International Relations

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Vision
The City of Holland connected to and growing with the wider world.

Our Mission
We build and maintain meaningful relationships between the people of Holland and the wider world through cultural, educational and professional contact.

Our Values
Respect: We commit to the highest levels of courtesy and fairness for those who serve on this commission and those whom this commission serves.

Reliability: We fulfill our commitments to ourselves, Holland residents, its government, and our local and global partners.

Collaboration: We seek great ideas and resources in our community and beyond our borders.

Hospitality: We strive to make Holland a welcoming community for everyone.

IRC Activities

Sister and Friendship Cities
Inspired by President Dwight D. Eisenhower call for people-to-people, citizen diplomacy, the IRC seeks to promote cultural understanding within and beyond our borders. Through the efforts of its commissioners, Holland became sister city to Queretaro, Mexico, in 1999, and since then more than 24 delegations have crossed the border to share gifts and talents for mutual growth.

IRC Film Series
Through its annual film series, the IRC provides opportunities for area residents to gain increased awareness and insights into different cultures abroad and at home. The programs are free of charge and include audience discussion moderated by local historians and subject-matter experts. A listing of this year's films is coming soon. 

International Festival
IRC's hosted the first annual International Festival of Holland on August 17, 2019. More than 2,500  people enjoyed the performances of 11 music and dance groups representing various countries. The Children's Fiesta featured arts from around the world and a Festival passport station. The Festival Mercado (marketplace) provided audiences with an opportunity to sample and purchase international cuisine and merchandise. The 2020 International Festival of Holland is scheduled for Saturday, August 15, 2020 at the Civic Center Place.  

Community Collaborations
The IRC seeks to collaborate with all of Holland's organizations --cultural, educational and professional-- in promoting cultural understanding.

Regular Meetings

  • 5:30 p.m.
  • 1st Thursday of every month
  • City Hall, 2nd Floor Training Room
    270 S River Avenue, Holland, MI 49423

These are public meetings and all residents are encouraged to attend. Auxiliary aide services can be made available for persons with hearing and/or visual impairments for these meetings by calling our office at 616-355-1328, 48 hours prior to the meeting dates.

IRC Meeting Dates

January  3, 2019 July 11, 2019
February 7, 2019 August 1, 2019
March 7,2019 September 5, 2019
April 4, 2019 October 3, 2019
May 2, 2019 November 7, 2019
June 7, 2019 December 5, 2019

Current Members

(as of 11/12/19)

The International Relations Commission is comprised of volunteers interested in promoting cultural understanding throughout the Holland community. Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and serve for 3 year terms. If you're interested in joining the IRC please fill out an Appointed Volunteer Application and return it to Volunteer Coordinator, City of Hollland.

Chair:  Alissa English

Members:

  • Jane Ann Dalman
  • Cynthia Hogan
  • Alissa English
  • Lorene Duin
  • Carol Jurgens
  • Baltazar Nunez-Aguado
  • Russ Miller
  • Jacklyn Humbarger

Student Representatives:

  • Mariel Vander Schuur
  • Ethan Meyers

City Staff and Liaisons: