Monthly Archives: April 2012

Artist Walter Clark shows his work at L2 Lounge in Georgetown

Artist Walter ClarkArtist Walter Clark

AN OPENING NIGHT reception for an exhibition – “Echoes of Distant Dreams” — with work by area-native and artist Walter Clark was held at L2 Lounge in Georgetown in Washington, D.C. on Thursday evening, April 26, 2012.

ORGANIZERS Amanda Minnie Williams-Vasquez and Samira Georgi presented fifty of Mr. Clark’s mixed media works inspired by the ancient Persian poetry of the great mathematician-astronomer Omar Khayyam (1048-1131). Produced over the last decade, these never before seen works take the viewer on a mystical journey to other times in other lands. Thirty-five of the works are accompanied by a quatrain of four lines written by the artist that inspired the works shown with it.

WALTER CLARK STATES that the inspiration for his art is Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam,” the collection of poetry from the 11th and 12th century by the Persian mathematician and astronomer. The high-level civil servant had to keep his verses hidden because of their sensuality and irreverence, but they were discovered after his death and immortalized over the centuries with Fitzgerald’s translation being a hallmark of that effort. Mr. Clark says that he models his art and the accompanying quatrain verses on the writings of Omar Khayyam, with an emphasis also on the sensual and irreverent. The result is a mystical perspective on life, beauty and humanity.

Artist Walter Clark and Amanda Minnie Williams-Vasquez of Minnianda, who arranged the exhibition at L2 Lounge. Artist Walter Clark and Amanda Minnie Williams-Vasquez of Minnianda, who arranged the exhibition at L2 Lounge.

Amanda Minnie Williams-Vasquez and colleague Samira Georgi put up fifty of Walter Clark's artworks at L2 Lounge in Georgetown.  Amanda Minnie Williams-Vasquez and colleague Samira Georgi put up fifty of Walter Clark’s artworks at L2 Lounge in Georgetown.

Artwork by Walter ClarkArtwork by Walter Clark

Belly-dancing was also on the program during the opening night.Belly-dancing was also on the program during the opening night.

DJ Donald Syriani provided exotic tones during the event.DJ Donald Syriani provided exotic tones during the event.

DJ Donald Syriani provided exotic tones during the event.Artwork by Walter Clark

Belly-dancing was on the program during the opening event on Thursday evening. Belly-dancing was on the program during the opening event on Thursday evening. 

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‘Internet Freedom & Open Government’ discussion at the Embassy of Estonia in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday evening

Oleg Dmitrijev, Second Secretary (Political Affairs) and Consul at the Embassy of Estonia, and Alexzandra Shade, Director of Fundraising and Development, Mentor Foundation USAOleg Dmitrijev, Second Secretary (Political Affairs) and Consul at the Embassy of Estonia, and Alexzandra Shade, Director of Fundraising and Development, Mentor Foundation USA (www.mentorfoundation.org/usa)

A PANEL OF leading authorities from the U.S. and Estonia discussed Internet freedom and open government at the Estonian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday evening, April, 25. The panelists were Danny Weitzner, White House Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy; Ian Schuler, Senior Manager for Internet Freedom Programs at the U.S. State Department; Marko Mihkelson, Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament; and Rebecca MacKinnon, Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the New America Foundation. Moderator was Adam Kushner, Deputy Editor of National Journal.

Tyson Barker, Director of Transatlantic Relations at the Bertelsmann Foundation, and Nicholas Michael Bashour, Vice-President, Wikimedia District of ColumbiaTyson Barker, Director of Transatlantic Relations at the Bertelsmann Foundation, and Nicholas Michael Bashour, Vice-President, Wikimedia District of Columbia

The event was sponsored by The Washington European Society (www.wes-dc.org), the Wikimedia District of Columbia and the Embassy of Estonia in Washington, D.C.The event was sponsored by The Washington European Society (www.wes-dc.org), the Wikimedia District of Columbia and the Embassy of Estonia in Washington, D.C.

The 100th anniversary (1912-2012) of the birth of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg is celebrated at House of Sweden

Holocaust survivors Dr. John Grausz and Annette Lantos, wife of the late congressman Tom Lantos, together with Nils Bruzelius, who is chairman of the Swedish-American Cultural Union (SACU)Holocaust survivors Dr. John Grausz and Annette Lantos, wife of the late congressman Tom Lantos, together with Nils Bruzelius, who is chairman of the Swedish-American Cultural Union (SACU), at a SACU luncheon at the House of Sweden on Wednesday, April 25.

THIS YEAR, 2012 IS THE 100th anniversary of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg’s birth, and he is being honored both in Sweden and internationally, with various events and traveling exhibitions.

EARLIER THIS WEEK, on Wednesday, April 25, the SACU (Swedish-American Cultural Union) held a luncheon at the House of Sweden in celebration of Wallenberg’s anniversary. In remarks at the luncheon, the Embassy of Sweden Press Counselor Gabriella Augustsson recounted the history of Raoul Wallenberg’s achievements.

Wallenberg made a unique contribution – with courage and ability — during the latter part of 1944 by rescuing 100,000 Jews in Budapest from the Holocaust. Wallenberg worked together with Swedish diplomat Per Anger. After the Soviets invaded in January 1945, both Anger and Wallenberg were taken into custody. Anger was released three months later, but Wallenberg never emerged again, becoming one of the 20th Century’s most famous missing persons.

Dian McDonald, Marianne Gustafson, Dr. John Grausz, Annette Lantos, wife of the late congressman Tom Lantos, and Nils Bruzelius, chair of SACUDian McDonald, Marianne Gustafson, Dr. John Grausz, Annette Lantos, wife of the late congressman Tom Lantos, and Nils Bruzelius, chair of SACU

AS A PART OF THE anniversary celebration there is a traveling exhibition – “To Me There’s No Other Choice” - honoring the Swedish diplomat, who disappeared in Budapest, January 17, 1945. In Washington, on Thursday, April 19, the exhibition opened at the House of Sweden, in presence of Princess Madeleine of Sweden, members of the Wallenberg family and other distinguished guests. There was also a commemoration in the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol, and at the Holocaust Museum. Mr. Wallenberg is the second Honorary American Citizen after Sir. Winston Churchill.

The Raoul Wallenberg exhibition at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C.The Raoul Wallenberg exhibition at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C.

THE EXHIBITION STARTS with his childhood and becomes darker as it moves through World War II. As a young man Raoul Wallenberg studied in the United States, and experienced “the American spirit” in early age. He was truly “a man of the world” and spoke several languages.

The Raoul Wallenberg exhibition at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C.The Raoul Wallenberg exhibition at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C.

IN BUDAPEST his diplomatic immunity enabled him to move freely around the city, and he set up a special humanitarian section at the Swedish legation. Mr. Wallenberg issued passports, Schutzpass, to help out Jews.

THE SURVIVORS AND their stories are also being spotlighted in the exhibition, which is presented in collaboration with The Swedish Institute and Living History Forum. So far it has been shown in Budapest and New York, and will also be presented in Moscow and Toronto. The exhibition is open Saturday, April 28, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 29, 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. For more information: www.swedenabroad.com.

Challenges and partnerships in higher education discussed at seminar at House of Sweden in Washington, D.C.

KTH Alumnus Thomas Unander-Scharin, Head of Alumni Affairs at KTH Emma Jones, and President of KTH Peter GudmundssonKTH Alumnus Thomas Unander-Scharin, Head of Alumni Affairs at KTH Emma Jones, and President of KTH Peter Gudmundson

“THE FUTURE CHALLENGES of Universities – New Innovative Partnerships” was the title of a seminar at the House of Sweden on Tuesday, April 24, when representatives from Swedish Universities discussed the issues of challenges and partnerships in higher education with their American counterparts.

PARTICIPATING FROM Sweden were Prof. Jan-Olov H??g, Dean of Higher Education, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm; Prof. Peter Gudmundson, President, KTH (The Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm; and Prof. K?e Bremer, President, Stockholm University. Representatives from U.S. universities included Mr. Samuel Robfogel, Director, International Initiatives, Office of the Provost at Georgetown University; Dr. Wolfgang Schl?r, Interim Associate Provost for International Affairs, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and Prof. Tomas Skalak, Vice President for Research, University of Virginia. The seminar was held at the House of Sweden’s Alfred Nobel Hall.

Peter Gudmundson, President of KTH, and KTH Alumni Mats PerssonPeter Gudmundson, President of KTH, and KTH Alumnus Mats Persson

KTH, STOCKHOLM UNIVERSITY and Karolinska Institute have also been collaborating for the last two years with the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the Swedish delegation later in the day continued on to Illinois.

Emma Jones, Head of Alumni Affairs at KTH, and Philip von Segebaden, Head of Fundraising at KTHEmma Jones, Head of Alumni Affairs at KTH, and Philip von Segebaden, Head of Fundraising at KTH

THE EVENT IN Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, and the previous day in New York, are part of the Swedish universities’ alumni outreach and fundraising activities. About 30 KTH alumni in the New York area participated with Prof. Peter Gudmundson, President of KTH, on Monday evening at a dinner at Roger Smith Hotel in New York City. On Tuesday evening the KTH Alumni Washington, D.C. group met for dinner.

Cecilia Kullman, Director of Trainee Program at the Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce of the USA (SACC-USA, www.sacc-usa.org), and Kamilla Kohn R?berg, Ph.D., Counselor, Science and Innovation at the Embassy of SwedenCecilia Kullman, Director of Trainee Program at the Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce of the USA (SACC-USA, www.sacc-usa.org), and Kamilla Kohn R?berg, Ph.D., Counselor, Science and Innovation at the Embassy of Sweden

Emma Jones, Head of Alumni Affairs at KTH; Ulrika Ljungman, Director Business Liaison at KTH; and KTH Alumnus Anders L?fstrandEmma Jones, Head of Alumni Affairs at KTH; Ulrika Ljungman, Director Business Liaison at KTH; and KTH Alumnus Anders L?fstrand

Seminar panelists: moderator Prof. Spiros Dimolitsas, Vice President for Research & Chief Technology Officer, Georgetown University; Mr. Samuel Robfogel, Director, International Initiatives, Office of the Provost at Georgetown University; Dr. Wolfgang SchSeminar panelists: moderator Prof. Spiros Dimolitsas, Vice President for Research & Chief Technology Officer, Georgetown University; Mr. Samuel Robfogel, Director, International Initiatives, Office of the Provost at Georgetown University; Dr. Wolfgang Schl?r, Interim Associate Provost for International Affairs, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Prof. Tomas Skalak, Vice President for Research, University of Virginia; Prof. Jan-Olov H??g, Dean of Higher Education, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm; Prof. Peter Gudmundson, President, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm; and Prof. K?e Bremer, President, Stockholm University

Long-time Washington-area artist Walter Clark exhibits artwork at L2 Lounge in Georgetown in Washington, D.C.

Artwork by Walter ClarkArtwork by Walter Clark

ON THURSDAY EVENING, April 26, there will be an opening reception for an exhibition of works by artist Walter Clark at the L2 Lounge in Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Titled “Echoes of Distant Dreams: Artworks Inspired by the Ancient Persian Writings of Omar Khayyam” the exhibition features 50 mixed media works inspired by the poetry of the great mathematician/astronomer Omar Khayyam (1048-1131).

PRODUCED OVER THE last decade, these never-before-seen works take the viewer on mystical journey to other times in other lands. Thirty-five of the works are accompanied by a quatrain of four lines written by the artist that inspired the works shown with it.

ECHOES OF DISTANT DREAMS
An echo of a dream from distant lands
Caused me to scratch this verse into the sands.
I’ve prised the shells cast on the shore of night
To pour this cup of pearls into your hands.
—Walter C. Clark

Artwork by Walter ClarkArtwork by Walter Clark

WALTER CROSS CLARK (born 1932 in Washington, D.C.) has dedicated his life to the study of fine art. After graduating from George Washington University in 1957 with a joint B.A. in Fine and Applied Arts, Clark entered the Federal Civil Service in 1958 as an artist after six months of active duty in connection with his military obligations in the U.S. Army Reserves.

IN 1965, he became the Director of Art at the National Institute of Mental Health. Shortly thereafter, he went on to pursue his Master’s degree at American University in Film and Public Affairs. Over the next three decades, Clark produced several films as assistant chief of the Mental Health Education Branch at the NIH, along with becoming a special assistant to the associate director of Public Affairs at the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration. Clark retired from the Federal Service in 1993, while continuing to teach life and portrait classes and other art-related activities, a practice that he continues to this day.

Artwork by Walter ClarkArtwork by Walter Cross

THE EXHIBITION, which is presented by ? Va Magazine and Minnianda: A Creative PR Boutique, is being put together by Amanda Minnie and her colleague Samira Georgi. L2 Lounge (www.l2lounge.com) is located at 3315 Cady’s Alley, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007.

WORKS ON VIEW can be purchased the night of the event, and come with a 40-page booklet of 104 quatrains, which include those depicted in the works in the exhibit. Contact Amanda Minnie at minnianda@gmail.com for more information or to schedule a private viewing with the artist.

Cherry Blast IV held in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night, April 21

Nia Davis, Vaunita Goodman and Shakaya MeturlandNia Davis, Vaunita Goodman and Shakaya Meturland

CHERRY BLAST IV brought the dramatic activation of space with light, visual art, dancers, music and art performances in an extravaganza of excitement last Saturday night, April 21. Washington hipsters flocked to this dynamic party in cavernous warehouse in Anacostia to celebrate in part the city’s Cherry Blossom Festival as well as to enjoy the multiple performances of bands, dancers, aerial acrobatics and a spectacular light show. Cherry Blast is the creation of Philippa Hughes and her Pink Line Project (www.pinklineproject.com).

Bipin Badhe and Emma O'RourkeBipin Badhe and Emma O’Rourke

Sylvana ChristopherSylvana Christopher

John Moore and Stephanie ClarkJohn Moore and Stephanie Clark

Batala Washington performsBatala Washington performs.

Batala Washington performsCherry Blast IVCherry Blast IVCherry Blast IVCherry Blast IVCherry Blast IVCherry Blast IVCherry Blast IV

Swedish Director Stefan Blomquist’s film ‘Miss D’ to the Cannes Short Film Festival

SWEDISH director Stefan Blomquist is taking his latest work to the short film corner in Cannes with the world premiere of “Miss D,” the story of a lonely cross dresser in New York City’s late glam punk 1990′s who after receiving a call from an ex-lover threatens to rekindle memories from a time far gone by and rupture the balance of a healing heart.

THE STORY IS a universal one, Blomquist says. “Making the right choices for yourself in life, in relationships and deciding you’re going to be happy has little to do with luck.” Still, luck was exactly what producer Mai Izsak-Niimura received when Lori Tan Chinn, Scott Speiser and Zuzana Stivinova walked into Tiandra Gayle’s casting room. With a plethora of experience in film and after having worked with a number of A list actors, Tan Chinn was instrumental to the comedic timing in this short piece as a cranky Chinese landlady in New York’s dingy lower east side. Similarly, Scott Speiser, formerly of the famed Blue Man Group and Zuzana Stivinova known for her extensive work as a leading lady in feature length films produced in her native Czech Republic, fit together nicely as forlorn lovers in a plausible relationship between a bad girl and a sensitive wig and spandex wearing jock.

BLOMQUIST IS unique in his penchant for recreating cult films that engage the viewer’s ability to reminisce with styled landscape and character driven content. Always fascinated with the bending of sexual genre, he is also an advocate and of original music and is already in preparations for the production of JACK, the story of an intersex writer working through the angst of a series of troubled relationships. The Cannes Film Festival takes place from the 16th to the 27th of May.

More information about “Miss D” can be found here http://registration.cannescourtmetrage.com/filmfiche2.Aspx?id=55081748.  
Media and press inquiries can be directed to kojenwa@zebra.nu or by calling 917.349.2030.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Guest of Honor at Bertelsmann Foundation Reception in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday evening, April 18

President & CEO of Bertelsman Foundation Gunter Thielen, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, the owner of Bertelsmann Liz Mohn, and Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Germany Ursula von der Leyen at the reception President & CEO of Bertelsmann Foundation Gunter Thielen, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, the owner of Bertelsmann Liz Mohn, and Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Germany Ursula von der Leyen at the reception on Wednesday evening at the Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

MANAGING DIRECTOR of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde was the Guest of Honor at a reception given by Bertelsmann Foundation at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday evening, April 18. The reception was in conjunction with this year’s Bertelsmann Foundation annual conference. The title of the conference was “Making a Comeback: A Return to Jobs & Growth.”

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde gives the keynote speech. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde gives the keynote speech.

Evan Davies, Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde, and Pierre RahalEvan Davies, Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde, and Pierre Rahal

IN HER SPEECH Christine Lagarde complimented Germany for their handling of the economy in a severe economic crisis. Additional remarks were presented by Gunter Thielen, President & CEO of Bertelsmann Foundation, and Annette Heuser, Executive Director of Bertelsmann Foundation Washington, D.C. Also present during the elegant reception, catered by Windows Catering, were Liz Mohn, owner of Bertelsmann, and Ursula von der Leyen, Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Germany.

Near the podium where the speeches were given. Near the podium where the speeches were given.

Heiko Hesse, Evi Salpea, Maria Galanou, Ferhan Salman, Saskia Wrausmann and Benjamin Lowey Heiko Hesse, Evi Salpea, Maria Galanou, Ferhan Salman, Saskia Wrausmann and Benjamin Lowey

Performance during the eveningPerformance during the evening

Christina Sevilla, Mark Vlasic, N.C. Aizenman and Jemir?Laci?quot; src=Christina Sevilla, Mark Vlasic, N.C. Aizenman and Jemir?Laci?lt;br />
Executive Director Annette Heueser of the Bertelsmann Foundation Washington, D.C. speaks at the event. Executive Director Annette Heueser of the Bertelsmann Foundation Washington, D.C. speaks at the event.

Bertelsmann Foundation opening receptionIMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in Germany Ursula von der Leyen surrounded by cameras.IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in Germany Ursula von der Leyen surrounded by cameras.

The Bertelsmann Foundation opening reception on Wednesday eveningThe Bertelsmann Foundation opening reception on Wednesday evening

Bertelsmann Foundation reception in Washington, D.C.Bertelsmann Foundation reception in Washington, D.C.

Fabienne Lipps-Dumas, Evelyne Dumas and Jim FitzpatrickFabienne Lipps-Dumas, Evelyne Dumas and Jim Fitzpatrick 

Bertelsmann Foundation reception in Washington, D.C.Guests at the Bertelsmann Foundation opening reception on Wednesday evening

Christina Sevilla, Bay Fang and Mark VlasicChristina Sevilla, Bay Fang and Mark Vlasic

Fatima ArgunFatima Argun

The title of the annual conference is The title of the annual conference is “Making a Comeback: A Return to Jobs & Growth.”

Ambassador Verveer leads Annual 6k Walk for Water in Washington, D.C.

Larilyn Andr?of the Embassy of Sweden (to the left) gives out water outside the House of Sweden in Georgetown. Larilyn Andr?of the Embassy of Sweden (to the left) gives out water outside the House of Sweden in Georgetown.

AS PART OF the U.S. Department of State’s Earth Day celebrations, the Department hosted the second Annual 6K Walk for Water on Wednesday, April 18. Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, kicked off the event by delivering remarks outside the Department’s 21st Street entrance near the corner of Virginia Avenue, N.W. Water was provided free of charge at the halfway point of the walk by the Embassy of Sweden.

THE EVENT IS to acknowledge the millions of people in the developing world – most often women and girls – who have to walk an average of six kilometers to collect water for their families. This keeps children out of school and prevents women from engaging in other, more productive activities. The event also recognizes that clean water resources are essential for a healthy planet and have widespread implications for the global environment, health, economy, food security and gender equity.

Gustaf Sj?kvist’s Chamber Choir (Kammark?r) from Sweden will perform at Christ Church Greenwich in Connecticut on its U.S. Tour

GUSTAF Sj?kvist’s Chamber Choir (Kammark?r) from Stockholm, Sweden, is currently touring the United States and performed a cappella works by Swedish, German and American composers at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C. yesterday.

IT IS ONE OF Sweden’s leading choirs beautifully illustrating the famed Swedish choral tradition of a cappella singing.

TODAY, Monday April 16, the chamber choir will perform at Christ Church Greenwich (www.christchurchgreenwich.org/) in Connecticut. Previous performances have also been at St. Peter’s Church in New York City (April 12) and at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (April 13).