One of Minnesota’s most anticipated holiday experiences returns in November and runs through January 9th as the American Swedish Institute kicks off its 71st annual holiday celebration!
Classic meets contemporary in this year’s exhibition within the Turnblad Mansion as guest curators representing Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, the Sami Culture Center, and the Hmong Museum, come together at one, over-sized, round table in the Ballroom to share stories and traditions though festive place settings and décor from the home.
If being outside is more your scene, be sure to check out the ASI courtyard decorated with festive red holiday market stalls and activated with kubb, vendors, warm fires and live music on select days.
This year, the special guest curators joining in this annual exhibition are from the Hmong Museum, representing Minnesota’s vibrant Hmong Community. In addition to settings at the table in the Ballroom, they will take visitors on a deeper dive into the celebration of the Hmong New Year in ASI’s Artist Studio. A yearly celebration that happens every November, the Hmong New Year is a time to come together, celebrate the completion of the harvest, and welcome a new beginning.
This year will also feature the photography series Northern Natureby Wisconsin National Geographic Explorer Erika Skogg. This series highlights Nordic-American culture in homes and communities across the Upper Midwest.
Meet the Community Curators
The Hmong community is represented by Mai Nhia Vang Huizel and Chuayi Yang of the Hmong Museum — a local museum without walls focused on highlighting the intersection of all things Hmong: language, arts, stories, and traditions.
The Sami community is represented by Marlene Wisuri, Tanley Lego, and Nancy Olson of the Sami Cultural Center of North America (SCC) — a non-profit dedicated to fostering an awareness of Sami culture through education, communication, research, and the arts.
The Swedish community is represented by design enthusiasts Kerstin Beyer Lajuzan and Katja Örnberg, members of the Minnesota chapter of SWEA International — a global network of Swedish speaking women promoting language and culture.
The Norwegian community is represented by Kristofer Phan Coffman and Christina Melander, whose collaboration is spurred by an appreciation of their Scandinavian heritage and a desire to use their cultural values as a tool for transformation, healing, and social change.
The Icelandic community is represented by Rannveig Arnar Hommema and Katrín Sigurðardóttir. Both are local to the Twin Cities with strong ties to Iceland and the Icelandic community here in Minnesota.
The Danish community is represented by Susan Loschenkohl and Susan Jacobsen of the Danish American Center (DAC) – a center for Danish cultural exchange & Danish hygge located in Minneapolis. The DAC is dedicated to the forwarding of anything Danish, offering a wide variety of activities & events which focus on aspects of Danish living & culture.
The Finnish community is represented by Tia Salmela Keobounpheng, a multidisciplinary artist/designer whose current body of work uses fiber and metal techniques as a literal and conceptual language for processing her experience within the larger context of the world, history, and her own family lineage.
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Bob Dylan, Brian Setzer and the New Standards are among the acts on the new “A Minnesota Holiday Vol. 12” CD. It’s available at Kowalski’s Markets for $14.99 and includes a free digital download of the album, a $100 BOGO gift card to Radiance Medspa in Woodbury, a free muffin or scone at Kowalski’s and BOGO offers for Acapulco Restaurants, Pizzeria Pezzo and Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours.
Proceeds benefit Second Harvest Heartland. To date, the “Minnesota Holiday” series has raised $500,000 for Minnesota nonprofits.
The rest of the lineup includes songs from the project organizer Phil Thompson, Sounds of Blackness, Kat Perkins and Chris Hawkey, Alison Scott, Chris Rupp with Home Free, Katie McMahon, Davina and the Vagabonds, Billy McLaughlin and Simple Gifts, Sara Renner and the Elements, Jennifer Grimm, Cade Bittner and Robert Robinson.