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Artsy Austin pairs with Creative Jacmel, Haiti for “Friendship City”

published on August 14, 2011

Artsy Austin pairs with Creative Jacmel, Haiti for "Friendship City"

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell announced a new “Friendship City” relationship with Jacmel, Haiti, a creative community known for its art, film institute, and natural beauty. “We share many qualities,” said Leffingwell, “most notably our creative culture.”

Jacmel is a city on the southern coast of Haiti and home to various creative institutions and events. The town sustained significant damage in the 2010 Haiti earthquake and is now on the long path of rebuilding and recovery. “This is one city relationship where we can affect great change. If our communities can exchange culture, promote tourism and economic development, the benefits will be significant. Austin can have a strong presence in the reconstruction of Haiti.”

Austin, known for its creative culture and vibe, particularly in Central Austin and South Austin, is “unique and beautiful,” said Hermane “Bonga” Desorme, a 25-year old member of the Cine’ Insitute delegation. “The similarities between Jacmel and Austin are extraordinary.” In June, the Cine’ Institute partnered with University of Texas students through Students of the World, an Austin non-profit, to combine creative forces to document the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund and their efforts to provide long-term economic opportunities throughout the country.

Kevin Johns, Director of Economic Growth and Redevelopment for the City of Austin, said, "The Friendship City relationship between Austin and Jacmel will create tremendous creative industry opportunities. Filmmakers and audiences alike from Haiti and Texas will develop a more rich appreciation of each other’s work through the planned exchanges between both cities.”

The agreement for establishing an International Friendship City relationship calls for the communities to encourage cooperation in various fields including economics, education, and culture. Austin’s only other Friendship City is Villefranche sur Mer, France.

Austin luxury home Realtor Brian Talley knows that Austin’s creative culture and giving spirit are a big part of what makes Austin a special place to live. In fact, he’s known to stroll SoCo amidst the trendy, new condos for sale. If you are interested in living in Austin, perform an Austin Home Search on his Regent Property Group website.

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