Artist pushing for new NC sister city in Bali |

Artist pushing for new NC sister city in Bali

John HartKent Smith shows off a Balinese outfit. He wants Ubud, Bali, to become a sister city of Nevada City.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

The Nevada City City Hall may one day feature a Ubud Room to go with the Penzance Room, named after the city’s sister city in Cornwall, England.

Ubud, a town in the central mountains of Bali, an island of 3 million in the Indonesian archipelago, should become Nevada City’s second sister city, said Kent Smith, a resident who recently visited the island.

Last week, Smith pitched his idea to the City Council.

Ubud, like Nevada City, is an artistic and cultural center, said Smith, an artist who visited Bali for two months on what he called a “spiritual journey.” A town the size of Grass Valley, Ubud is famous for its dance troupes, architecture, sculpture and painting.

“It came to me while I was in Bali … that there is this natural connection between Nevada City and Bali,” Smith said.

Smith has already contacted Allan Rogers, the president of Grass Valley/Nevada City chapter of Sister Cities International. Sister Cities International is a nonprofit organization that matches cities throughout the world.

“It would be nice,” Rogers said of the possible matching with Ubud. There could be cultural and educational exchanges, he said.

The Sister Cities program, founded by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 to promote peace and better understanding among people, is an answer to the ugliness in the world, Rogers said. He and his wife have developed close friendships in Cornwall, he said.

It could be at least a year before a decision is made.

Local Sister Cities representatives have not yet met to discuss Ubud. The City Council would also have to pass a resolution. Smith said there is support for the effort in Ubud.

Penzance became Nevada City’s sister city in 1991.

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