Tours City Hall on Election Day 2012
In Minneapolis, it happens in the fall. In Tours, it happens in the spring. For Minneapolis’s sister city, it’s time again for that democratic tradition…elections. I was lucky enough to be in Tours in the spring of 2012 for the presidential election between François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy and was graciously allowed to visit city hall to see French democracy in action. In one notable difference from Minneapolis, residents are required to show a photo ID before casting their ballot. They also receive results much quicker- since France is only about the size of Texas, by about 8 p.m. on election night it was clear that Hollande had won.
This spring in Tours brings their municipal elections. Jean Germain, the current mayor of Tours, is running for re-election on the Socialist party ticket. One of the first differences you notice between the cities is the size of the city council. In Minneapolis, a city of approximately 400,000, there are thirteen council members. In Tours, a city of about 135,000, there are 55 council members. Continue Reading
Meet our newest blogger and Sister Cities friend, Maëliss Saulnier. Maëliss lives and works in Tours as a translator.
On February 14th, the French, like Americans, celebrate love. It’s the one time of year when we indulge our loved ones in expressions of affection.
In France, giving presents is customary for most special occasions. But on Valentine’s Day, the romantic side of the French intensifies. Local Valentine’s Day traditions, like ones in the states, are for the most part the same. Boxes of fine chocolates. Bouquets of flowers. Then there are the extraordinary, unique experiences such as wine-tastings and gourmet culinary dinners set in medieval castles that transport lovers to a different time.
Paris has the reputation for being a romantic city, but in my beautiful region of Touraine, magical fairy tale surroundings are everywhere. From a leisurely stroll, hand in hand along the banks of the Loire, across cobbled street to a breath-taking view of the city at dusk from the top of a Ferris wheel, it’s a city made for romance.
This Valentine’s Day evening, the streets of Tours will be filled with the energy and anticipation of lovers and I, too, will be there.
In 2004, the Rose Ensemble performed a concert program around a 13th century manuscript of liturgical music in honor of St. Martin which had been silently stored for centuries in the archives of Tours, France.
After learning that Dr. Yossi Maurey had painstakingly researched the document as part of his doctoral research, Jordan Sramek, founder and artistic director of the Rose Ensemble, was determined that the notation on the page be sung in live performance once again.
An art song recital featuring compositions from Tours, France and Minneapolis. Experience the joy of collaboration with song, art and community!
Two exceptional Minneapolis artists were recently selected to perform at the prestigious Francis Poulenc
Academie, in Tours, France. This August, Mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski and Pianist Mark Bilyeu participated with art song performers from throughout the world in Tours. Minneapolis and Tours Sister Cities has helped fund their trip. See their blog: Two Weeks in Tours.
Please join us in the West Wing of the Weisman Art Museum for a free performance after their return from France surrounded by all the wonderful visual art the Weisman has to offer!
ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE: Osowski and Bilyeu will share some of their experiences in France and perform compositions that will have benefited from their work at the Academy. Juxtaposing Minneapolis and Tours composers, Osowski and Bilyeu will present a world premiere of Stephen Paulus’ mezzo-soprano version of A Heartland Portrait, the complete Le Travail du Peintre of Poulenc, and the extremely rare American performance of Noël Lee’s Quatre Chants sur Baudelaire (see Program).
Pianist Mark Bilyeu
THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. MANY THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS WEISMAN ART MUSEUM, FREDRICKSON & BYRON P.A., AND ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
Sister Cities are about cultural similarities and contrasts. “Mirror & Opposite” is based on the quotation from author/journalist Elizabeth Fishel: “Your sister is both your mirror — and your opposite” from her book “Sisters”.
For more information about Art Song, and Clara and Mark please see the following links:
Clara and Mark’s Blog in Tours: http://twoweeksintours.wordpress.com/