Albany-Tula Alliance

The Albany-Tula Alliance was a project initiated by a prominent local attorney, Charlotte Buchanan, and by then Albany Mayor, Mr. Thomas Whalen. The city of Tula, Russia became a sister-city of Albany. Mrs. Buchanan gathered together a group of prominent local business leaders in many fields, and together, a program of cultural exchanges, business initiatives, and educational projects were completed. 
In October 92', a group of 20 people arrived for a week long stay in Albany. Many local visits, seminars and forums were arranged for the group. Mr. Joe Bulmer, president of Hudson Valley Community College, generously donated the school's facilities for the group's stay. I worked with several Tula members to present a media discussion at WRGB in Schenectady. Jack Arnecke and David Lynch lent their time and expertise to the seminar. In fact, Jack Arnecke is very involved in the Russian exchange programs. He visited Tula for a week, and presented daily reports on his visit on the WRGB evening news.

A fund-raising project was the sale of Christmas greeting cards that were created from original artwork by Tula children, 8 differnet cards in all.

My job, on this beautiful fall day, was to take Sergey Degtjarev, Boris Dunlev, and our interpreter, Holly, out to see Albany. Holly had recently emigrated to the US.

We were able to visit city hall, the state Capitol, and the South Mall. That evening there was a dinner and entertainment at HVCC.

Another outing that week was a picnic at the Polish Community Center. Activities included line dancing lessons, volleyball, and lots to eat! A nice opportunity for casual talk and fun.

Segey, Jack Arnecke, Jack's wife Joanne, and their son Matt. This was taken at a dinner at HVCC. Mr. Arnecke made sure that the visit was a feature of the evening news each night. The Tula Alliance Committee also included Sally White, wife of Times Union publisher Tim White. We were well represented by the media!

The building to the left is a historic church in Tula.

Tula is famous for two things. First, they manufacture the Kalashnikov assault rifle, and second, they make a wide variety of samovurs, which are elaborate tea pots. They are really more than that, they are works of art in metal, and are brought out for special occassions only. They are a prized posession for Russian families, and are handed down between generations.

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