Scandinavians in New York
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess are on a two-day visit to New York to mark the centennial anniversary of the American-Scandinavian Foundation. They will also be attending other Nordic-related events as well as participating in meetings with UNDP and UNAIDS.
His Royal Highness The Crown Prince began the visit by taking part in a panel discussion hosted by the International Peace Institute (IPI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Administrator of UNDP, Ms Helen Clark, and author Greg Mortenson joined the Crown Prince on the panel. Mr Mortenson, who is of Norwegian descent, has devoted the past 16 years to promoting and improving educational opportunities for girls in the northern areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The welcoming address was given by the President of IPI, Mr Terje Rød Larsen. The discussion was moderated by Ms Christiane Amanpour, who is one of the worlds most respected journalists and has interviewed the Crown Prince and Crown Princess previously.
From crisis to development
The panel discussed the implementation of the UN Millennium Development Goals in light of the recent crises in Haiti and Pakistan, focusing on how the international community can facilitate the achievement of these goals in countries that face persistent humanitarian challenges.
A key topic in this regard was finding ways in which the international community can help to strengthen countries at the structural level instead of merely implementing humanitarian efforts in response to crises. Crown Prince Haakon shared his experience from visits in the field and conversations with individuals, emphasising how important it is to ensure that development cooperation activities are based on the principle of every human beings inviolable right to dignity.
After the panel discussion, the Crown Prince attended meetings with UNDP to plan the trip he and Ms Clark will be taking to Indonesia in November. The Crown Prince serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP.
Why Design Now?
Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess visited the National Design Triennial: Why Design Now? at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. According to its mission statement, the museum seeks to advance the public understanding of design, design history and the impact of design on daily life. The triennial is considered one of the most important design exhibitions in the US and this years exhibition features five Norwegian projects.
The Crown Princess was given a tour of the exhibition with special focus on the Norwegian participants. The new building for the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, designed by the architectural firm Snøhetta, is one of the featured projects and a model of the opera house is on display.
Snøhetta has achieved tremendous success in the US, and is responsible for two of the most high-profile building projects underway today: the National September 11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero and the reconstruction of the public spaces in and around Times Square. The interest shown in Snøhettas activities has directed attention to other Norwegian architects and designers. Norwegian artists in a variety of other areas are making a name for themselves in New York as well.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess visited the exhibition Free at the New Museum. Dedicated solely to contemporary art, the museum often displays the works of international, not-yet-established artists.
Free discusses how the Internet has expanded collective experience and opened up new creative possibilities, while also looking at its limitations. The exhibition includes twenty-three artists working across various media, including photography, installation, sculpture, video, Internet and sound. Norwegian Hanne Mugaas and Lars Laumann are two of the featured artists. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were given a tour of the exhibition, and concluded their visit to the museum with a luncheon with the Norwegian artists Eline Mugaas and Elisabeth Byre as well as Hanne Mugaas.
Max and Moritz – an opera for children
The childrens opera Max and Moritz is the work of two Norwegians: composer Gisle Kverndokk and librettist Øystein Wiik. The opera, which was performed at the Lower Manhattan Arts Academy, tells the story of two small boys who play pranks on their fellow villagers and is a grotesque, moral fairytale in the style of the Brothers Grimm and Roald Dahl.
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit attended the performance together with 800 schoolchildren. Afterwards, they were escorted up onto the stage to meet the performers, musicians and children.
Art and architecture at Scandinavia House
This evening, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess will visit Scandinavia House – the Nordic Center in America – and attended the opening of the exhibition Nordic Models + Common Ground. The exhibition is curated by Snøhetta.
The exhibition looks at the latest trends in Nordic art, design and architecture, and is part of a series of programmes commemorating the 10th anniversary of Scandinavia House. The exhibition features a total of 35 works by both established artists and newcomers.