The American-Scandinavian Foundation
The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF), is an American non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting international understanding through educational and cultural exchange between the United States and Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The Foundation's headquarters, Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, is located at 58 Park Avenue, New York City.
About the Foundation
ASF was founded in 1910 by the Danish-American industrialist Niels Poulson. It is a publicly supported 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that carries out an extensive program of fellowships, grants, intern and trainee J-1 visa sponsorship, publishing, membership offerings, and cultural events.
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees of individuals from the United States and Scandinavia, representing diverse interests, yet linked by personal or professional ties to the Scandinavian countries. The five Nordic Heads of State serve as the organization's patrons.
More than 26,000 young Americans and Scandinavians have participated in ASF's exchange programs of study, research or practical training. Many of its alumni have gone on to leading positions in business, government and the arts. The Foundation cultivates enduring academic, professional, and personal ties between the U.S. and the Nordic countries.
Each year the ASF awards more than $800,000 in fellowships and grants to individual students, scholars, professionals, and artists - either Scandinavians studying or conducting research in the United States or Americans studying or conducting research in Scandinavia.
The Foundation's internships and training program enables young Americans and Scandinavians living abroad to receive practical working experience in fields such as engineering, shipping, law, finance, agriculture, and technology.
Language classes at Scandinavia House are offered and accredited through New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
The ASF presents a wide range of cultural programs at Scandinavia House, including art and design exhibitions, films, concerts lectures, and children's programs representing all facets of Nordic culture.
Public project grants
Through its public project grants, the ASF funds a wide variety of programs that bring American and Scandinavian culture, art, and thought to public audiences. Grants are awarded to arts and educational institutions adding a Nordic focus to their programming, as well as to smaller organizations with a more regional focus. In 2005–2006, 65 projects throughout the U.S. and Scandinavia received $250,000 in total funding. In 2006–2007, an additional $221,000 was awarded to 62 projects.
The American-Scandinavian Foundation's quarterly journal, Scandinavian Review, is the oldest publication of its kind in the United States. It covers all aspects of life in contemporary Scandinavia with an emphasis on areas in which Scandinavian achievement is renowned: art and design; industrial development; and commercial, political, economic, and social innovation. Leading journalists and writers on both sides of the Atlantic write for it.
The Foundation also publishes books, including the occasional series Scandinavian Classics and Scandinavian Monographs, both of which began in 1914.
The American-Scandinavian Foundation's cultural center, Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, is located at 58 Park Avenue, between 37th and 38th Streets in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Midtown Manhattan. It offers a variety of art exhibitions, films, concerts, lectures, and children's programs, plus a shop and cafe. Designed by architect James Stewart Polshek, it opened to the public in 2000.
In October 2011, the Foundation celebrated its first 100 years with a series of events attended by Scandinavian heads of state. The centenary exhibition, Luminous Modernism: Scandinavian Art Comes to America, 1912, was opened by Queen Sonja of Norway on October 20, 2011, in the presence of King Harald, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, and Finnish President Tarja Halonen.
- Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (patron)
- Harald V of Norway (patron)
- Margrethe II of Denmark (patron)
- Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (patron)
- Sauli Ninistö (patron)
- Princess Benedikte of Denmark (honorary trustee)
- Princess Märtha Louise of Norway (honorary trustee)
- Martti Ahtisaari (honorary trustee)
- Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden (honorary trustee)
- Vigdís Finnbogadóttir (honorary trustee)
- Comedies by Holberg: Jeppe of the hill, The political tinker, Erasmus Montanus, tr. Oscar James Campbell, Jr., and Frederick Schenck, Scandinavian Classics 1, New York, The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 1914, OCLC 1381514; William Hovgaard, The Voyages of the Norsemen to America, Scandinavian Monographs 1, New York: The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 1914, OCLC 2991677.
- Past Exhibitions @ Scandinavia House - The Nordic Center in America