In 1956, President Eisenhower established a sister-city program to "promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation one individual, one community at a time."
The program was seen as a way to increase global cooperation at the municipal level, to promote cultural understanding and to stimulate private business and economic development.
In 1958, Salt Lake City initiated a sister-city affiliation with Matsumoto City in Nagano, Japan, because the two cities have similar natural environments, dry climates and landscapes.
To commemorate 50 years of Salt Lake City's relationship with Matsumoto City, the Salt Lake City Library will host a variety of programs featuring Japanese arts and culture.
From Dec. 1 to Jan. 12, in honor of the anniversary of Salt Lake City's relationship with Matsumoto City, The Gallery at Library Square is hosting an exhibit of Japanese arts and crafts. Items in the exhibit include gifts from Matsumoto City to Salt Lake City, the mayor of Salt Lake City and the City Council.
In addition, the exhibit includes a collection of Japanese woodblock prints from the library's collection, as well as items borrowed from private collections. Together these works present a small sampling of the arts and crafts of Japan. There will be a public reception Saturday at 10 a.m.