International Events

In addition to organizing the sister-city exchanges, WIFA coordinates a variety of activities to enhance cultural relationships in the Worthington community. Ethnic dinners, lectures and international festival celebrations are just a few of the ways WIFA strives to achieve its goals of fostering intercultural friendships, welcoming international newcomers, and learning and experiencing cultural differences. The City of Worthington and WIFA believe that understanding different cultures and customs is essential for living in the global community of the 21st century.

A mix of in-person and virtual programming is being offered. We hope you will join us for our upcoming programs outlined here. 

SIFA zoom 10-14-2020

Scroll down to view videos of past WIFA-SIFA Live virtual programs presented in partnership with our sister-city Sayama, Japan. Programs include an Art Gallery Tour & Talks, Tour of Gardens, Student Music Showcase, and Sister City Holiday Traditions.

   2023 programs   

February 3, 2023 - WIFA International Celebration Dinner

After taking 2021 and 2022 off, WIFA's signature event returns in 2023. This year, WIFA is partnering with the Turkish American Society of Ohio to feature Turkish culture. The event will include dinner, entertainment and a speaker. It takes place at the Worthington Presbyterian Church beginning at 6pm on February 3, 2023. The dinner is free for current 2023 members. 

Fill out the online registration form and join WIFA here

Download membership and registration form (pdf)

Download Event Flyer

February 15, 2023 - Book Discussion featuring Turkish Culture (via Zoom)

The Worthington International Friendship Association Book Group plans to meet via Zoom on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 7pm to discuss books featuring Turkish culture. The format will continue to offer more titles to choose from. You may read all, or just one or two. There will be round robin discussion related to the cultures and how they are reflected in the different books.  Book reservations may be made online by following the links for each title or by calling the Worthington Libraries at 614-807-2626. The link to the Zoom meeting will be sent to registrants prior to the discussion. Register here

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali

Istanbul and Beyond: Exploring the Diverse Cuisines of Turkey,” by Robyn Eckhardt

Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities by Bettany Hughes

Black Sea by Neal Ascherson

Note other upcoming 2023 book discussion dates: 

  • Tuesday, May 16 - Japan
  • Wednesday, August 16 - TBD
  • Tuesday, November 14 - TBD

April 1-9, 2023 - Columbus Cherry Blossom Festival

WIFA will participate in the 2023 Columbus Cherry Blossom Festival at Franklin Park. Details to be announced.

April 26, 2023 - The Art & Craft of Bonsai

7pm at the Old Worthington Library, featuring Mark Passerrello, President of the Columbus Bonsai Society

May 8, 2023 - Current Events in Iran

7pm at the Old Worthington Library, featuring OSU Lecturer Mehrak Kamali

   Past Featured Programs - WIFA-SIFA Live!  

program closing graphic (Final)
Program opening slide for website
program open graphic for website
zoom opening slide (post event)

While the pandemic temporarily paused our in-person sister city delegation visits, the Worthington and Sayama International Friendship Associations are coming together virtually to hold joint, live programs featuring cultures and conversation. 

October 2022 Art Tour and Talks

WIFA and SIFA hosted a live virtual program on October 22/23, 2022 featuring art and artists, conversation and discussion, to strengthen cultural understanding and bonds of our long-time sister city relationship. Citizens of Worthington and Sayama Japan came together for artist interviews and tours of art galleries and showcased the dynamic art scenes and creative talents in each community.

October 2021 Tour of Gardens

WIFA and SIFA presented a Tour of Gardens program showcasing gardens of each community.

March 2021 Student Music Showcase

WIFA and SIFA held a virtual student music showcase, which featured choral and instrumental music, and also reflected on the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. 

December 2020 Holiday Traditions

The first-ever live virtual WIFA-SIFA program featured winter holiday traditions from Sayama and Worthington.