|After four long years, the BXSCC again welcomed guests from the Xiamen Bureau of Education and Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Convention and Exhibition to Baltimore! During productive discussions including at Bard High School Early College – Baltimore and Baltimore City Hall, the BXSCC and our partners both local and from Xiamen laid the groundwork for future exchanges.
For details regarding the eduation delegation visit, see the Xiamen Bureau of Education’s social media post (all in Chinese).
Baltimore Sister Cities & Friends Fall Social
|October 19th, 2023
|Thank you to all who joined or supported us at R. House (301 W 39th St., Baltimore, MD) for a fantastic fall meet-and-greet! We were excited to bring together friends, old and new, to celebrate our city’s diverse cultures and connections through food traditions from around the world. This in-person gathering comprised of an evening filled with fun, laughter, and community spirit.
Registration was conducted via Eventbrite.
The NCUSCR CHINA Town Hall Returns to Baltimore City Hall!
|October 11th, 2023
National Speaker (via webcast):
R. Nicholas Burns
Local Speaker (in person):
Mary E. “Mendy” Nitsch
China’s rapid development and Sino-American relations have a direct impact on the lives of nearly everyone in the United States. CHINA Town Hall is a national conversation about China that provides Americans across the United States, and beyond, the opportunity to discuss issues in the relationship with leading experts.
China International Fair for Investment & Trade (CIFIT) 2023
|September 8th to 11th, 2023
|The BXSCC joined the Maryland Department of Commerce Office of International Investment and Trade, Maryland Center China, and partners in Xiamen for CIFIT 2023!
BXSCC Visit to Fujian Province
|To kick off the resumption of in-person exchanges after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, BXSCC Chair Xin (Cindy) Wang met with both the Xiamen (City) Foreign Affairs Office and the Fujian (Province) Foreign Affairs Office on the first in-person trip to Xiamen by a BXSCC representative in four years. In addition to reviewing the past few years of exclusively-virtual exchanges and thanking Xiamen partners in person for their support of Baltimore’s pandemic efforts, the meetings also laid groundwork for future exchanges in business, the arts, education, healthcare, and many other areas.
The BXSCC also thanks the Maryland Department of Commerce Office of International Investment and Trade as well as Maryland Center China for their support of this visit.
See the Xiamen Foreign Affairs Office social media post (in Chinese) for more details.
Baltimore City Asian / American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebrations
|May 23rd, 27th, and 31st, 2023
|This May, the BXSCC and our partners at the BGE Asian American Resource Group and Constellation Asian American Resource Group co-hosted a by-invite-only AAPI Heritage Month happy hour at Water Song Yunnan Kitchen in Baltimore’s Federal Hill neighborhood. The program featured remarks from organizers/sponsors and state & city officials, as well as the presentation of a new Chinatown oral history project by Professor Jacqueline “Jacky” Shin of Towson University / Goucher College.
In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, Mayor Brandon Scott visited local AAPI-owned businesses Dear Cafe Leon and NiHao in Canton over Memorial Day weekend. The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MIMA) facilitated these visits, with input from community partners including the BXSCC.
To close out Baltimore’s celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, Mayor Scott also hosted a reception Baltimore City Hall featuring special remarks by MIMA Director Catalina Rodriguez-Lima, Mayor Scott himself, and BXSCC Chair Xin (Cindy) Wang. The program included presentation of certificates of recognition to local AAPI-serving organizations and individuals.
The BXSCC thanks our members, guests, and local partners for sharing in the celebration of Baltimore’s AAPI community throughout May 2023 and beyond!
Asia North 2023
|May 5th to June 3rd, 2023
|The 5th annual Asia North community exhibition and festival celebrated Baltimore’s Charles North (a.k.a. Station North) neighborhood’s constantly evolving identities as a Koreatown, arts district, and creative center. Inaugurated in spring 2019, Asia North is a collaborative community celebration that recognizes, showcases, and honors the art, culture and the Asian heritage of Greater Baltimore, especially the Korean history of Baltimore’s Charles North community. Regional AAPI artists and organizations presented exhibitions and a festival of events including opening & closing parties, performances, makers market, a Filipino feast, film screening, readings of plays, and networking.
The 2023 program was presented by the Towson University Asian Arts & Culture Center and the Central Baltimore Partnership, with participation and support from organizations including Baltimore Sister Cities’ Asian committees (Changwon, South Korea; Kawasaki, Japan; Xiamen, China). Catering by NiHao for the closing reception was sponsored by the BXSCC. See the 2023 festival webpage for more details.
Sister City Book Club
|April 24th to May 25th, 2023
|In spring 2023, BXSCC members and friends joined the Village Learning Place (VLP), the Baltimore-Xiamen Sister City Committee, and readers around the world in a multinational book club!
Readers in Baltimore, Xiamen (China), Sarasota (Florida), Richmond (Canada), Wellington (New Zealand), and Sunshine Coast (Australia) read Florida native William Brown’s Off the Wall: How We Fell for China, which describes his family’s experiences in China over the course of three decades. Readers were invited to pick up a complimentary copy of the book from Charles Village’s library and community center VLP and join a virtual meet-the-author event the evening of May 25th.
Quantities of the book were limited; distribution were on a first-come, first-served. “Best reader” swag bags were gifted to select program participants. See the corresponding VLP webpage for more details.
Sister Cities International Young Artists & Authors Program on Food Security
|April through August 2023
|Youth in Baltimore, our sister cities around the world, and other locales participating in the Sister Cities program were invited to join this annual contest. The 2023 theme was “Peace by Piece: Food Security in My Community”.
In August 2023, 16-year-old ZHANG Jingwu of Xiamen was named the second-place winner of the photography category for his piece “On the Field of Hope”. Jingwu described his photo as portraying “A bountiful harvest and boundless hope. The yellow grains in the sun form a golden ocean, and the terraced fields transformed from the hills are layered on top of each other, showing the hope of thriving in the sunlight. The golden sunlight renders the banana trees in the field emerald and gold, and the rich colors show the joy of the harvest in the mountains.”
See the corresponding Sister Cities International webpage, winners announcement, and Xiamen Foreign Affairs Office social media post (in Chinese) for more details, including depictions of the young artists and their work.
In Memoriam: Alison Dray-Novey (1944-2023)
|March 28th and April 30th, 2023
|The BXSCC would like to recognize former BXSCC Education Subcommittee Chair Alison Jean Dray-Novey, who passed away on March 28th, 2023. A memorial service was held on April 30 at Beth Am Synagogue, 2501 Eutaw Pl, Baltimore.
See the memorial page for Alison for more information.
Baltimore Clayworks’ Lunar New Year Exhibit
|January 14th to March 25th, 2023
|The BXSCC and our colleagues at the Baltimore-Kawasaki Sister City Committee congratulate Clayworks on their “Lunar Project” exhibit!
Exhibit sponsors included the BXSCC and BKSCC. Learn more about this exhibit inspired by the animals from the Asian zodiac and representing cultures from across Asia via Clayworks’ website.
– Selected Pandemic-Era Programs –
BXSCC Featured in Maryland Curiosity Bureau (WYPR) Radio / Podcast Episode ‘Baltimore’s Sister Cities: Where are they? And why them?’
|March 21st, 2022
|In February and March, the BXSCC and fellow sister city committees were contacted by Aaron Henkin for his WYPR program The Maryland Curiosity Bureau, where members of the public are asked “What’s got you curious about Baltimore, the region, and its people? Is there a local mystery that’s always left you scratching your head?”. The result: An eye-opening tour of Baltimore and its sister cities worldwide.
To listen to the program, visit the episode link on WYPR’s website.
Our Home Too: A Forum in Support of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Communities
|May 27, 2021 at 7:00pm-8:30pm
|May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), a time when we recognize the history and achievements of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Unfortunately, the 2021 celebrations were marred by increasing rates of targeted violence against AAPI individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. These actions are rooted in our nation’s history of periodic exclusion, discrimination, racism, and xenophobia which have long been juxtaposed with the vitality, promise, and mutual benefit endowed by our diversity of backgrounds and experiences.
Friends and allies joined Baltimore Sister Cities and our partners in solidarity, community and celebration as we honored the invaluable contributions of AAPI communities in Baltimore and Maryland. During this panel discussion, we explored what AAPI heritage means to all of us: How have AAPI communities contributed to Baltimore and American history? What are AAPI communities currently doing to contribute to culture, the arts, activism, and public service in our region? What new directions are they calling for?
For more information, visit Our Home too.
BXSCC Remembers Longtime Treasurer Arella Liu with New Scholarship Program
|In memory of long-time BXSCC Treasurer Arella Liu, who passed away in October 2020 after a brief battle with late-stage cancer, the BXSCC will be establishing a scholarship for Baltimore City youth with a strong interest in China. The scholarship is projected to help fund studies of Chinese language and culture, including potential travel with Sister Cities. Arella was the originator of the BXSCC’s Youth Ambassadors program and despite, per her preference, not being one of the “faces” of the program, was key in executing the program in the background. She also loved foreign travel and bringing the Chinese language and culture into the lives of the citizens of her adopted hometown of Baltimore.
More details about this scholarship program will be announced via the BXSCC website.
City of Xiamen Donates 50,000 Surgical Masks to Baltimore
|May 29th, 2020
|On May 24th, a shipment of 50,000 surgical masks valued at nearly US$ 25,000 arrived at JFK Airport in New York for further transport to Baltimore. This is a gift from Baltimore’s sister city of Xiamen, China to the City of Baltimore to assist in the city’s COVID-19 response efforts. It follows an April letter of support from Xiamen Mayor Jiahan Zhuang to Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. The masks will be kept at the Baltimore City Emergency Operations Center and distributed based on requests received from local health care institutions to meet critical shortages of this equipment.
More about this project can be found in the press releases linked to below:
– Selected Pre-Pandemic Programs –
Port Discovery’s Year of the Rat Lunar New Year Celebration Event
|January 25th & 26th, 2020
|BXSCC members volunteered at Port Discovery Children’s Museum on Saturday, January 25th and Sunday the 26th to celebrate the Lunar New Year with personalized bookmarks, handicrafts, coloring pages, lessons on how to use chopsticks, and a photo booth.
Charm City Night Market
|September 21th, 2019
|The BXSCC engaged with the Baltimore community with a booth at this annual street festival near historic Chinatown celebrating Baltimore’s Asian community and businesses through conducted a calligraphy activity and other programming.
Xiamen & Beijing “Youth Ambassadors” Summer Camp
|June 24th to July 4th, 2019 and various
|BXSCC Vice Chair Danny Evans spearheaded the planning of and led this visit of 16 Baltimore and Maryland high school-aged students and 2 other chaperones to Xiamen and Beijing. The BXSCC obtained funds via cash grants, donations, and fundraising activities to help offset trip costs. Organizational & business in-kind sponsors included Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, Shake Shack, Blaze Pizza, Papa John’s, and Xiamen Shuangshi Middle / High School.
Summer trip activities included: In Xiamen, students took classes in airplane modeling, tai chi, calligraphy, folk music & music appreciation, Minnan-style Mid-Autumn Festival culture, literature, martial arts, polymer clay, and more at Xiamen Shuangshi Middle / High School. Participants visited Xiamen Airlines, the Xiamen International Convention and Exhibition Center / BRICS Xiamen Summit venue, Xiamen University, Nanputuo Temple, Gulangyu Island, and engaged with the Xiamen Office of Foreign Affairs. In Beijing, the students visited Peking University, Tian’anmen Square, the Palace Museum, the Beijing American Center (U.S. Embassy in Beijing), the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall, and Beijing Olympic Park.
Associated events included: Two kick-off briefings (on December 7th, 2018 and January 18th, 2019), three participant and parents meetings (on March 29th, May 3rd, & June 14th), a visit to the State Department and USAID in Washington, D.C. (on June 21st), a Small Business Administration presentation (on July 24th), a debriefing with Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young (on July 29th), and a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Panel discussion in Washington, D.C. (on August 29th). At an August 2nd closing reception & awards ceremony, three Youth Ambassadors were presented with certificates and gift cards for their excellent participation in the Youth Ambassadors program.
Baltimore’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) Celebration
|May 31st, 2019
|The Baltimore-Changwon, Baltimore-Kawasaki, and Baltimore-Xiamen Sister City Committees along with other area Asian and Asian-American organizations, came together in celebrating Asian Pacific American (APA) cultures and the contributions of APAs to Baltimore at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). BCSCC led the 2019 event planning. Over 550 guests attended, including representatives of the Japanese and Chinese embassies and from the local Vietnamese community. Welcome remarks by MICA president Samuel Hoi.
Guest speakers included Maryland State Senator Susan C. Lee and Dr. Van-Khue Ton, a University of Maryland cardiologist. The event consisted of martial arts demonstrations, singing, dance and drum performances, and other cultural activities.
The BXSCC Welcomes Xiamen International Bank Delegation to Baltimore
|May 24th, 2019
|BXSCC officers met with human resources representatives of Xiamen International Bank at the State of Maryland Department of Commerce offices, as liaised by BXSCC member and Commerce’s Regional Manager for East Asia Felicia Pullam.
Sister Cities Animated! Film Screening
|February 11th & April 5th, 2019
|At the SNF Parkway Theatre on February 11th and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on April 5th, Baltimore Sister Cities held an international screening of short animated films created by artists working and/or residing in Baltimore and in Baltimore’s Sister Cities. Sister Cities Animated, which featured 20 short films, was curated by award-winning animator and animation scholar Lynn Tomlinson, with help from assistant curator Safiyah Cheatam. The screening’s “Student Award” was awarded to “The Burning of the King Boat” by Xiamen Academy of Arts and Design, Fuzhou University student Kai Gao.
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