MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Norway House, the Norwegian Arts, Business and Culture Center in America, will celebrate the grand opening of its 18,000-square-foot, $19.5 million expansion on Saturday, Oct. 15, with special guest Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway. The formal program, including comments from Queen Sonja, Mayor Jacob Frey and other dignitaries, will commence at 11 a.m. on the center’s new outdoor plaza adjacent to the main entrance. Guests may arrive beginning at 9:30 a.m. The event is open to the public at no charge. Following the program, Norway House will host an outdoor block party until 2 p.m. for the public, featuring live entertainment, food trucks and a raffle in partnership with Viking River Cruises valued at more than $16,000.
During the program, Queen Sonja will assist in unveiling a new public sculpture on the plaza by renowned contemporary Norwegian artist Finn Eirik Modahl. Modahl, who will be in attendance, is known for creating visually stunning artworks that provide both a social function and an emotional, intellectual draw. This new sculpture, entitled “Seeds,” will be a sister sculpture to “Konglo,” which is on display on the island of Sotra, just outside Bergen, Norway. The more than 16-foot-tall pinecone sculpture, made of mirrored steel, reflects the universal issues of inclusion and the climate emergency, as well as the historic, current and future ties between Norway and Minnesota. Norway House anticipates the sculpture will become a recognizable icon and a favorite “photo opp” for this plaza.
The new expansion, designed by Twin Cities architect Dewey Thorbeck, incorporates design elements that evoke the sails of a ship, reflecting the importance of the sea to Nordic heritage. McGough, a leader in local building projects, is constructing the expansion. The space more than doubles the size of Norway House, adding a stunning 250-seat event center with floor-to-ceiling windows for use as a space for weddings and parties, as well as a conference center. The lower level houses a genealogy library, with future plans for an interactive media center.
“We are greatly honored to have Her Majesty Queen Sonja join us to celebrate the opening of our expansion,” said Christina Carleton, executive director of Norway House. “We thank our neighbors, the city of Minneapolis, the state of Minnesota and our hundreds of supporters and donors for their dedicated efforts to bring this project to life and we look forward to welcoming old and new friends to enjoy all that we offer here at Norway House.”
ABOUT NORWAY HOUSE
Norway House is home to numerous programs and organizations, including the Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota, the Minnesota Peace Initiative, the Norwegian American – the country’s only Norwegian newspaper, BARN – the business accelerator resource network to help Norwegian businesses launch in the U.S., the Norway House Gallery – home to the annual Gingerbread Wonderland exhibit, Global Translation and Interpreter Services, and the Norwegian Honorary Consulate General. Norway House opened its iconic blue building on East Franklin Avenue in 2015. Located in the heart of Minneapolis in Ventura Village, the neighborhood had been home to the city’s Norwegian immigrants beginning in 1860, and is today a diverse, multicultural neighborhood and home to new generations of immigrants.
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