Our Organization

The Mission

Our mission is to share ideas and cultures through the international exchange of students & community members from Aspen and Aspen’s respective sister cities.

One of the primary projects of the Aspen organization is the exchange of middle school age students from the various sister cities. Each student, whether from Aspen or coming from a sister city, stays with a host family with a student(s) of similar age. These exchanges have been very successful in making life changing differences in the lives of the students. Many life-long friendships have been established, and some students have subsequently returned to the host countries for further study and pleasure. Other cultural sister city exchanges include ski patrollers, school teachers, students, medical professionals and others. Various cultural, educational and sport events representing respective sister cities also occur.

The Organization and History 

The Aspen Sister Cities Committee, a non-profit organization, is run by a Board of Directors. The committee meets at 5 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month, except June, in the Sister Cities room at the Aspen City Hall. The public is invited.

Affiliations between cities throughout the world began after WWII. The U.S. Sister Cities program was launched by President Eisenhower in 1956, and from this grew the Sister Cities International organization, which has assisted more than 900 U.S. cities link with 2,100 communities in 120 different countries.

The program goal is to have people and their communities make a difference in a changing world through the international exchange of people, ideas, and cultures.

The Aspen Sister Cities program began in 1966 with a relationship with Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. In 1985 Mayor Bill Stirling and the city council established the Aspen Sister Cities Committee. Relationships with five more cities were subsequently established.