Connect… Linking Asheville and Dunkeld & Birnam


Connect … Linking Asheville, North Carolina, USA and Dunkeld & Birnam
News from our twin town, Asheville
Seasons greetings from your friends in Asheville.
Now that the festivities surrounding proclamation signings and gift exchanges are past it is time to look forward and begin the pleasant task of exploring areas of mutual interest and developing life long relationships.
We have begun planning for two potential visits next year, one led by Kelly McEnany of ABTech in June and another by the University of North Carolina at Asheville in July or August ( their 1st alumni trip abroad ). Those that participated in the August proclamation signing have spoken so glowingly about Dunkeld-Birnam that many are asking to be included in our next trip. You, of course, are invited to come to Asheville, and we at Asheville Sister Cities are prepared to facilitate your visit and match you with your area of interest.
We have identified Arts & Crafts, Education, Outdoor Adventure, the Environment, Tourism, Business, Music, Gardens, Churches and Golf as areas that hold potential for collaboration. There undoubtedly will be more and you only need to point those out and we will follow up. The web site of our Convention and Visitors Bureau is an excellent source of information; will give you a detailed look into our city and surrounding area. You will find deep background on all the areas identified above, with the prospective visitors best interests in mind.
Asheville welcomes over 10 million visitors per year and is ranked consistently as one of the best places to vacation in the United States. Keep in mind that our sister city members are ready to accommodate you with home stays if that is your desire.
There is an immediate need that could be of interest to your college students looking for summer employment abroad. The YMCA of Western North Carolina operates Camp Watia and is looking for camp counselors for next summer.
Last year three counselors were from Scotland but not from the Perthshire Highlands. Anyone interested can apply at For information on the YMCA and Camp Watia go to
Fiona Ritchie and Alasdair Wylie are your contacts in Dunkeld - Birnam for information and referrals or you can contact me at or my co-chair Doug Orr at We look forward to a great relationship, the best is yet to come. From all of us, Merry Christmas and a guid New Year tae ane an' a', an' mony may ye see.
Ashville2Rick Lutovsky,
Dunkeld & Birnam Committee for Asheville


Inaugral General Meeting
The Inaugural General Meeting of the Friends of Asheville was held on 26th September at Birnam Arts. The proposed Constitution was adopted with one amendment, subject to the approval of those not able to be present, and the following officebearers were elected:
Chair: Fiona Ritchie
Vice–Chair: Simon Yearsley
Secretary: Alasdair Wylie
Treasurer: Brenda Roddy
Fiona Ritchie reported on the gathering momentum of the twinning project through 2016, a highlight of which was a live music-sharing public Skype event in Birnam Arts. In 2017 we drafted a Twinning/Sister Cities agreement together with the Asheville group’s Dunkeld and Birnam Committee and hosted a very successful Twinning weekend August 25-27 culminating in the signing of a joint proclamation. At the return event in Asheville, September 9-10, we presented a number of civic gifts from PKC and t-shirts commemorating the Twinning and returned with our copy of the proclamation, now signed by the Mayor of Asheville Esther Mannheimer and by John Swinney, MSP, Deputy First Minister. So it’s official!
Fiona also reported that the Friends of Asheville are now working on designing a logo, arranging with PKC for road signage to be erected, placing a permanent display in the library at Birnam Arts and opening an archive box at the Community Archive. In addition to local businesses developing their own links with Asheville businesses, we have received interest from a primary school there which we hope will be of interest to the Royal School of Dunkeld. There will be a regular column in Bridge and Asheville Sister Cities will supply regular contributions to keep the news flowing from North Carolina.
The meeting minuted thanks to Fiona Ritchie for her leadership in delivering the Twinning with Asheville, and noted the welcome support from Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council’s microgrant to help with the costs of getting started last year; our Twinning weekend activities in August also benefited from significant in-kind donations and direct sponsorship of a gifted art print for Asheville Sister Cities and ceilidh musician fees. The meeting agreed that the 2018 AGM would be on 25th September and that there would be quarterly ordinary meetings.
The next meeting of the Friends of Asheville, NC will be on Tuesday 16th January 2018, at The Chanonry, Cathedral St, 7.30pm. All welcome!
Thanks to everyone who has helped to get the Twinning going – there is already lots in prospect for 2018!

(c) The Bridge