Mullins Now Will Travel to Florence, Italy

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Byline: Sandra Del Re Daily Herald Staff Writer

Palatine Village President Rita L. Mullins usually has her bags packed, her passport ready and Dramamine close at hand.

After taking trips to Taiwan, Turkey, Germany, and France within the last four years to promote Palatine and reach out to foreign officials to discuss shared problems, this time she's gone to Florence, Italy.

The globe-trotting Mullins was invited there along with 12 other mayors as a guest of the Italian government. She will participate in a three-day symposium on the role of arts in the international economy.

The trip is being sponsored by the United States Conference of Mayors and the city of Florence.

The symposium, which begins on Thursday, will focus primarily on the role that arts can play in promoting economic growth in cities.

"We'll be talking about using art and culture as an economic development tool," she said. "In Palatine, we've displayed public art in the village hall and used vacant storefronts to display artists' (works). We did it downtown at the place which is now the Drum Pad. …