On Thursday October 28, 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 world’s most respected journalists and has interviewed the Crown Prince and Crown Princess previously. 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.
Why Design Now?
The Crown Princess visited the National Design Triennial: “Why Design Now?” at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The triennial is considered one of the most important design exhibitions in the US and this year’s exhibition features five Norwegian projects.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess visited the exhibition “Free” at the New Museum. “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.
Max and Moritz – an opera for children
The children’s 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.
Nordic Models + Common Ground at Scandinavia House
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess attended the opening of the exhibition “Nordic Models + Common Ground” at Scandinavia House in New York.
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.
On Friday October 29th, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess visited Ground Zero and saw the Museum Pavilion work in progress. The Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta won the prestigious commission to design the Museum Pavilion located in the Memorial Plaza.
The Race to the End of the Earth
After visiting Ground Zero, The Crown Prince continued on to the American Museum of Natural History to view the exhibition “The Race to the End of the Earth”, which recounts the dramatic 1910-1911 race between Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott to be the first person to reach the South Pole. The exhibition also describes research activities in the Antarctic at the time, drawing a line to polar research activities today. Crown Prince Haakon has himself travelled in the Arctic together with researchers, and after viewing the exhibition he answered questions from schoolchildren who wanted to hear about his experiences.
The Crown Princess visited Housing Works’ Cylar House. The Crown Princess serves as a Special Representative for UNAIDS, a UN programme for combating HIV/AIDS. Housing Works is an organisation that has been successfully helping people with HIV/AIDS who are also homeless. Housing Works provides housing, health care services and social support to people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to offering education and help to return to the work force, the organisation is the only one that provides housing for active drug users. Many Housing Works staff members are former clients.
The Cylar House housing project is located in Manhattan, and features a medical clinic, treatment programme and 36 apartments. It also houses the kitchen for The Works Catering, which both supplies revenues to the project and provides clients with valuable job training. The Cylar House is named after Housing Works cofounder Keith D. Cylar, who died of AIDS-related causes in 2004. The Crown Princess visited several of the apartments as well as the kitchen, where she was given a presentation of the job training activities there.
The visit ended with a gala banquet to launch the centennial anniversary of the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF). The objective of the foundation is to forge cultural and educational ties between the Scandinavian countries and the US. The ASF awards grants to students and researchers on both sides of the Atlantic and promotes the exchange of students, trainees and researchers between the two continents.