We have an exciting program in store for you for the 40th Annual Danish American Cultural Retreat! More speakers are being announced each week. To be the first to hear about program updates, sign up for our e-bulletin. Registrations are open. Register early to save.

Program Announcements

Inga Wiehl, Danish author

Danish author, Inga Wiehl, will be sharing a book talk on her newest novel (published November 2017), Tower Blues: Solving the Riddle of Confinement.

“Tower Blues is the story of a woman who, from the beginning and all the days to follow – in castles and in prison – remained interested in the world around her, no matter how sordid or trivial. She never allowed the poison of indifference to penetrate her system. She knew that even hatred is less destructive than indifference.” Read more on Goodreads.

Read Tower Blues before Inga’s talk this June. Buy the book online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

About Inga Wiehl: Dr. Inga Wiehl from Denmark is a writer and previous college professor. A true Pacific Northwest Dane, Dr. Wiehl holds a B.A. in Danish from the University of Copenhagen and an M.A. and PH.D in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington.


The “Great Hall” in progress in the new Nordic Museum

Eric Nelson, CEO – Nordic Museum

After years of fundraising and planning, the 57,000 sq foot new Nordic Museum will open its doors on May 5th 2018. Anticipation has been building from near and far with enthusiasm from individuals, local organizations, universities, the Nordic embassies, Nordic royalty, and other national/international actors. At this year’s DACR, Eric Nelson will talk about the impressive new Nordic Museum in Ballard and about upcoming exhibitions.

About Eric Nelson: Eric Nelson has served as the Executive Director of the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, Washington since January 2008. A Napa, California native, he served as Executive Director of the Napa Valley Museum from 1999 to 2007. Prior to this role, he was Curator of Exhibits and Collections and then Executive Director of the Sonoma County Museum for eleven years. He is a graduate of the prestigious Getty Museum Leadership Institute and holds a Masters of Art degree in History from Sonoma State University and B.A. in History from California State University, Sacramento. He has served as a guest lecturer at Sonoma State University, San Francisco State University and Santa Rosa Junior College.

Visit www.nordicmuseum.org to find out more about the new Nordic Museum.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), Hanfstaengl, Fotographie 1860

Marianne Stecher, Professor – University of Washington 

“Hans Christian Andersen – The Danish Soldier and the War of 1864”

This talk explores how the Dano-Prussian wars impacted H.C. Andersen’s work and the image of the soldier in his tales in general. Marianne Stecher has taught popular large lecture courses at UW on Hans Christian Andersen (1805 – 1875) and the fairy tale for over 20 years.

About Marianne Stecher: Marianne Stecher is a full professor in the Department of Scandinavian Studies, UW, where she heads the Danish program, and teaches courses in Danish and Scandinavian Studies, as well as in European Studies.  She has published widely on topics in Danish and Scandinavian literature, including numerous articles on H.C. Andersen and is currently serving on the advisory board for a new translation of Andersen’s tales and stories, by H.C. Andersen Center (SDU, Odense).


Kristian Næsby, Visiting Lecturer – University of Washington Scandinavian Studies Department

Danish actress Asta Nielsen (1881-1972)

“The Golden Era of Danish Silent Films of the 1910’s”

Kristian will talk about censorship and the first international superstar of the cinema world, the Dane Asta Nielsen. This talk will have an emphasis on exploring “The Abyss” starring Asta Nielsen.

About Kristian Naesby: Kristian Næsby is a Visiting Lecturer of Danish at the University of Washington, Department of Scandinavian Studies. He moved to Seattle, Washington in 2016 and began teaching at the U.W. Fall Quarter 2016. This academic position is sponsored and partially funded by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science in an agreement that was established in 1997. The University of Washington’s Dept. of Scandinavian Studies, the city of Seattle, and the Danish community in the Pacific Northwest have benefited from this arrangement for the past 20 years and Kristian is the sixth person to have held this position.  Prior to his move from Denmark to Seattle and his work at the U.W., Kristian taught at Nørgaards Højskole in Bjerringbro, Denmark in Jylland. Kristian studied Nordic Languages and Literature at Aarhus University after graduating from Amts gymnasiet in Paderup, now known as Paderup Gymnasium, in Randers, Denmark.




Evening entertainment and more…

The 2018 DACR program will feature rising country star, Jessica Lynne, for the evening entertainment. Danish language classes by Danish professor, Aase Beaulieu have also been added to the program this year.

Danish sensation, Jessica Lynne, to perform! 

Sometimes authentic country music artists do not grow up in what we would consider hotbeds of country music. Sometimes they grow up in Haslev, Denmark, the native town of current Seattle resident, Jessica Lynne, a sensational and rising country star and one of London Tone Music’s most successful artists. She explains how it all started: “When I was 12, I was home with the flu and our TV provider had a “chance channel” available for a limited time. Well, this time it was CMT and being at home with nothing to do and feeling really horrible, I just kind of left it on that channel and little by little just fell in love with the genre.” Faith Hill’s, Wild One, a song that was #1 at the time, inspired her immediately. “I felt like she was singing about me,” she remembers. “It touched my heart in a way that I had never felt before.”

Making the move from Haslev to Seattle a few years ago was actually not as strange a transition as it seems. Her Dad and his family live in Seattle and Jessica felt that being surrounded by a supportive network of family would be the kind of positive energy she needed to adjust to the big change.

Once settled, Jessica wasted no time adjusting to both the physical landscape, which had many elements similar to Denmark, but to the musical landscape, as well. Her great songwriting and singing talent combined with her drive, focus, warmth and friendliness, made her not only an instant favorite with the country music promoters and clubs in the greater Seattle area, but also with other musicians in town. Jessica loves to write and play music so much that she is known to play almost every night of the week somewhere, sometimes as the headliner, other times as support for her many musical friends.

Visit Jessica’s website to find out more and to listen to some of her music: https://www.jessica-lynne.com/



Danish Lessons by Aase Beaulieu

This year we are offering optional Danish conversation classes to those who wish to learn some Danish at this year’s retreat! Aase Beaulieu will be leading the lessons. She was born in Denmark and has year’s of experience teaching Danish in the U.S. Aase Beaulieu was a professor of Danish at UC-Berkeley, where she taught Danish I and II for four years. She was also a former Danish teacher at Berlitz International Language School in Portland.

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