Seattle and Nantes, France Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Sister-City Relationship

Proclamation signed and both cities plan events to commemorate!

Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Mayor Johanna Rolland of Nantes, France signed a joint proclamation committing to a continued partnership between Seattle and Nantes and celebrating 40 years of the Sister-City relationship: “Our cities are places of experimentation and knowledge, incubators of creativity. They can be a source of proposals in many areas. We, the Mayors of Nantes and Seattle, are committed to sharing our experiences, fostering constructive dialogue, working together within the framework of our public policies, by 2030, and developing partnerships between Nantes and Seattle in all areas that can contribute to the well-being of our communities, and respect and protection of the fundamental values ​​of freedom and equality that inspire us.”

Jardin Extraordinaire in Nantes, Fr.

The City of Seattle, through Seattle Parks and Recreation and the community, reaffirms its Sister-City relationship with Nantes, France with the launch of the Nantes Park Beautification Project to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Sister-City relationship.

Nantes Park, located at 5062 SW Admiral Way in West Seattle, will get a facelift that includes a paved loop walkway with embedded French art, temporary French art installations and student-submitted art tiles along the seat wall. The project, led by the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association(SNSCA) in partnership with the Admiral Neighborhood Association and funded by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the City of Nantes, the West Seattle Garden Tour and volunteers, will transform the park into a fun, family-friendly, and accessible communal area reflective of the sister city relationship.

The SNSCA is collaborating with Claude Ponti, beloved and prolific French children’s author and illustrator, on art for the park. Ponti’s experience with the Jardin des Plantes and the Parc de la Beaujoire in Nantes will highlight French-influenced art in the Seattle’s Nantes Park, symbolizing the intersection of the two cultures through the Sister-City relationship. Nantes Park will also represent Ponti’s first art installation to be showcased in the United States.

“We are thrilled to work with Monsieur Ponti. He has created more than a dozen whimsical, interactive works of art in the Jardin des Plantes in Nantes that capture the attention of children and adults alike.  Interacting with his fantastical creatures sparks imagination and creative play,” explains Susan Kegel, President of the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association.

The park will also feature art-tiles lining the seat wall. The art tiles will showcase art submitted by students in Seattle and Nantes who participate in the Passe Partout high school exchange program between the two cities.

A community review is scheduled for Tuesday, March 30th at 7 pm. This is an opportunity for SNSCA to gather feedback on designs and for the community to provide input on the final art installations that will be featured in the park. Please visit the SNSCA website for more information on participating in the community review.

“I’m excited to see the fun ideas that are under consideration for the renovation of Nantes Park, which is slated to happen this fall. The proposed renovations can be enjoyed by the entire West Seattle community and are sure to inspire interest in our longstanding partnership with the people of Nantes,” says Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who represents West Seattle and South Park.

The Nantes Park project is part of a year-long celebration on both sides of the Atlantic recognizing the 40th anniversary of Seattle’s sister-city relationship with Nantes. This spring, look for the release of a special Seattle-Nantes Sister City beer created in an international colla-beer-ation between Seattle’s Lantern Brewing and Nantes’ Bubar. This celebratory beverage, brewed and bottled in each city from a common recipe, will be a gose-style beer featuring Washington State cranberries and Guérande salt from the Nantes region. To capstone the year-long program, Seattle will welcome the delegation from Nantes in fall 2021 to celebrate the grand re-opening of Nantes Park and discuss ideas for future partnerships.

The Nantes community will be celebrating with a “Seattle Orchard” in the Jardin du Grand Blottereau, a sound installation at le Muséum by La Maison des Etats Unis, film screenings, lectures and much more.

The SNSCA thanks the Admiral Neighborhood Association for their continued support on the Nantes Park beautification process. Drew Sowa, President of the Admiral Neighborhood Association said, “We are pleased to support this project. The enhanced Nantes Park will be a walking and biking destination for the Admiral neighborhood, West Seattle and the many visitors who pass by on their way to Alki.”

SNSCA would also like to thank the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Parks and Recreation, the West Seattle Garden Tour, the City of Nantes and members of the community for their support in launching this exciting endeavor that will bring together institutional and elected officials, economic leaders, cultural actors, and community associations.

More information on the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association, the Nantes Park project and the events planned to commemorate the 40th Anniversary can be found at www.seattle-nantes.org.