Louisville's Sister City since 1994
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Perm is the capital of a Russian province, also called Perm, and it is the region's cultural and industrial center. Located on the western slope of the Ural Mountains, Perm lies about 800 miles east of Moscow and stretches along both sides of the Kama river. Perm was founded in 1568 as the village, Lagoshikha. Its industrial history and more rapid growth dates back to the founding of a copper-smelting plant in 1723. Since 1756, Perm has been a center for Russia's military manufacturing. By 1781, it was established as the administrative center of the northern Urals. As Perm developed as a commercial center during the mid-19th century, it became a gateway to Siberia.
Perm became a Sister City in 1994. The initial relationship was formed by Dr. Bruce Adams, Professor of History at U of L, and Dr. Victor Henner, Professor of Physics at the University of Perm, who realized the potential for exchanges between Louisville and Perm. As the relationship blossomed, Louisvillians and Permiaki have discovered several similarities: river cities, population size, centers of culture, and large universities.
Since the initial contacts formed, leaders in both communities have provided strong support in the political, cultural, educational, business, and medical arenas. Most recently, a wonderful mix of organizations working together with SCL have reached out to Perm, including the Louisville International Cultural Center, Supplies Over Seas, Wheelchairs for Peace, and the Louisville International Medical Cooperative. Over the years, Perm has become a base for introducing Louisville to Russian talent, culture, and business opportunities.
In 1994, SCL and the Louisville International Cultural Center (LICC) took part in the Business for Russia Project (BFR). The BFR stimulated SCL trade missions between Louisville and Perm. In 1995, the cities agreed upon mutual economic assistance, and to offer exchanges of specialists in international marketing, worker training development, waste treatment, military conversion, metal fabrication, wood working, food industries, machine building, and metallurgy. Currently, SCL is partnering with LICC to pursue economic development grants to further projects in these areas.
The Louisville-Perm Partnership has led to several university programs. A growing number of Perm graduate students are pursuing masters degrees at U of L in the fields of chemistry, biology, business, physics, and computer technology. The inter-university relationships have led to further participation in the Perm Committee in Louisville.
Arts and Culture
The Perm Committee has coordinated many artistic and cultural exchanges over the years. Cultural exchanges have developed in the martial arts, art festivals, theater performances, etc. Currently, Sister Cities of Louisville is working on programs to develop connections between the Perm and Louisville arts communities.