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2019 Grants

Charlottesville-Winneba Fire Safety Partnership (Winneba): The Charlottesville-Winneba Fire Safety Partnership aims to improve the safety, health and quality of life of our two Sister Cities by sharing ideas and  resources on fire prevention/preparedness and emergency response/recovery between the Charlottesville Fire Department (CFD) and the Effutu (Winneba) branch of Ghana's National Fire Service. Following the successful model established by Africa Fire Mission (, the Charlottesville-Winneba Fire Safety Partnership supports professional exchanges, technical assistance/training opportunities and donations of equipment between our two fire departments. This grant was used to support CFD representatives in conducting a community fire safety assessment in Winneba in Summer 2019, while providing technical assistance to the Winneba Fire Service and transmitting surplus CFO equipment and supplies. 


Visual Arts Residency and Workshop (Besançon): Local artist, photographer, and educator, Stacey Evans, developed this initiative to develop new visual art connections between Charlottesville and Besançon. The grant supported a one-week artist in residency in Besançon, focused on collaboration. Along with creating her own work, Stacey led a collage project between Charlottesville High School and Lycée Louis Pasteur, and connected two artists Nina Frances Burke (Charlottesville) and Gabriel Hopson (Besançon) who collaborated on a sculpture and video installation.  The project resulted in a Second Street Gallery virtual exhibition, This Familiar Space, with global reach. 

Charlottesville City Schools Chorus Exchange (Besançon): This exchange was a collaborative effort involving the Choirs of Charlottesville High School (CHS) in an educational exchange with Besançon. Sixteen students and two chaperones from CHS traveled to Besançon to perform in a community concert with Charlottesville and local French students in June 2019. This was an opportunity for CHS students to reconnect with students they hosted in Charlottesville during the Fall 2018 exchange with the Lycée Pasteur. Students were exposed to local French culture, toured historic sites and learned more about the Besançon community. Students participated in a variety of fundraising efforts to offset the costs of the trip for all students. The Sister Cities Grants program provided scholarship support to help bridge the funding gap for students with greater financial need.

Roller Derby Exchange Program (Besançon): This project aimed to spread the sport of roller derby by teaching and learning. The Charlottesville Derby Dames (CDD), ranked 37th of 358 leagues worldwide in the WFTDA ranking system in 2018, sent one CDD skater/trainer to Besançon and sought to bring one of Roller Derby Grand Besançon skaters/trainers to Charlottesville to train and learn with the Charlottesville Derby Dames.

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