ARPINO, ITALY - August 6, 2016 marked the official sister city relationship between the Borough of Roselle Park and the Community of Arpino Italy. At a special meeting of the Council of Arpino, surrounded by a gallery of art, the Mayor and Council unanimously approved the sister city relationship to build artistic and cultural bonds as well as the  added benefit of educational, economical, and governmental initiatives. After the vote Roselle Park Councilman Thomas (Thos) Shipley, along with Arpino Mayor Renato Rea and Councilman Francesco Rabotti signed the proclamations officially designating the two community as sister cities.

Shipley thanked the Mayor and Council for the honor. “We welcome you in our community and as we have learned much from Arpino and the graciousness of its people.”  

A presentation was made by Shipley of Roselle Park memorabilia: art from resident artist and Arts Council member Pico Reinoso called “African Violet,”  the Roselle Park history book, Roselle Park Loves Arts! shirts made from resident Jenny Lichtenwalner and business Charlie Thyme, a Roselle Park anniversary sweatshirt, a bottle of Climax Beer produced in Roselle Park, anniversary coins from the boroughs Historical Society and a CD from Thos Shipley.

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The meeting ended in song. “One Voice” written by Barry Manilow, was dedicated by Shipley in recognition of the sister city relationship how the voices of two communities can join together to improve the lives of our world.

Afterward, Shipley was introduced to artist Lesya Baranska and interior designer Romina Quaglieri, whose work was both on display at the meeting. Mayor Renato Rea and Councilman Francesco Rabotti introduced Councilman Shipley to the Mandolin Museum located in the municipal building and discussed the “Gonfalone” and annual week long cultural sport, similar to the Palio of Siena, where areas of the community complete in various games in traditional garb to win bragging rights for the best in the community.

The Roselle Park Arts Council along with Roselle Park Loves Arts adopted the “Arts Beyond Borders” initiative, to increase awareness of the importance of building the cultural, educational, economic and government relationships that are mutually beneficial to communities around the world.

Arpino Italy, also known as the “Community of Art” has maternal roots with former Roselle Park Mayor Joseph DeIorio. The former mayor and Councilman Shipley first met with Arpino Councilman Francesco Rabotti and Mayor Renator Rea during their visit in 2014 and took the opportunity to discuss both communities and opportunities.