Published: Friday, 23 September 2022

Oxford residents, schools and community groups will be able to find out how to get involved with Oxford’s twin cities with a free event next week.

The event, organised by Oxford International Links in partnership with Oxford City Council, will feature performances from community choirs, traditional dancing and singing, interactive activities and workshops.

Attendees will also be able to learn more about Oxford’s seven twin cities – Leiden in the Netherlands, Bonn in Germany, León in Nicaragua, Grenoble in France, Wrocław in Poland, Ramallah in Palestine, and Padua in Italy. There will be information stalls from the twinning cities about how to get involved.

The event will take place at the Sheldonian Theatre between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 1 October.

The event will be kicked off by Oxfordshire-based DIY Theatre Company, who will perform songs from their recent production in Bonn. The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor James Fry will then officially open the event with a welcome speech.

The programme will then feature:

  • 10.15am - 10.45am:  A selection of songs written specially for our twin cities and performed by local community choirs and a children’s choir
  • 10.30am - 2pm: Stop-motion animation workshop, where people can try their hand at creating a model for an animation about Oxford’s twin cities.
  • 10.45am - 11.00am: ‘Twinning in Action’, an introduction to twinning activities with Bonn
  • 11.00am - 11.15am: A talk on ‘Explore Wrocław in 3 days’
  • 11.15am - 11.45am: Nicaragua sing-a-long. Join in and learn a song composed by visiting Nicaraguan musicians
  • 11.45am - 12.30pm: A talk on the city of Padova. The choir Blubordò will also sing popular Italian songs
  • 12.30pm - 1.00pm: Dabke dancers from Oxford will perform Dabke from Palestine and lead a community dance where you can learn a few steps and join in!
  • 1.00pm - 2.25pm: The Story Museum Story will host stories from Oxford’s twin cities
  • 2.00pm - 3.30pm: A fun family music workshop, including singing, dancing and playing percussion instruments from around the world. Suitable for all ages and abilities
  • 2.25pm - 2.55pm: Byrd and East Oxford Community Choir singers, accompanied by Matthew Spring on the lute, will sing Renaissance songs performed for Padua University’s 800 years anniversary
  • 3.55pm - 3.10pm: Learn some fun facts about Wrocław in an interactive quiz
  • 3.10pm - 3.35pm: Oxford Suzuki violin group  
  • 3.35pm - 4.00pm: ‘Jarisel’ Oxford Musicians with an international reputation perform a feast of folk music inspired by our twin cities. 

Oxford’s twin cities

Twin city links give Oxford residents the chance to engage with other cultures and ways of life, and make these experiences more accessible through established contacts and networks in the linked cities. 

They also bring benefit to cities through knowledge-sharing activities, where people can learn from how problems are tackled in other countries, exchange ideas and understand different viewpoints.

“This event reflects the vitality and range of Oxford’s international friendships. It’s a chance to celebrate the city’s cultural diversity in the form of music, dance or workshops.

“This is also a great opportunity to raise awareness for Oxford residents to come and find out how to get involve and to learn more about our twin cities.  The recent exchanges with Bonn to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our twinning involved 400 to 500 residents of all ages from the two cities, reinforcing our links in wonderful ways.

“I would like to thank all those who have worked together to make this event happen, including the performers.”

Councillor James Fry, the Lord Mayor of Oxford

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