Monday, October 20, 2014

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 10:08

All Is King to Preform in Chengdu

Ben Valdez, (guitar and vocals) Lucas Blanchard (bass) and Dylan Skaggs (drums) make up the musical trio that is All Is King. The band is to visit and preform in Chengdu China to participate in the 2014 Chengdu Music Festival on July 22 – 29.  The band will also experience the leisure and culture Chengdu has to offer as well as a visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. For more information on All Is King, click here or visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/alliskingband.

Check out their set list!
Jawbreaker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Spp13FE0gI
Wide Eyes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpiBqjhOxcs
Hey Hey! I Know You: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUCPmeSzgyo
Mental Nebula: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVwC2nLExCQ
Convoluted Chaotic (shot with a GoPro on Ben's guitar): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=784A_7AgMU0

Published in Activities
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 12:18

Chengdu Visit

Phoenix Sister Cities Chairman Al Yee and Phoenix Sister Cities Commission member Allan Yang visited Chengdu recently.

Here are some photos from that visit.

Published in Activities
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 14:47

Chinese Week 2014

Phoenix Chinese Week 2014: Year of the Horse, took place February 3 - 9. 

The Phoenix Chinese Week Committee, in cooperation with the Phoenix Sister Cities Chengdu Committee, successfully presented
Phoenix Chinese Week 2014 from February 3 to 9. The celebrations demonstrated a series of cultural, social and educational events
highlighting the rich diverse heritage of the ancient culture of China with 5,000 years of history. On February 3, Phoenix Chinese Week 2014, was initiated with an opening reception and news conference, attended by City Officials and dignitaries, held in Phoenix City Hall. The Phoenix Sister Cities Chengdu Committee invited a Chengdu performing troupe of 18 young artists who gave two shows at Arcadia High School. These young performers were selected by the Chengdu Municipal Foreign Affairs Office and they traveled from Chengdu to Phoenix to showcase traditional Chinese music and dance in the colorful costumes of the Sichuan Provincial area to celebrate the 2014 Chinese Year of the Horse. Phoenix Chinese Week 2014’s Culture and Cuisine Festival took place from February 7 to February 9 at
Margaret T. Hance Park where delectable food and a display of continuous entertainment ranging from martial arts, lion dances, and
traditional performances wowed the audience. The great success of Chinese Week 2014 came to a close on February 9, concluding with a Chinese New Year Banquet.

 

Below is the brochure of this year's events sponsored by: aps, pepsi, SRP, Wells Fargo, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Valley of the Sun Koi Club, Confucius Institute, Phoenix Sister Cities, Inc. and Phoenix Sister Cities Chengdu Committee. 

To download this brochure click  here

Published in Activities
Tuesday, 05 November 2013 12:26

Our sleepy, furry friends from Chengdu

Click the above title to see adorable sleeping panda cubs from Chengdu, China.

Published in Activities
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 13:51

International Travel News

Chengdu Will Offer 72 Hour Visa Free Stays for 
Connecting Passengers with Valid Visas to Other Countries
Beginning September 2013.

For more information, click here.

Published in Activities

Published in Activities

Click to enlarge

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.

Read more...

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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.

Click to enlarge


You can read the translation of the letter here: Click to read

The city of Chengdu also sent a letter, which can be read here: Click to read
(Note: The first page is in Chinese, the second is a translation in English.)

Published in Activities

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

Published in Activities
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 12:10

Chinese Week 2013

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. 

 

Click on the images to see them full-size. Use your ‹ › arrow keys or mouse to move between photos.

 

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