Posted June 08, 2007
In 2001, Genie Wheelwright was asked to help convince the Brunswick Town Council that having a sister city in Cuba was a good idea. Now, seven year later as Vice President of the Brunswick-Trinidad Sister City Association, Genie hopes that the citizens of Brunswick can experience another culture through non-political interactions to help bring the world a little closer. Formed through grass roots efforts by local citizens, the Brunswick-Trinidad Sister City Association works to foster a spirit of friendship and cooperation with citizens in Trinidad, Cuba and the Brunswick area.
Recently the organization has brought to fruition the outdoor mural, “Dance of Two Cultures,” at 11 Pleasant Street in downtown Brunswick. This joyful mural illustrates the similarities and differences in the cultures of the two communities and was funded in part by Bowdoin’s Common Good Grant Committee. Each year Cuba Week brings the music, dance, food and poetry of Cuban culture to Brunswick for all to enjoy. Through these things, and many more of the organization’s activities, Genie hopes that the goodwill between the two cultures will help foster cooperation for a better world overall.
“Maine is quite an ethnically homogeneous state and I believe we can enrich our lives by getting to know another people through cultural interactions that have nothing to do with our respective governments. It is a two-way street - we learn from the Cubans and they learn from us.”