Day 4: First Lady Shares Indiana Literature & Music, Continues Library Cultural Exchange



Indianapolis – Today First Lady Karen Pence visited the Hangzhou Public Library, located in Hangzhou, the capital of Indiana’s sister-state Zhejiang Province, where she presented Hoosier literature and music recordings to library officials, continuing the cultural exchange she initiated in April in Indianapolis.


“What an honor today has been to experience the tremendous Chinese culture through the gracious hospitality of Mr. Chu, his staff and the beautiful surroundings of the Hangzhou Public Library,” said First Lady Karen Pence. “It is my sincere pleasure to receive on behalf of Jackie Nytes, CEO of the Indianapolis Public Library, Library staff and all Hoosiers Collections of Books and Documents of the West Lake including 39 books composed of  local annals, operas and novels regarding the West Lake, which illustrates the long history and the development of the city of Hangzhou. It was a privilege to receive a stone seal, with my name beautifully engraved in Chinese. Mr. Chu and Jackie Nytes have developed a relationship that has built a cultural bridge between Hangzhou and Indiana. It gives me great pride to continue this important relationship.”

Mrs. Pence presented Mr. Chu Shuqing, Hangzhou Public Library’s director, and other library leaders with music recordings of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Nico Muhly Cello Concerto as well as a book entitled “Hoosiers, A New History of Indiana” by James H. Madison. In exchange, the Hangzhou Public Library gave her a collection of books about Hangzhou’s West Lake as well as an engraved stone seal. Both libraries will showcase the gifts as part of the exchange.


“Indianapolis and Hangzhou became sister cities in 2007. Since then, lots of meaningful communications and cooperation between the two cities have been developed and expanded,” said Mr. Chu Shuqing, the director of the Hangzhou Public Library. “Under this friendly environment, Indianapolis Public library and Hangzhou Public Library started their friendship in 2011. The two parties have enhanced mutual understanding and relation by holding cooperative cultural activities, exchanging books and staff members ever since. We were so excited that the “Taste of Indianapolis 2013” exhibition which was displayed in Hangzhou Public Library won a Most Innovative Award by Sister Cities International last year. This time, We are very honored and privileged by the visit of Mrs. Pence, the First Lady of Indiana State, and very glad to learn that she has great interests in Chinese culture and art. I believe that our relation will be steadily improved through the upcoming cultural exchange event which I’m really expecting.”


On April 28, the first lady kicked off the exchange at The Indianapolis Public Library where Jackie Nytes, chief executive officer of The Indianapolis Public Library, presented Mrs. Pence with a music recording and book to bring with her to China to present to Mr. Chu.


In addition to furthering the Hoosier State’s ties with its sister-state of Zhejiang Province, the exchange also strengthens the ongoing sister-city relationship shared between Indianapolis and Hangzhou. The Indianapolis Public Library has an ongoing relationship with the Hangzhou library and has historically participated in ambassadorial exchanges of library staff, with Hangzhou Public Library and The Indianapolis Public Library alternating sending staff to spend time in the other’s library programs.


“The library is thrilled that Mrs. Pence is reaching out to our partners at the Hangzhou Public Library to continue this ongoing exchange of culture and understanding that is beneficial to citizens in each city,” said Jackie Nytes, chief executive officer of The Indianapolis Public Library. “The gifts she will present in Hangzhou on behalf of the library represent the latest in Hoosier literature and music, and thanks to Mrs. Pence we know they will be well received.”


This is the latest exchange in the first lady’s ongoing efforts to build and strengthen Indiana’s international relationships through cultural ties. During Governor Mike Pence’s trip to Germany last year, the first lady traveled to Löhne, Germany to meet with the mayor of the city and present him with a banner created by Columbus, Indiana elementary school students. In 2013, on the Governor’s inaugural jobs and economic development mission to Japan, the first lady initiated an art exchange between third grade students in Lafayette and its Japanese sister-city, Ota City.