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  • Nordic Story Trail - Holiday exhibition 2020
    Nov 20, 2020

American Swedish Institute Temporarily Closing as of November 21, 2020

American Swedish Institute Temporarily Closing as of November 21, 2020

Virtual Programming will continue. The Museum and FIKA will close, but the ASI Museum Store and adjacent Jul Shop will remain open Thursday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

MINNEAPOLIS  The American Swedish Institute (ASI) will temporarily close to the public as of Saturday, November 21, following new Covid-19 precautions issued by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. ASI anticipates reopening on Saturday, December 19, 2020, pending any further restrictions by the Governor’s office. With public safety foremost in mind, ASI will continue to offer a variety of virtual programs from an online version of its popular Julmarknad Holiday Market to family offerings including its Julglädje (“Christmas Joy”) interactive musical performance and a virtual Lucia Choir Concert.

Because retail stores are allowed to be open under the Governor’s orders, the ASI Museum Store and the adjacent seasonal Jul Shop, offering a broad selection of unique holiday decorations, imported glassware, textiles and more, will remain open Thursday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  through January 12, 2021, pending further notice (closed on Thanksgiving). The Store will accept walk-in customers at a limited capacity. Visitors must maintain safe distances and face coverings are required.  

FIKA Café will also be closed during this time, and will not offer take-out.  Updates will be noted on ASI’s website at on social media and by calling 612-871-4907 during public hours.

Virtual Programming

Online – Julmarknad Holiday Market 2020

Julmarknad, ASI’s popular holiday market, will continue this year with online shopping and virtual activities. This year’s virtual market highlights handmade items by talented local and regional artists who make distinctive jewelry, glass, textiles, wood and ceramics.  On Saturday, December 5, during our Virtual Julmarknad day on Zoom, artists will offer personal shopping experiences. Shop all 33 artists online at

Virtual – Julmarknad Day Artist Panels

Saturday,  December 5, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Hear from this year's artists during ASI’s  Virtual Julmarknad day artist panels. These 30-minute sessions offer a behind-the-scenes look at artists at work. Hear about their vision and process during conversations unfolding across craft disciplines. Registration is free. Join us through the online Zoom platform.

Julmarknad — December 5 Virtual Schedule and Vendors:

  • Use Every day, 10 – 10:30 a.m.  -  Kilns of Flanders, Clayhouse Pottery, Väva Veve, Becky Utecht Fiber and Felt, Kim Losse and Donna Millard, West Ash Designs, Homesteading Bliss
  • Play Every Day, 11 – 11:30 a.m.  - Traveling Tomten, Cecilia Schiller, MODplayhouse, äventyr, Ilrid Vikings, Lund Studios, The Sewing Swede, Silvercocoon
  • Wear Every Day, 1 – 1:30 p.m. - Steller Goods, AnnMade in MN, STITCHESbycarin, Laurie Jacobi, Briggs and Craft, Dottir, Lesley Darling Fibers, Tessoro, gretapearl, Catherine Schoenherr
  • Display Every Day, 2 – 2:30 p.m. - Simply Elegant Glass Art, J Renee Benda, Stanley Leonard Studio, Third Daughter, Restless Daughter, Kelzuki, Peder Hegland, Open Cupboard Designs, Studio Tupla 

Virtual - Julglädje (“Christmas Joy”) Performance

Saturday, November 28, 4 p.m.
Zoom in with the entire family for Julglädje, ASI’s annual “Christmas Joy” join-in family performance, offered virtually this year. With songs, games and smiles, kids become part of a joyful, interactive musical tale led by the engaging performer Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux as Tomte Kajsa, accompanied by popular musician Ross Sutter with Marya Hart on piano and Cheryl Paschke on nyckelharpa. They play a rollicking collection of Swedish and American holiday tunes that evoke the feeling of standing around the family piano. After the performance, the artists will be available for a virtual Q & A.  Access via Zoom. Register by 10 a.m. on November 28 to receive the Zoom link. $15 per connection

Virtual – ASI’s Lucia Celebration Concert
Sunday, December 13, 1 p.m.

Celebrate light in the winter with a special virtual concert on Zoom featuring the ASI Lucia Choir performing traditional Swedish music. Join the 2020 Lucias, Emmie Gumaelius of St. Paul and Nina Duffy of Mahtomedi, who have been participating in ASI’s Lucia Choir since age 4.  Fun family activities will be offered online throughout the day. Registration is required. $10 per household connection.

Virtual Tours - ongoing

The ASI continues to serve as a gathering place for families, friends and colleagues to celebrate together with new interactive, virtual tour experiences available starting in December. ASI interpreters have designed facilitated, interactive virtual experiences in real time using an iPad, available for individuals as well as groups through the Zoom platform. The public tours will focus on the Turnblad family, while unique private tours will explore the topics including Swedish Christmas Traditions and Behind the Scenes in ASI Collections. During all experiences, participants can ask questions and connect with one another through online conversations. To schedule and for pricing visit

Exhibitions in 2020-21

An extra/ordinary Holiday in Extraordinary Times

[Closed for in-person visits until at least December 19, 2020, 

Scheduled to be on view through January 10, 2021]

Go online to watch the video and read the stories behind An extra/ordinary Holiday in Extraordinary Times. Community partners from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland all contributed classic tales which inspired the outdoor Nordic Story Trail in ASI’s courtyard. While the Museum, including the decorated Mansion and story trail, are temporarily closed, ASI continues to share the aspects of the exhibition on and on social media.

AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE is a museum and cultural center that is a gathering place for all people to share experiences around themes of culture, migration, the environment and the arts, informed by enduring ties to Sweden.  It encompasses the historic Turnblad Mansion and the contemporary Nelson Cultural Center as well as the ASI Museum Store and the critically acclaimed FIKA Café. Founded by Swedish immigrant and newspaper publisher Swan J. Turnblad in 1929, ASI has grown to engage many audiences through innovative art exhibitions, public events, community and school programs including Story Swap with Wellstone International High School, language classes and Nordic craft and food-related workshops. The Wall Street Journal called ASI “[a] model of how a small institution can draw visitors through exciting programming.” ASI is located at 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota  55407. For more, visit or call 612-871-4907. 

ASI’s holiday season is supported by Karin Larson, Mike and Barb Nelson, and ASI’s members and supporters.

Minnesota artist activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.

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