Swedish Royalty to Dedicate ASI’s New Nelson Cultural Center
Visit Marks 150th Anniversary of the Founding of Gustavus Adolphus College
MINNEAPOLIS — Sept. 27, 2012 — Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will visit the American Swedish Institute (ASI) and Gustavus Adolphus College Oct. 4-6, 2012.
The royal visit is in honor of the dedication of the American Swedish Institute’s new Nelson Cultural Center and other recent campus enhancements, and in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of Gustavus Adolphus College by Swedish immigrants in 1862.
“The American Swedish Institute and Gustavus Adolphus College are important links between Sweden and the United States,” remarked Ambassador of Sweden to the United States, H.E. Jonas Hafström. “The American Swedish Institute offers our community an exemplary calendar of arts and culture programming that celebrates heritage and connects to contemporary Nordic culture. Gustavus’ annual Nobel Conference was the first ongoing conference in the United States to have the official authorization of The Nobel Foundation and annually brings together over 5,000 participants with the world’s foremost scholars and researchers.”
The King and Queen will start their three-day visit at the American Swedish Institute for a private tour of the new Carl and Leslie Nelson Cultural Center. They will travel to Gustavus Adolphus College on Friday, Oct. 5, where they will take part in a chapel service, a dedication ceremony for the College’s new Sesquicentennial Plaza, and concurrent seminars on environmental sustainability and protecting the world’s women and children.
On Saturday, Oct. 6, Their Majesties will visit the American Swedish Institute to formally dedicate the Carl and Leslie Nelson Cultural Center, as well as other extensive renovations to the historic Turnblad Mansion and the campus grounds, in front of a crowd of 400 donors, dignitaries, ASI members and volunteers. A live webcast of the program will be shown on the ASI website, www.ASImn.org. The theme of the dedication is Linking Art, Earth and Community, referencing ASI’s commitment to presenting art and handcraft, exemplary sustainable practices, and serving as a gathering place for the entire community.
When the American Swedish Institute opened its new Nelson Cultural Center on June 30, 2012, Gustavus Adolphus College officially opened an office suite in the building, establishing an urban presence on the ASI campus for purposes of alumni relations, student recruitment and educational programming. Gustavus and ASI have been longtime partners in many activities to benefit the community; a number of collaborative educational and cultural programs are currently under development.
“The American Swedish Institute and Gustavus Adolphus College are pleased to welcome Their Majesties back to Minnesota to help celebrate important moments in the lives of two institutions founded by Swedish immigrants that play important roles in our communities and in sustaining relationships between Sweden and this country,” said Bruce Karstadt, president/CEO of the American Swedish Institute and Jack Ohle, president of Gustavus Adolphus College.
The King and Queen will help the ASI community, joined by local dignitaries, to formally dedicate both new and expanded spaces on the ASI campus, including:
- The 34,000-square-foot Carl and Leslie Nelson Cultural Center that adjoins the historic Turnblad Mansion. This sustainable building (designed to achieve LEED Gold rating) dramatically increases available space for artistic, cultural and historical programming as well as contemporary topics such as new immigrant experiences;
- Recent renovations to the 1908 historic Turnblad Mansion, which added a community hall, library, classrooms and a new elevator-stairway circulation tower; and,
- Extensive exterior additions, including a large plaza area for events, festivals and neighborhood gatherings, a green roof on the new Cultural Center, a geothermal well field for heating/cooling, increased parking areas, and other major landscaping additions and improvements.
On the Gustavus Adolphus College campus, the King and Queen will help the campus community celebrate activities of the 150th anniversary of the College, including:
- Participation in a Festival Worship Service in Christ Chapel where King Carl XVI Gustaf will speak and an altar cloth produced by Gustaf V (the current King’s great-grandfather) will be dedicated and installed.
- The dedication of the Sesquicentennial Plaza and Sesquicentennial Sculpture, which anchor the connection between Christ Chapel, the new West Mall and the College’s Linnaeus Arboretum.
- His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf will attend a seminar titled “From Global to Local: Teaching and Living Environmental Sustainability,” while Her Majesty Queen Silvia will take part in a seminar titled “Protecting and Supporting the World’s Women and Children.”
- Celebration of the opening of the Hillstrom Museum of Art exhibition 150 Years of Swedish Art which includes works lent by two of the most prestigious art museums in Sweden – the National Museum and the Modern Museum, in Stockholm.
For more information about the pending royal visit, please contact these representatives of the two host institutions:
For the American Swedish Institute royal visit media relations: Tracy Carlson, media relations supervisor, 612-455-1717 or email@example.com.
For Gustavus Adolphus College: Matt Thomas, director of media relations and internal communication at 507-933-7510 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available at www.gustavus.edu/royalvisit.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE
The American Swedish Institute is a vibrant arts and cultural organization and historic home located near downtown Minneapolis. Now in its 82nd year of service, it maintains deep ties to its heritage, to its community, and to collaborative relationships with major institutions throughout this country and Sweden. It was originally founded as the American Institute of Swedish Arts, Literature and Science in 1929 by Swan Johan Turnblad, a successful newspaper publisher, and has been housed since its founding in the 1908 mansion built by the Turnblad family, a structure that is on the National Register of Historic Places and a widely-known icon for the Twin Cities.
More than 66,000 people found their way to ASI last year for classes, programs, tours, exhibits, and other educational opportunities. These activities revolved around such diverse topics as immigration and cultural identity, art and design, family and traditions, and our roles as global citizens. King Carl XVI Gustaf extended his royal patronage to the American Swedish Institute in 2004.
ABOUT GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS COLLEGE
The Rev. Eric Norelius, an immigrant Swedish Lutheran pastor, founded the College in Red Wing, Minnesota, in 1862. It was moved to East Union the following year, where it was called the Minnesota Preparatory School. In 1865, when Swedish Lutherans were celebrating the 1,000th anniversary of the death of St. Ansgar, it was renamed St. Ansgar’s Academy. The school was moved to St. Peter in 1876 and named Gustavus Adolphus College to honor the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf (1594–1632), who defended Protestantism during the Thirty Years War.
Originally a college of the Swedish Lutheran Church in Minnesota, Gustavus was founded in order to provide pastors and teachers for the Swedish immigrants settling in Minnesota. Today Gustavus Adolphus College enrolls approximately 2,500 students from 46 states and some 20 foreign countries. Gustavus is proud of its extraordinary rate of retention from year to year, which averages 93 percent. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education has ranked Gustavus among the top colleges in the country in the percentage of alumni who contribute to the school. Today, Gustavus Adolphus College operates under the auspices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations.