Entertaining, informative, and a look to the future was what everyone experienced who attended the Santa Barbara – Kotor Sister City event at the Music Academy of the West, on Sunday October 2nd.
Guests enjoyed original music created and performed by musicians from the department of music UCSB and Montenegro, along with performances by celebrated guitarist MILOŠ and the Crown Prince of Montenegro, Nicholas Petrovich-Njegoš. A documentary exploring the history of the U.S. and Montenegro and an emotional look back at 13 years of Sister City exchanges between Santa Barbara and Kotor were the highlights of the evening.
Dignitaries from both Sister Cities were on hand as Santa Barbara’s, Dr. Ichak K. Adizes, was awarded the newly established American Montenegro – USA Friendship Award under the patronage of the President of Montenegro, Mr. Milo Djukanović.
Ratimir Martinović, along with Helene Schnieder, presented the ME&US Fund (Montenegro & United States) a project initiated by Santa Barbara – Kotor Sister Cities, KotorArt, the SJL Foundation and the Don Branko Sbutega Foundation. With its mission to strengthen the civil and cultural ties between the two countries and their citizens.
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Montenegro, composers from Santa Barbara and Kotor created original music, representative of their home countries, which was performed by young musicians from each of our Sister Cities. The performance was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro, Judy Rising Reinke, and Sister City Committee liaison, Vickie Williams.
As an encore, these young musicians will perform this program at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara on October 2, 2022. Also performing will be Montenegrin guitarist, Miloš Karadaglić, together with Nicholas Petrovic Njegoš, the Crown Prince of Montenegro, on flute. Other dignitaries from both Sister Cities will be on hand as Santa Barbara’s Dr. Ichak K. Adizes is awarded the newly established American Montenegro – USA Friendship Award under the patronage of the President of Montenegro, Mr. Milo Djukanović.
Santa Barbara City College culinary student, Alberto Santamaria, has been chosen by the Santa Barbara – Kotor Sister City Committee to intern at the prestigious Regent Porto Montenegro for the summer of 2022. This informal program had its beginnings in 2010 when Randy Bublitz, former chair of the Culinary Arts School at SBCC, traveled to Kotor to teach a group of young students from the Institute for Children With Disabilities the basic skills for entry level work in Montenegro’s resorts and restaurants. These students, despite their hearing impairments, thrived in the restaurant environment creating multiple employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth.
The success of the program also resulted in SBCC culinary students, Ava Engle and Marcelo Chacon, being invited to intern at the Regent Porto Montenegro in the summer of 2021. The impression these two made on the manager and chef of the Resort resulted in an agreement for continuing the relationship between SBCC culinary tudents and the Regent Porto Montenegro Resort.
The Santa Barbara Sister City Committee is pleased to have established a meaningful exchange program between our Sister Cities that touches the lives of young people for years to come.
Dear Friends of Kotor,
KotorArt was invited by the U.S. Ambassador in Podgorica to apply for a small grant with a project that would strengthen the connections between the United States and Montenegro. We see no better basis for a project like this, than our established collaboration with the Santa Barbara-Kotor Sister City Committee and the University of California Santa Barbara Music Department!
Receiving this grant will allow us to commission four original pieces, from two composers, one from Montenegro and one from Santa Barbara, inspired by Montenegrin and United States heritage (local melodies, jazz standards, etc.).
To perform these pieces, we will create a small ensemble of four young musicians (two from each country). They will collaborate and prepare online, and finally meet in person, to rehearse and perform the pieces at the KotorArt International Music Festival, the University of California Santa Barbara and the Music Academy of the West in 2022.
Founder and Executive Director of KotorArt
In our first exchange since the beginning of Covid19 SBCC Culinary Students Ava Engle and Marcelo Chacon received paid internships in the kitchen at the Regent, Porto Montenegro. Along with the experience of working at one of the finest resorts in Montenegro they had the opportunity to work with employees from several other countries. Their work effort was exceptional and resulted in an invitation to continue this program in 2022.
UCSB Music Students Sara Bashore, Violinist and Katrina Agate, Cellist joined KotorArt musicians Andrija Jovovic, Piano and Nastasja Vojinovic, Violin to perform at the Music Academy of the West in January 2020. The Concert ‘Strings and Keys’ was a celebration of the collaboration between the Santa Barbara – Kotor, Montenegro Sister City Program and the UCSB Department of Music.