June 10th, 2010
Sister Cities International announced that Houston-Leipzig Sister Cities Association was selected as the recipient of the Innovation: Arts and Culture award for cities with a population greater than 500,000. The Houston-Leipzig sister city program will be recognized at Sister Cities International’s 54th Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in East Germany, the HLSCA raised over $120,000 for the commission of a stained-glass Peace Window to be installed in the historic St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. They also commissioned a 7-part cantata, the Peace Cantata or Friedenskantate to mark the occasion. An 80-person delegation from Houston traveled to Leipzig for the celebration.
To show its appreciation to the City of Houston for their friendship, the city of Leipzig dedicated a tram car to Houston by affixing the Houston city seal to the car, which is in common circulation. Houston City Council Member Anne Clutterbuck drove the tram car through the streets of Leipzig the day it was dedicated. The second-oldest university in Germany, the University of Leipzig, also worked with the HLSCA to bring an exhibit about rare texts to the Houston Public Library, so that all Houstonians could learn about the rich history of its sister city.