Watkins Museum’s new exhibit celebrates Lawrence’s sister cities

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Joined by University of Kansas students and a local nonprofit organization, the Watkins Museum of History has opened a new exhibit on Lawrence’s connection to its sister cities.

The museum partnered with Sister Cities Lawrence as well as several students in KU’s museum studies program to create its latest exhibit, “Four Corners of Friendship: Sister Cities Lawrence,” according to a news release.

The display shows the history of Sister Cities Lawrence and how it’s fostered relationships between Lawrence residents and people living in three global sister cities: Eutin, Germany; Hiratsuka, Japan; and Iniades, Greece. The artwork, maps, and photographs in an array of colors are in the museum’s second-floor gallery.

The Lawrence City Commission in 1987 established a Sister Cities Advisory Board, which made connections with cities that had strong ties to KU and potential for cultural and educational exchanges with the community at large. 

In 2018, the advisory board transitioned to become Sister Cities Lawrence. The organization now oversees the formal connections with Lawrence’s three sister cities, including administering high school student exchange programs with each city.

KU students in a course taught by Watkins Executive Director Steve Nowak and former Curator of Collections and Exhibits Brittany Keegan put their knowledge and skills to work. The “MUSE 703: Introduction to Museum Exhibits” students developed, fabricated and installed the exhibit.

The Four Corners of Friendship: Sister Cities Lawrence exhibit will be on display through Monday, May 4 at Watkins Museum, 1047 Massachusetts St. in downtown Lawrence.

Visitors can freely browse the exhibit during the museum’s open hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

For more information about the museum, visit its website, watkinsmuseum.org. Visit sistercitieslawrence.org to learn more about Sister Cities Lawrence.

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