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Peter Svarzbein

Chairman, Sister Cities International

The son of immigrants and the grandson of a holocaust survivor, Peter Svarzbein is an artist-curator, municipal consultant, and recent two-term El Paso City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tempore. During graduate school at the School of Visual Arts, Svarzbein created the “El Paso Transnational Trolley Project,” a self-created activist/artist project that resulted in a $97 million state grant for a Intra-city trolley route using the Original PCC Streetcars that once ran between Juaréz, Mx, & El Paso, Tx. This project is currently scheduled to be published as the “Trolley Solution,” a limited edition fine-art book by Harvard University Press in 2024.

He has been a board member of Sister Cities International since 2016, and currently serves as national Chairman of Sister Cities International, the first Latino to do so.  He currently focuses on art, advocacy and community oriented consulting and has been featured on national and international media and speaking engagements on trade, transportation and international relations.

Svarzbein has exhibited work both nationally and internationally including video installation in the Guggenheim’s “Still-Spotting NYC” exhibition, at UTEP’s Rubin Gallery in a bi-national exhibition “El Flow” and in the “Puro Border” exhibition at the INBA Museum of Fine Art in Juaréz, Mx. His most recent installation “Conversos Y Tacos Kosher Gourmet Trucks est. 1492” was funded through a National Endowments for the Arts grant and featured on NPR’s “Here and Now.” He has taught at the Texas Tech College of Architecture, NMSU, and has lectured at Harvard University and UTEP.