A sister city or twin towns are two terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. The global concept that promotes peace and understanding, community and economic development, volunteer action and long-term tourism.
Since 1991, when the former Soviet Union began to move toward a revitalized economy and a democratic form of government, the Alliance has facilitated exchanges with citizens of Tula in several areas. Our ever-widening partnerships with both people and institutions have led to mutual improvement in the quality of our personal and professional lives, and in the celebration of our common humanity.
We are a grass-roots, not-for-profit volunteer organization composed of citizens of Albany and the surrounding Capital Region of New York State, partnered with citizens of Tula, Russia. We have come together to provide mutual support and inspiration and to carry on a long-term program dedicated to the growth and well-being of both communities.
In this era of dramatic change on a global scale, we have learned that the most powerful tool for the improvement of humankind is the direct sharing of knowledge, resources and trust among communities and individuals. This is the guiding principle of the Albany-Tula Alliance. Long before “globalization” was a buzz word, the Albany-Tula Alliance embarked upon building a foundation of trust leading to a shared future.
Our active organization thrives on inventiveness and creative problem-solving. We have a proud history of mobilizing widely disparate resources to collaborate on projects that improve people’s lives – including our own – in the process of working with the citizens of Tula.
We also serve as a model of how a group of citizens, with modem technology and old-fashioned hard work, can be productive members of the global village and contribute to the internationalization of our regions.
Mayor: Alisa Tolkacheva
Country Location: European part of Russia about 120 miles south of Moscow on the river Upa.
City Population: 581,216 (2014 Census)
Geography: Located in Russia’s Central Federal District and borders Moscow, Ryazan, Lipetsk, Oryol, and Kaluga Oblasts.
Natural Resources: Iron ore, clay, limestone, and deposits of lignite (coal).
Economy: Metalworking, engineering, coal mining, electronics for the defense industry and chemical companies.
Culture: The Tula accordion is named for the city and also renowned for samovar production and gingerbread cookies called pryaniki.
Historical Industry: In 1712, Tula was visited by Peter the Great, who commissioned the Demidov blacksmiths to build the first armament factory in Russia. Several decades later, Tula was turned by the Demidovs into the greatest ironworking center in Eastern Europe.
Did you know? World famous writer Leo Tolstoy lived, died and was buried within the Tula Oblast. His estate is called Yasnaya Polyana and is open to visitors.
Tarek and Isaac Return from Russia
Two talented Capital Region students won our 2014 essay contest rewarding them with a free trip to St. Petersburg, Moscow and Tula. The students stayed with host families in Tula sampling new foods and making long-lasting friendships. Photos and blogs can be found on the ATA Flickr site and Facebook pages.
Help Support us in 2015
2014 was another incredibly active year for the Alliance. We held the Essay Contest for Albany area high school students and sent the two winners, Tarek Atallah Benson and Isaac Smith to Tula with chaperones ATA members Jack Aernecke and Sonja Stark. The trip took place over the Thanksgiving holiday with visits to St. Petersburg, Moscow and Tula. Before that, we hosted delegates chosen through the Open World grant program by Congress to visit the U.S. The three female guests stayed busy attending a performance at the Albany Symphony Orchestra, two cultural trips to Tannersville and Lake George, a conversation with Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and visits to dozens of schools and colleges. Our annual Songs at Sunset fundraiser was held at the Fort Orange Club for the first time with wonderful results. Our goals for 2015 aim to be just as ambitious.
With your generous donation and the efforts of volunteers and friends in both the Capital Region and Tula, Russia we can continue to make great strides in achieving concrete and measurable goals to promote citizen diplomacy between us and Russia.
TO DONATE NOW — CLICK HERE.