Skip to main content

Fostering Educational Connections and Arts Exchanges

Educational Connections Highlights 2014-2021: fostering sister-school partnerships

Building educational exchanges

Student delegations from the Marina School in Russian visited with the Harker School and Christopher High School in Gilroy. The Russian students shadowed the local students, and the Marina School principal met with teachers and administrators of the schools to talk about future potential collaborations. 

Theater performances and workshops

The Slavic-Anglo-American-School (SAAS) sent a theater delegation to Christopher High School (CHS).  The Russian students, who were home hosted by Gilroy families, participated in theater workshops and performed a joint production of Fahrenheit 451 with CHS students.

Shakespeare festival in Russia

Christopher High School in Gilroy sent a delegation of 15 students and 2 teachers to Moscow to participate in a Shakespeare festival at Slavic-Anglo-American School (SAAS). The students also joined forces to present an interpretation of “There’s No Business Like Show Business”.  

Creating youth leadership opportunities 

The Commission sponsored three students to attend Sister Cities International conference where more than 100 high school students from the United States, Germany, Japan, China, and South Korea participated in a Youth Leadership Summit. At the summit, students learned about important global challenges and the ways in which different national experiences drive international cooperation on critical issues.


Moscow students on stage with Russian theater teacher
Christopher High School youth delegation with SAAS students.

Enhancing youth delegates’ experiences

During a Russian students’ delegation to a Santa Clara County Science Fair, the commission enhanced the youth delegates’ local experiences by arranging for them to work as docents at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose and to shadow students at Christopher High School in Gilroy.

Santa Clara County/Moscow Arts Exchange Program

The County of Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission established the Santa Clara County/Moscow Arts Exchange in December 2009 to foster communication and collaboration between the art and cultural communities of Santa Clara County and Moscow. Activities will be devoted to the establishment and enhancement of literary, artistic and musical ties between professionals in the two regions.

Exchange activities may include:

  • Forging lasting connections between local and Moscow poets, prose writers, artists, musicians, critics, editors, and publishers;
  • Hosting collaborative events, exhibits and performances in Santa Clara County, in Moscow, and via the Web;
  • Engendering an exchange of written and artistic materials for publication in Santa Clara County and Moscow;
  • Creating new media outlets that highlight the exchange; and
  • Producing video and film subjects.

Partnership testimonials

Christopher High School was the only theater group In the United States that was invited to participate in the Slavic-Anglo-American School Shakespeare Festival in Moscow, Russia. Aside from an extraordinary opportunity to grow as artists and learn history, language, literature, and culture from a unique perspective, the trip to Moscow was a true exchange. Students attended classes with their Russian counterparts at the Slavic Anglo-American School and participated in workshops at the most prominent theatre conservatory in western culturethe Moscow Art Theatre


With Russia figuring prominently in world politics, it is important to forge connections to develop an understanding of each other's national character. The best way to do this is to interact with others whose history, traditions, and experience differ from ours. Our students shared creative interpretations of classic texts, explored themes and ideas, trained and collaborated with Russian teens. They experienced how the Russian students are educated and live. The insight gained from this experience will change how our students view themselves in the world and may influence their educational and career choices for years to come. -- Dr. Kate Booth, Christopher High School, Gilroy

"We really enjoy our interactions with Santa Clara County and I cannot thank enough Moscow Commissioner Nancy Madison, our main contact in the county, for all her help. Students from our school "Marina" in Moscow have been participating in the Santa Clara Valley Science and Engineering fair as guest participants since 2002, and it has been always an amazing experience for our students. However, last year was very special since our students also had an opportunity to work as volunteers at the Tech Museum and visit Christopher High School in Gilroy. Both events were organized with the help of the Moscow Commission."-- Dr. Marina Liubimova, Slavic-Anglo-American School, Moscow