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ABSTRACT A nine-month experiment, “Bonjour Seattle,” suggests the possibility of building community support for the motivation to learn about other peoples. The Community Advisory Board of a multidisciplinary university group started small, and after two years organized a city-wide program of some 50 cultural and commercial events. Financial contributions and volunteer time totaled more than $135,000. Suggestive for others is the program's experience of different types of events, management with 130 volunteer workers, fund-raising, and trade promotion.

The program led to a second-year phase, concentrating on trade development, French conversation and discussion groups, and as centerpiece, the twinning with a French sister city. This relationship interests the community and the media, and it solves the problem of arousing a reciprocal interest among the French. It gives a role to city and state government, and affords the opportunity for a membership organization.

Understaffed and undercapitalized as it was, the program built bridges between education, business, and government as well as between an ethnic group and a community, and between the Pacific Northwest and France.