Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cape of Good Hope

Maggie Arends reports on the Tacoma Sister Cities Film festival ...

On Thursday, February 8th, I went to the Blue Mouse historic theatre in Proctor with a few companions. We arrived at 5:45 p.m., just in time for a great South African meal, complete with music and a film entitled Cape of Good Hope. Every Thursday until April, this scene will be repeated, with a focus on a different country every week.

The dinner & film nights are part of the 5th Annual International Film & Food Festival. In an effort to encourage cultural awareness and interaction, the Sister Cities Program establishes diplomatic connections between cities around the world based on their economic and geographical similarities. The program first began in 1956 under the behest of President Eisenhower, and operates to improve cultural, economic and political interactions between international actors. Tacoma has ten sister cities around the world, including places in Asia (China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines), Africa (South Africa), the Middle East (Israel), Europe (Russia, Norway) and Latin America (Cuba).

The Blue Mouse has hosted the festival in an effort celebrate cultural diversity and support interaction of Tacomans and the inhabitants of international Sister Cities. The funds raised during these film showings support international cultural exchanges, economic development, and local non-profit organizations. On Thursday night, for example, a fraction of the admission costs were donated to provide school fees for impoverished children in George, South Africa.

If you'd like to experience a fun night out in the company of fellow Tacomans, stop by the Blue Mouse on Thursday. Your participation will help support great causes developed by the Sister Cities Program. You can get more information about Sister Cities International at For listings of International Film & Food Festival dates & films, visit Enjoy!

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