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 2016
2016 aims to be another active year for the Alliance but, sadly, collaborations have been impacted considerably over government differences. Still, with the help of a passionate volunteer board including insight from our newest and youngest member, former essay contest winner, Isaac Smith, we aim to sustain momentum between countries. In years past, we’ve taken students to St. Petersburg, Moscow and Tula and we’ve hosted delegates chosen through the Open World grant program by Congress to visit the U.S. This year, 2016, we will carry on the tradition of having an essay contest for Capital Region students but instead of a trip to Russia, prize money will be awarded to our winners. Our annual Songs at Sunset fundraiser gathered for the second time at Albany’s Fort Orange Club with over 60 guest photos published on the Times Union “We’re You Seen” webpage. Though our goals may not be as ambitious as in years past, we promise to keep our friendships strong and and our partnerships active.
With your generous donation and the efforts of volunteers and friends from 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.