The mission of the Commission is to foster cultural, economic, industrial, athletic
and educational exchanges between Montevallo and communities in other parts
of the world.
These exchanges will celebrate cultural diversity and broaden individuals' global
understanding, interpersonal communication and intercultural knowledge, thus
strengthening the foundation for peace and tolerance as our community moves
toward a more integrated, internationalized citizenry.
History of the Sisiter City Relationship Between
Montevallo, Alabama and Echizen Town, Japan
A major exhibition of Echizen pottery was held at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
The University of Montevallo (UM) hosted the Alabama Clay Conference. Japanese potters were featured as workshop leaders, including Jeromon Fujita, a Japanese National Living Treasure.
Japanese potters extended an invitation for university students to study in Japan.
Ted Metz traveled to Japan in preparation for university students' extended study in Japan. Graduate students Chris Kelly and Tracy Shell studied in Echizen, Japan for one and two years respectively.
An 8-member troop of Japanese traditional drummers traveled at their own expense to visit and perform. These drummers stayed on the university campus, and performed at Desoto caverns and at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
The local government in Echizen paid all expenses for contemporary rock and classical jazz musicians (area high school students) to perform for their school children. A total of 10 people traveled to Japan.
Montevallo Mayor, Grady Parker, & Miyazaki Mayor, Kimura, signed an agreement to establish "Friendly Relations”
A 15-member troop of imperial musicians know as GAGAKU traveled at their own expense to perform at UM.
5 middle school students from Japan came to Montevallo, and stayed in the homes of students who attended Montevallo Middle School (MMS). Students from MMS traveled to Miyazaki, Japan and stayed in the homes of Japanese families there.
Echizen Town official visited Montevallo to request a continuation of the middle school exchange program.
The Montevallo Sister City Commission was formed. Dr. Hollie Cost was elected as its first president.
The 9-member, Echizen Drum Team, traveled to Montevallo for a May 1st concert.
The Echizen community sent 8 middle school students & 2 chaperones to “home stay” with Montevallo families for a week.
In November 2007, Ted Metz traveled to Japan to present a proposal to Mayor Seki for a Sister City relationship.
In June, Mayor Sharon Anderson, Ted Metz, and Jim Farris traveled to Echizen to discuss the Sister city relationship. In October, Mayor Seki and a four member delegation visited Montevallo and signed the Sister city document.
In June, Dr. Philip Williams, Sandra Williams, Grant Williams, Dr. Hollie Cost, and Ted Metz made the first official visit to Echizen as sister cities to discuss the future of the relationship.
On July 10th, Montevallo students and 5 adults including Julie Caine and Freda Shivers visited Echizen as a continuation of the middle school exchange program.
In July, work began on the fabrication of steel sculptures to be given to the people of Echizen as a gift from the people of Montevallo. The project was underwritten by UM. Ted Metz and select students created the artwork.
On July 2nd, a UM musical trio, led by Dr. Joseph Landers, traveled to Echizen and performed an original composition dedicated to the sister city relationship.
A group of nine students and two chaperones came from Echizen to visit Montevallo. From July 21st to July 29th.
Disaster struck as Japan was devastated by the great Tokouku earthquake and Tsunami that left many Japanese homeless. To help in the recovery process, $1,000 raised at the Arts Festival in Montevallo was donated towards relief efforts. The group from Montevallo did not travel to Echizen as part of the student exchange program.
However, Ted Metz did travel to Echizen Town to complete some sculptures he was building there.
On July 30th, Students from Echizen, Japan arrived in Montevallo to "home stay." The students departed August 7th.
July 17th – 28th A group of 9 students traveled to Echizen, Japan with chaperones; Mayor Hollie Cost, Kelli Bennitt, and Vinny Chiaramonte.