Flash dance

The well-traveled Kitty Boniske hasn’t been to Africa yet, but she acknowledges the cultural challenges facing the partnership between Asheville and Osogbo, Nigeria. “One of the things we tend to do is project our assumptions on other cultures,” notes the woman who helped launch Asheville’s sister cities program about 20 years ago. Dancing queens: Osogbo […]

From Russia with love

If you think it’s easy to set up a sister city program, talk to Kitty Boniske. “Vladikavkaz was our third try,” the longtime Asheville Sister Cities volunteer recalls. Two other Russian cities—Klintsy and Kislovotz—just didn’t pan out. Snowy cathedral: The major religions in Asheville’s first Sister City, Vladikavkaz, are Russian Orthodox and Islam. Photo courtesy […]

Full-circle Maya

Sister city initiatives are all about forging connections and recognizing what a small world we live in. That’s clearly the case with one of Asheville’s newest sister cities: Valladolid in southern Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The circle begins in Barnardsville, where retired National Geographic Society archaeologist George Stuart lives. Distinguished visitor: Vallalodid, Mexico, officials honored Barnardsville […]

Healing the past, directing the future

I moved to Asheville from Tombstone, Ariz., after searching the Net and coming upon the YMI Cultural Center’s Web site and information about the historic Block. “Wow,” I thought, “a town in the South where the black community still owns property. Got to see that!” I trace my roots to a black town called Pelham, […]