Tuesday, 05 November 2013 19:26
Click the above title to see adorable sleeping panda cubs from Chengdu, China.
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 20:51
Chengdu Will Offer 72 Hour Visa Free Stays for
For more information, click here.
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 21:10
Thursday, 25 July 2013 18:48
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Mary Jane Trunzo and Michael Sleeseman, Co-Chairs of the Phoenix Sister Cities (PSC) Disability Awareness Committee, recently traveled to Vancouver, Canada for the International Association of Special Education’s Biennial Conference. They were joined by Al Yee, Chair of the Chengdu Committee, Mr. Chen Feng, first place winner of the 2012 International Competition for Artists with Disabilities, and Dr. Iris Drower, Co-Chair of the IASE Conference. The conference was held July 7-11, 2013 in collaboration with The University of British Columbia Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology and Special Education.
In accordance with the conference’s theme, “From Segregation to Inclusion: The Long Journey”, more than 300 practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and community members from over 30 countries around the world participated in this week-long event to exchange dialogue and explore the latest in research and innovation in the interest of promoting not only a better quality of life but also more inclusive and accessible opportunities in education for all individuals, particularly those with special needs. The IASE Conference opened with a special Reception Gala held at the Museum of Anthropology in the University of British Columbia campus on Sunday, July 7, which included special presentations and speakers, a special performance by the Tsatsu Stalqaya, or “Coastal Wolf Pack”, and a private tour of the museum.
Mr. Chen Feng, an accomplished artist and entrepreneur from Chengdu, China, was invited to the conference as a special guest after his painting won first place in the PSC Disability Awareness Committee’s Annual International Competition for Artists with Disabilities last year. Mr. Chen was recognized and presented with his award at a special dinner on Tuesday, July 9, at the IASE Conference. He shared a heartfelt speech, graciously translated into English by Eva Li of the Chengdu Committee, about the challenges and struggles he has overcome in being deaf and his journey to achieving success despite the hardships he has faced.
Another special guest of the IASE Conference was Ms. Zhao Chun Li, also known as Angel. Angel was born in a small, rural fishing village in China with Brittle Bone Syndrome and Dwarfism. As a result of her condition, she suffered from discrimination throughout much of her life and received no medical treatment or formal education. Fortunately, Angel’s determination and resilience led her to learn how to read and speak English after she was prevented from meeting President Clinton during his 1998 visit to her village because she was deemed “too disabled to be seen by a US President.” In April 2012, Angel was finally able to meet President Clinton and was invited to take part in the Clinton Global Initiative. She is now a voice for those who, like her, have suffered from discrimination as a result of their disabilities and works to fulfill her dream of building a school for children with special needs.
On Wednesday, July 10, Michael Sleeseman and Mary Jane Trunzo, a certified Speech-Language Pathologist and Clinical Director of the Arizona Institute for Communication and Cognitive Disorders, presented talks about Brain Injury and the award-winning work that the Disability Awareness Committee is doing to fulfill its mission statement of “promoting the equalization of opportunities within society on behalf of all world citizens, by incorporating individuals with disabilities into all aspects of PSCC programming.” Their presentation included information on the Committee’s success in building connections for the disabled community to showcase their skills and talents in annual art and poetry competitions open to residents of all international sister cities as well as through special disability themed delegations such as last year’s OT Training Workshop spearheaded by Dr. Rachel Diamant of AT Still University. The conference concluded with a closing prayer given by an Elder of the Musqueam First Nation Band.
After the conclusion of the IASE Conference in Vancouver, Mr. Chen Feng was generously sponsored by the Chengdu Committee to continue his journey in Phoenix, where he was home hosted by Mr. John Lee and given a four-day tour of the city’s main attractions by Miki Safadi and a team of interpreters. Some highlights of their tour included the Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum, Taliesin West, the Musical Instrument Museum, the Arizona Science Center, art galleries in Old Town Scottsdale, and dinners sponsored by the Chengdu Committee. A special celebration reception was held at Mary Jane Trunzo’s home on Sunday, July 14, in honor of Mr. Chen’s visit and to present awards to Mr. Chen and his attendant, Mr. Lu Handong, on behalf of the other Art Competition winners from Chengdu.
These events were a wonderful opportunity for building and strengthening connections between residents of Phoenix and its Sister Cities around the world, and they could not have been possible without the invaluable contribution of time, energy, and resources from the following individuals and groups: Miki Safadi, for providing transportation and sign language interpretation for Mr. Chen in Phoenix; her team of interpreters - Kajia Wen, Dawn Schoenberger, Philip Azara, Rand Rom, and Adrian de Hoyos; Mr. John Lee, Mr. Zhigang Chen, and Ms. Yayu Khoe for transportation and home hosting in Phoenix; Veolia Transportation for sponsoring the International Competitions for Writers and Artists with Disabilities; Ms. Eva Li for her amazing translation of Mr. Chen’s speech on short notice; Al Yee for his enormous help in coordinating all travel arrangements with our counterparts in Chengdu in making Mr. Chen’s trip not only possible but a huge success; Dianna Noli Hill for her assistance in coordinating; The Chengdu Committee’s assistance with the delegation; and Rick Gerrard for all of his very valued assistance in getting Mr. Chen to Vancouver and Phoenix.
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 20:51
In the wake of the tragic loss of 19 firefighters in Yarnell, the City of Phoenix received letters from two of our Sister Cities. Thanks to Deputy Chief Larry Contreras of the Phoenix Fire Department, we were able to share the letter from Hermosillo with Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo in time for the memorial.
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The city of Chengdu also sent a letter, which can be read here: Click to read
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 23:16
Representing Phoenix, Arizona, Gram Negative, a local progressive rock band, will participate in the 2013 Chengdu International Youth Music Festival this July. This annual festival first started in 2007. This year’s festival is July 25th to July 31st. The group will stay with other festival musicians in a Chengdu hotel, building camaraderie and citizen diplomacy through music. When not performing, the musicians will explore the city and experience the beauty of the Sichuan Province.
Gram Negative consists of four Phoenix residents. Alex Sipes is the group leader and guitarist. He has also participated in the Phoenix Sister Cities’ Youth Ambassador Exchange Program in 2010 as well as last year’s Divercities, an international music festival that occurred in Grenoble, France, another of Phoenix Sister Cities. Coming back with him is Christopher Kontos, who also attended Divercities and impressed the crowd with his drumming skills. This year, Gram Negative welcomes two new additions to the band: Christian Merrell, who plays the keyboard and Julian Weinstein who is the lead vocalist. Julian, like Alex, participated in the Phoenix Sister Cities Youth Ambassador Exchange Program while in high school. Julian served his YAEP term in 2011 to Himeji, Japan.
Along with Gram Negative, nearly fifteen other bands from around the world will also debut at the Chengdu International Youth Music Festival. The complete list of performers has yet to be announced, but some of the groups will travel from Austria, Germany, South Korea, and Hong Kong to name just a few.
To read more about the experiences had by the members of Gram Negative while in Chengdu, visit their blog at http://www.tumblr.com/blog/gramnegative2013
To learn more about the Chengdu International Youth Music Festival, visit: http://mcgillcgsa.wix.com/cgsa#!2013-chengdu-international-youth-music-f/c21x0.
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 19:10
It’s the Year of the Snake, and the Valley’s biggest Chinese New Year celebration went off with a bang — and a twirl — Friday at the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix. Classical dancers, including Vanessa Hu, martial-arts demonstrations, and food vendors all offered a taste of tradition as part of the Phoenix Chinese Week Culture and Food Festival. Miss Arizona International Connie Tsang posed for pictures, and local politicians and dignitaries dropped in Friday to see the famous lion dance and other attractions.
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Sunday, 30 September 2012 17:44
The Phoenix Sister Cities Chengdu Committee, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management hosted a panel discussion on "Doing Business with China" on September 27, 2012. Interim President, Ambassador Barbara Barrett, kicked off the event with welcome remarks and chronicled Thunderbird's long history with China. The panel was moderated by Elena Zee with distinguished guests, including Professor Roe Goddard, Greg Heiland, Chuck Zhu, and Frank Zhang. They addressed many critical topics, such as the importance of relationship-building with Chinese government officials, the complexity of sales and distribution channels, and understanding business ethics in China and Chinese culture. The event was well-attended by more than 80 people from the business community.
Watch a recording of the event here: