Jacksonville Sister Cities and Ritz Theatre Seeking Applications from Local Artists for Exhibition in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa

June 08, 2017  
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Ritz Theatre and Museum in partnership with Jacksonville Sister Cities presents: Through Our Eyes 2018, Celebrating 25 Years “Journey to South Africa: A Cultural Exchange”

Now in its 25th year, the Through Our Eyes exhibit is poised to anchor an exciting cultural milestone by working to share local artistic voices on an international scale. This year’s theme is “Journey to South Africa: A Cultural Exchange”, a collaboration with Jacksonville African American artists and artists from Sister City Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, addressing the subject of Struggle and Resistance.

Launching this journey in 2017, participating artists will embark on a year-long project to explore artistic creativity through historic and contemporary issues of Struggle and Resistance in both cultures, culminating with an exhibition in February 2018. Organizers will present new work by emerging African American artists in the Ritz Museum gallery as part of an exhilarating season of public programs, performances, workshops and other theme related experiences embracing an ever-expanding and engaged audience. Selected works from the Jacksonville exhibition will travel to a Nelson Mandela Bay Museum.

This special way of sharing an art exhibition provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore all of the artists’ responses in a highly diverse environment of paintings, sculptures, photography, video, poetry and other modes of creative expression. Both communities, Jacksonville and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, will benefit greatly from interacting with art in a way that has both local and global perspectives. The traveling exhibit will also create dialogue between two distant, yet similar cultures as artists explore ideas and formats that best communicate the spirit of the theme. 

Selection Criteria

  • Interested artists must commit to actively participate in pre and post exhibition cultural exchange activities, including but not limited to:
  • Orientation presentation of background information regarding Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, July 8, 2017, 11:00 a.m., Ritz Theatre and Museum
  • Visual documentation of work in progress
  • Participation in developing and implementing programming for the project
  • Strict adherence to project deadlines

Submit Application, Proposal and $25.00 fee

Deadline: June 21, 2017

Notification of selection: June 28, 2017

Download the Through Our Eyes 2018 Application Form.

Jacksonville Sister Cities Association, Inc.

(JSCA) is a nonprofit 50l(c) 3 in Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville has had an active sister city program since 1967. A celebration of the milestone of 50 years will take place October 4-7, 2017. Jacksonville currently is twinned with eight Sister Cities: Bahia Blanca, Argentina; Changwon City, South Korea; Curitiba, Brazil; Murmansk, Russia; Nantes, France; Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, South Africa; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Yingkou, China; and three Friendship Cities in China: Ningbo, Shaoxing, and Suzhou.

JSCA sponsors a variety of cultural, educational, and professional exchanges with its twinned cities, bringing an international flavor to northeast Florida while developing relationships around the world. JSCA is a member of Sister Cities International, whose mission is to "promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation - one individual, one community at a time."

Jacksonville twinned with Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM), South Africa, formerly known as Port Elizabeth, in 2000 after a courtship of two years. Jacksonville is the only city in the United States to share a Sister City relationship with NMBM. A milestone celebrating 20 years as Sister Cities will take place in 2020. This is an opportunity to affirm our longevity and underscore our contributions to Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Jacksonville Sister Cities and the community.

In October 2004, a JSCA outbound delegation delivered wheelchairs to 240 disabled Municipality citizens, including children. From 2009 to 2013, JSCA administered a grant from the Gates Foundation to aid in the purchase of a Mobile Medical Clinic and the renovation of several elementary schools’ lavatories. In August 2014, JSCA also raised money to be used to purchase medicines and supplies for the Mobile Clinic and help continue JSCA’s humanitarian aid efforts to the region.

NMBC is an active committee that continues to inspire our volunteers and provide an opportunity to educate other Sister City members and the community about South Africa through a presentation and exchange opportunities. The NMBC also plans a robust youth program, the Nelson Mandela Youth Ambassadors, that positively impacts middle school through college students.