Monthly Archives: May 2012

22nd Annual Mixed Doubles Tennis Round-Robin Tournament to be held on Saturday, June 9

ARTS FOR THE AGING, the Washington-area nonprofit organization that delivers programs that engage older adults in health improvement and life enhancement through the arts, will hold its 22nd Annual Mixed Doubles Tennis Tournament on Saturday, June 9. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit AFTA, as the organization is often called.

THE OPENING ROUNDS of the tournament will take place on private courts in the D.C. metro area, with semifinals, final and exhibition matches played at the Fairfax Racquet and Fitness Club later the same evening. On the following Tuesday, June 12, AFTA will have an executive reception and tournament awards ceremony at the residence of Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstr?m and Mrs. Eva Hafstr?m.

FOR MORE INFORMATION  about AFTA and the 22nd Annual Mixed Doubles Tennis Round-Robin Tournament, visit www.aftaarts.org. Tennis players of any ability are encouraged to participate.

ARTS FOR THE AGING (AFTA) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to bring arts to older adults. Tournament proceeds will help sustain AFTA’s 500 annual arts engagement programs for vulnerable and frail seniors throughout the metropolitan Washington.

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Claes Thorson, Consultant and Partner at GAIA Leadership, to talk at a SACU luncheon in Washington on June 6

CLAES THORSON, Press Counselor at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington from 2002-2006, will talk at a SACU (Swedish-American Cultural Union) luncheon in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, June 6 – “Sweden’s National Flag Day.” Currently Mr. Thorson is a consultant and partner with GAIA Leadership (www.gaialeadership.se), based in Stockholm, Sweden. The topic of the address is “Ten personalities in Sweden and Europe that every Swedish-American should know about.”

MR. THORSON, with his background as a journalist and diplomat, offers a broad and interesting perspective on current political and cultural affairs in Sweden. He will talk about his work for the GAIA Leadership, a management/development consulting firm, and also discuss his list of personalities to pay attention to.

THE SACU luncheon will be held at the Pier Seven Restaurant in the Channel Inn, 650 Water Street, S.W., Washington, D.C., beginning at 12 noon with “no-host” cocktails and concluding by 2 p.m. Member cost is $25.00; non-members $29.00. Parking is available in the Channel Inn parking garage. Metro: Waterfront Station of the Metro Green Line. For reservations by Monday, June 4, contact mlhbernal@gmail.com.

Swedish Director Stefan Blomquist shows his film ‘Miss D’ at the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival

Photo from the first table reading. From the left Stefan Blomquist, actors Scott Speiser, Lori TanChin and Zuzana Stivanova. Stockholm-born, New York-based director Stefan Blomquist says he gets inspiration from directors Pedro Alm?ovar and Woody Allen. Photo from the first table reading. From the left Stefan Blomquist, actors Scott Speiser, Lori Tan Chinn and Zuzana Stivinova.

SWEDISH-BORN and New York-based director and freelance artist Stefan Blomquist (www.stefanblomquist.net) is taking his latest work, “Miss D,” to be shown at the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival – May 16 through May 27 — which will be the world premiere of the film. The story is about a lonely cross dresser in New York City’s glam punk 1990s, 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.

Miss D film promotion posterMiss D film promotion poster

“MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICES for yourself in life, in relationships and deciding you’re going to be happy has little to do with luck. It is a universal story,” says Stefan, who gives high praise to his team of fabulous actors Lori Tan Chinn, Scott Speiser and Zuzana Stivinova. The producer of the film is Mai Izsak-Niimura.

STEFAN BLOMQUIST, originally from Stockholm, moved to New York in 2001 when he was accepted at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). He graduated from AMDA in 2002 with the Conservatory Diploma.

SINCE COMING to New York, he has worked with various aspects of visual and performing arts, including photography, film, design and creative writing. Among his prestigious clients are Wilhelmina Models and New York Times T Magazine, both in New York.

IN 2004 he returned to Sweden, but was back in the United States after one year. Through a friend from Turkey he landed a well-paid job at a hospital, which made it possible for him to pursue his dream career with photography and art, and the following years he traveled a lot.

“I THOUGHT THAT I wanted to do cultural photography, I visited San Francisco, Los Angeles, Thailand, India, Cairo and Istanbul, among other places. But it is a field with few career opportunities and little money.”

A FEW YEARS LATER Stefan returned to school, first The City University of New York, where he in 2008 received an Associate Degree in Applied Arts & Sciences. And in 2010 he was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the New School University’s Department of Film and Media Studies. Last May he earned the Film Production Certificate also at New School University.

“EVERYTHING is intertwined – people, history, travel,” Stefan says. He is currently focused on doing short films, and his plan for the future is to continue doing films and commercials.

“TO MAKE LONG films is very costly. I admire the Spanish director Pedro Alm?ovar and Woody Allen, and my goal is to become a mixture of the two. I would like to do something with Swedish culture, and I get inspiration from Swedish director Lucas Moodyson.”

MUCH OF HIS work is influenced by his passion for other cultures and his interest in human rights.

STEFAN, along with colleagues Lauryn Garza and Kojenwa Moitt, has a production company, which is called Interdisciplinary Arts Production.

Exhibit with artist Malena Santillana opens at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C.

Peruvian-born artist Malena Santillana in front of her work Peruvian-born artist Malena Santillana in front of her work “Jay Inside” (to the left), oil on canvas from “The Invisable Ones” 2012.

ON THURSDAY evening, May 17, an art exhibit with Peruvian-born, Paris-based artist Malena Santillana (www.malenasantillana.com) opened at “Fernando De Szyszlo” Art Gallery at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C. The title of the show is “Between Earth and Heaven” (Entre Tierra y Cielo), and runs through June 18, 2012.

MALENA SANTILLANA was born in 1969 in Iquitos in Peru and lives since 1997 in Paris. She started her career painting oil on canvas. Her first solo exhibition (Grenoble, France, 2002) was met with great success, after which she has continued to exhibit in Peru, France, the United States and Colombia.

SINCE 2006 she has been the leader of the Latin America Group at the “Salon Comparaisons,” one of the most prestigious art exhibitions in France, featured at the renowned Grand Palais in Paris. “Paris is my city and the Amazonia my homeland,” says the artist.

“Sierra” – mixed media, oil on canvas (2012)

THE EMBASSY OF PERU is located at 1700 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. Tel. 202-833-9860. The Art Gallery is open weekdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

“The Fianc?” (Chagall Homage) – mixed media, oil on canvas (2012)

Malawi Embassy Night with Ambassador Steve D. Matenje

Josh Meyer, First Secretary (Tourism & Communication) Yvonne Tinyade Kalumo of Malawi, Michael Alison Chandler and Ambassador Steve D. Matenje of MalawiJosh Meyer, First Secretary (Tourism & Communication) Yvonne Tinyade Kalumo of Malawi, Michael Alison Chandler and Ambassador Steve D. Matenje of Malawi

AMBASSADOR Steve D. Matenje of Malawi hosted an International Correspondents Committee (ICC) Embassy Night on Tuesday evening at the embassy’s chancery on Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. in Washington, D.C.

AMBASSADOR MATENJE discussed his country’s foreign policy objectives, with a special emphasis on Malawi’s development agenda and economic diplomacy. A buffet of Malawian delicacies was also served during the event.

THE INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENTS Committee is the National Press Club’s group for reporters who represent foreign news media as well as those who cover international topics. The committee’s vice chairman Eddie Walsh, correspondent for The Diplomat, organized the meeting with the Embassy of Malawi.

Reception in honor of Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris at the Embassy of Sri Lanka’s residence in Washington, D.C.

Sarindee Wickramasuriya (daughter of the Sri Lankan ambassador); Professor G.L. Peiris, Sri Lanka Minister of External Affairs; Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya of Sri Lanka; and Mrs. Priyanga Wickramasuriya (wife of the ambassador).Sarindee Wickramasuriya (daughter of the Sri Lankan ambassador); Professor G.L. Peiris, Sri Lanka Minister of External Affairs; Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya of Sri Lanka; and Mrs. Priyanga Wickramasuriya (wife of the ambassador).

AN ELEGANT RECEPTION in honor of the Professor G.L. Peiris, Sri Lanka Minister of External Affairs, and the Delegation of Sri Lanka was held at the Ambassador of Sri Lanka’s residence in Northwest Washington on Tuesday evening, May 15.

Kusuma Cooray, Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Hawaii; Lalith Weeratunga, Permanent Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka; and Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya of Sri Lanka in conversation.Kusuma Cooray, Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Hawaii; Lalith Weeratunga, Permanent Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka; and Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya of Sri Lanka in conversation.

Hon. G.L. Peiris, Sri Lanka Minister of External Affairs, gives the keynote address.Professor G.L. Peiris, Sri Lanka Minister of External Affairs, brings greeting to a reception in his honor.

Reception in honor of Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, and the Delegation of Sri Lanka at the Sri Lankan residence on Wednesday evening. Reception in honor of Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, and the Delegation of Sri Lanka at the Sri Lankan residence on Wednesday evening.

Reception at the Sri Lankan residence on Wednesday evening.Reception in honor of Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, and the Delegation of Sri Lanka at the Sri Lankan residence on Wednesday evening. 

Botswana Embassy Night held in Washington, D.C. on Thursday evening, May 10

Former President of Botswana Festus Gontebanye Mogae, Botswana Ambassador to the United StatesTebelelo Mazile Seretse and A. Rahim Khan, Honorary Consul of Sweden in BotswanaFormer President of Botswana Festus Gontebanye Mogae, Botswana Ambassador to the United States Tebelelo Mazile Seretse and A. Rahim Khan, Honorary Consul of Sweden in Botswana

ON THURSDAY EVENING, May 10, Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse of Botswana hosted an International Correspondents Committee (ICC) Embassy Night at the Botswana Embassy on New Hampshire Ave., N.W. in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Seretse provided insights to her country’s foreign policy objectives in its own region of Southern Africa as well as worldwide. She also talked about Botswana’s fast-growing economy, and other domestic issues.

PRESENT WAS former Botswana President Festus Gontebanye Mogae, who also addressed the ICC guests. Botswana is an African success story with an impressive economic development during the last decades. It now has the highest GDP of any country on the African continent. After a Q&A session, the Embassy served a delicious buffet of dishes from the country’s cuisine.

Former President Festus Gontebanye Mogae of Botswana addresses the guests at the Botswana Embassy Night on Thursday evening, May 10. Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse of Botswana to the right. Former President Festus Gontebanye Mogae of Botswana addresses the guests at the Botswana Embassy Night on Thursday evening, May 10. Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse of Botswana to the right.

Jan Du Plain and Myron Belkind, Chair of the International Correspondents Committee of the National Press ClubJan Du Plain and Myron Belkind, Chair of the International Correspondents Committee of the National Press Club

Sophie Mautle and Helen ChilisaSophie Mautle and Helen Chilisa

 J.D. Gordon and Eddie Walsh, Vice Chair of the ICC of the National Press ClubJ.D. Gordon and Eddie Walsh, Vice Chair of the ICC of the National Press Club

Peggy Orchowski and Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse of BotswanaPeggy Orchowski and Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse of Botswana

Botswana Embassy NightBotswana Embassy Night

Botswana Embassy NightBotswana Embassy Night

Art exhibition Zeitgeist III – To Much Information?’ opens at DC Arts Center in Washington, D.C.

“The Modern Plague” – artwork (acrylic, paper and ink on canvas) by Swedish-born artist Anna U. Davis

THE EXHIBITION “Zeigeist III – To Much Information?” opened at District of Columbia Arts Center on Friday evening, May 4. The show is curated by Ellyn R. Weiss and Sondra N. Arkin, with curatorial assistance by Amanda Jir?Murphy.

THE PARTICIPATING artists are JS Adams, Tom Block, Scott G. Brooks, Richard Dana, Anna U. Davis, Thomas Drymon, Adam Dwight, Claudia Aziza Gibson-Hunter, Pat Goslee, Michelle Lisa Herman, Ryan Hoover, Michael Iacovone, Elizabeth Morisette, Michael Platt & Carol Beane and Ruth Trevarrow.

THE CURATORS outlined the theme for the show with this statement: “Increasing streams of information come to us from an ever-growing array of devices and directions. Studies show our brains are altered by this information surge and the means by which it is delivered. How much is Too Much?”

ON MAY 23, 7-9 p.m., there will be a panel discussion, and on Sunday, June 10, 7-9 p.m. an artists’ talk. The exhibition runs through June 10, 2012. DC Arts Center is located at 2438 18th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Gallery hours are Wed-Sun 2-7 p.m. For more information: www.dcartscenter.org.