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  • Turnblad Mansion in Winter at Sunset
    Oct 29, 2020

An extra/ordinary Holiday in Extraordinary Times Opens at ASI November 14

MINNEAPOLIS – An extra/ordinary Holiday in Extraordinary Times is a new indoor/outdoor, immersive exhibition experience encompassing the richly decorated Turnblad Mansion and an open-air Nordic story trail, on view at the American Swedish Institute (ASI) November 14, 2020 –January 10, 2021. The story trail was designed by community partners from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland, with each country highlighting classic holiday tales at stations winding through ASI’s courtyard and Mansion grounds.  ASI is one of the region’s most popular holiday destinations and it has adapted its signature holiday programming, including its Julmarknad Holiday Market, to combine live and virtual elements.

The ASI Museum, Museum Store and FIKA Café are open to the public with new hours: Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To visit the museum, please make advance, timed reservations at or call 612-871-4907 during public hours. Visitors must maintain safe distances and face coverings are required.  The Store and FIKA will accept walk-in customers. The full FIKA lunch menu and table service are available from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.  with Marketplace take-out orders also available.

 ASI has free on-site parking and is located at 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407.

ASI’s annual Julmarknad Holiday Market runs November 14 – December 20. This year it will feature a virtual market, a selection of in-person artisan vendors at outdoor market stalls and a Virtual Day with chances to shop and connect further with artists. The Julglädje (Christmas Joy) join-in family performance will be offered online, in addition to a virtual Lucia Celebration concert.  The ASI Museum Store launches its Jul Shop November 12 with Member Appreciation weekend November 12–15 offering additional discounts. 

ASI HIGHLIGHTS – additional information

Exhibitions in 2020

An extra/ordinary Holiday in Extraordinary Times

November 14, 2020 – January 10, 2021

American Swedish Institute brings stories to life through An extra/ordinary Holiday in Extraordinary Times, an immersive indoor/outdoor experience. Inside the Turnblad Mansion,  ASI continues its 40-plus-year tradition of holiday decorating.  An array of handcrafted hanging hearts from ASI members and neighbors also greets guests as they arrive. Outside, step into a story trail following a series of story stations winding through ASI’s courtyard and Mansion grounds, designed by community partners from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. Sweden’s story station will build on the adventures of Pippi Longstocking.  In Iceland’s tale about the Yuletide cat, only a gift of clothing can protect children from this hungry feline. Norway’s story explores the songs and traditions related to Nissen, the gnome-like protector of farms.  In Finland’s tales of the Fox Fire, arctic foxes spark fires that light up the sky.  Denmark’s story, inspired by The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen, celebrates living in the moment and a grove of symbolic fir trees.

The Mansion’s decorations build on the bright colors and playful objects of the extra/ordinary exhibition which highlights untold stories behind objects from ASI’s collection.  The 90th anniversary installation was inspired by the book A to Zäåö: Playing with History at the American Swedish Institute (U of MN Press) featuring artwork by Twin Cities artists Tara Sweeney and her son Nate Christopherson.  


In-Person and Online Julmarknad Holiday Market 2020

Julmarknad, ASI’s popular and family friendly holiday market, will be offered this year with a mix of in-person and virtual activities. On weekends during public hours, find selected vendors in-person at market stalls outside in the ASI Courtyard — inspired by open air holiday markets in Sweden! Additional online artist sales and virtual panels highlight 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 held via Zoom, some artists will offer personal shopping experiences. Included in museum admission.

Julmarknad On-Site Weekends Outside

Get advance tickets, which also include the ASI holiday exhibition, to shop in person from the following artisans:

November 14 – 15: West Ash Designs, Clayhouse Pottery Studio, and Third Daughter, Restless Daughter

November 21 – 22: gretapearl, The Sewing Swede, Väva! Veve!, and Briggs and Craft Knits

November 28 – 29: Traveling Tomten, Lund Studios, and Simply Elegant Glass Art

December 5 – 6: Cecilia Schiller, Steller Handcrafted Goods and Dottir

December 12 – 13: AnnMade in Minnesota, Ilrid Vikings, Becky Utecht Felt & Fiber, and Kilns of Flanders

December 19 – 20:  STITCHESbycarin, Catherine Schoenherr, Kelzuki, and Stanley Leonard Studio

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.

Schedule and list of 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!  We will also provide fun activities for you and your family throughout the day. Registration is required. $10 per household connection.

Holiday Highlights – Classes and Workshops

VIRTUAL:  Watercolor Heirloom Recipe with Tara Sweeney, December 9 – 10, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Join instructor Tara Sweeney,  the artist behind the watercolors in ASI’s extra/ordinary exhibition, to learn the basics of watercolor either by illustrating a treasured family recipe to keep or share as a gift. Playful exercises to help illustrate ideas and capture patterns combined with instructor demos lead to the creation of a special work of art.  The class is taught over two sessions on Zoom. $85 ASI members / $95 non-members. Students provide their own materials.

Virtual  –  Make Your Own Lussekatter with Erin Swenson-Klatt, December 11 or 12, 1 – 2 p.m.  (hour break) to 3 – 4:30 p.m.  Prepare to celebrate St. Lucia Day on December 13 by learning how to make the iconic, saffron-flavored rolls, and about the history behind them. $30 ASI member / $35 non-member households.

Virtual  –  Jul Allsång, December 10 and 17, 6:30 – 8 p.m.  Join ASI online for a holiday singalong. Learn and sing holiday songs in Swedish. $10 ASI members/ $15 non-members

The Jul Shop at the American Swedish Institute Museum Store is open November 12, 2020 through January 12, 2021. ASI Member Appreciation weekend is Thursday – Sunday, November12 – 15 with tiered discounts for ASI Members.  The seasonal Jul Shop offers a broad selection of unique holiday decorations, imported glassware, textiles and more.


Exhibitions: Papier opening February 6, 2021. In a juncture between art and fashion, two Swedish artists Bea Szenfeld and Stina Wirsén meet in a mutual love for handcraft and the common material of paper. This traveling international exhibition combines Szenfeld's spectacular sculptural paper-fashions with Wirsén’s colorful and lively illustrations.


The ASI Museum, Museum Store and FIKA Café are open to the public with new hours: Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m.  – 4 p.m. To visit the museum, please make advanced, timed reservations at, or call 612-871-4907 during public hours. Distancing restrictions will apply and face masks are required.  The Store and FIKA will accept walk-in customers. The full FIKA lunch menu and counter service is available from 11 a.m. –  3 p.m.  FIKA will also offer an expanded Marketplace holiday take-out menu with Julbord Family Meal Kits, Lucia buns and holiday cookies available for pre-sale, pick-up. Order at


Museum Admission: $12 adults, $8 seniors ages 62 +, $6 ages 6–18 and full-time students with ID.

Free for ASI members and children ages 5 and under.  Advance, timed reservations and face coverings are required.


Hours:  Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The ASI, FIKA and the Store are closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Full FIKA menu is served 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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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