The Three Cities Association was founded in 1985 to develop understanding, friendship and support between the citizens of the Canterbury District, Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, USA and Vladimir, Russia (then the USSR) to foster cultural, educational and business links between our very different societies, leading to lasting friendships for nearly 30 years.
Our last big event was in October 2015, when we celebrated our 30th Anniversary. Six Russians from Vladimir and two Americans from Bloomington-Normal joined us for 10 days. Reviewing our archives, ahead of depositing them in the Cathedral Library, and we found the 1988 letter from Mrs Thatcher enthusing about the homestay school exchanges between both Simon Langton Schools and School no. 23 in Vladimir. This letter is online at Mrs Thatcher's letter to the 3CA
VLADIMIR (pop ca. 300,000) dates from 1108 and is a former capital of Russia, 115 miles east of Moscow, and the seat of Russian Orthodox Christianity - hence the choice of the Canterbury twinning. It has two World Heritage Site 12th century cathedrals on the north bank of the Klyazma river, and nearby is the World Heritage town of Suzdal. The centre of Vladimir has many fine old buildings resembling British Georgian style; the steep riverbank is unsuitable for modern development and has numerous traditional old painted wooden houses. The suburbs are a mix of industrial works and residential flats - the new ones are very fine. The Soviet regime provided combined heat and power long before it became fashionable in the West for ecological reasons.
The conjoined American sister cities of BLOOMINGTON (70,000) and NORMAL (50,000) are in the corn belt, about 130 miles south-west of Chicago. Bloomington grew out of 'Blooming Grove' in the 1830s, and Normal dates from 1865, and derives its unusual name from what is now the Illinois State University, founded as a teacher training college modelled on the French Ecole Normale. The founding fathers were teetotal nonconformists, and Normal was 'dry' till quite recently, a situation that managed to persist owing to the proximity of Bloomington. University-based Normal forces collaboration between the Democratic island of Normal and Republican Bloomington, which appears to work well. The main industries are agricultural insurance, Mitsubishi motors, and the two universities (the other being the Wesleyan University in Bloomington). The hinterland is not all corn: there is interesting countryside around the nearby Mackinaw River. Abraham Lincoln and Adlai Stevenson had strong associations with B-N.
Our most recent event was our Annual Dinner on Fri 10th Feb. when our young Kazakh member Dana Sarsembina gave the second of two fascinating talks on the culture of Kazakhstan
On Fri 24th March at 7.00 pm our committee member Dr George Conyne, who lectures in contemporary political history, will be speaking on “Presidential Inaugurations from 1789 to 2017”, at UKC Rutherford Levture Theatre No. 2 FREE VISITORS WELCOME
From 10th to 23rd April, we will have a major FREE International Photographic Exhibition "A Tale of Three Cities" with photographs from Canterbury (District) and from our two partner cities in Russia and the USA. This will be at the Beach Creative in Beach St., Herne Bay, and will also be displayed in Vladimir, and Bloomington-Normal. Details on the EVENTS page.
On Fri 28th April Edward Greenwood will be giving his postponed talk on “Anna Karinina”.
Visitors are welcome (there is a small charge to members and non-members alike of £2 to cover hall hire and other expenses, as our annual subscriptions are very inexpensive). For further details, view our events via the "Member Events" link below.
Framework is an arts production company in pursuit of a story that fits. We often find ourselves suspended, caught between the fragments of an elusive grand narrative, blurring the boundaries of our real and imagined lives. We search for a story that fits, and explore the brief encounters and happy accidents that happen along the way. Performance lies at the heart of our work, and the material reflects our aims. Form is driven by story and the questions we attempt to answer.