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Vesterheim Commons Public Dedication

September 30, 2023 @ 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Vesterheim Commons Public Dedication

Saturday, September 30, 2023 | 1:30 p.m.

Location: Vesterheim Commons

Join Vesterheim to celebrate the opening of the new Commons building with numerous activities from Sept 23-October 1, both onsite and online!

There will be free museum admission the entire week from September 23-October 1.

• September 30 at 1:30 p.m. – The week’s events culminate in the public dedication for the Commons on Water Street in front of the Commons building. There will be a ribbon cutting and welcome presentations. Activities will follow throughout the campus from 2:00-4:00 p.m. with refreshments, tours, folk art demonstrations, and entertainment including Decorah’s Nordic Dancers, storytelling with Carol Hagen, Eden Ehm on Hardanger fiddle, and Luren Singers. Everyone is invited to enjoy this community celebration!

Other events during the week include:

• September 23 at 11:30 a.m. – Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt will visit Decorah in celebration of Vesterheim Commons and the rich legacy of Norwegian emigrants who came to America. She will give a public presentation and Q&A about Norway’s foreign policy objectives in the Noble Recital Hall in the Jensen-Noble Hall of Music on the Luther College Campus.

• Beginning September 23 – The exhibit, A New York Minute: City Scenes by Bernhard Berntsen, will be open daily from 9:00 am.-5:00 p.m in the new gallery space on the second floor of Vesterheim Commons.

• September 24 at 2:00 p.m – Online Gallery Talk by Randall Hyman for the exhibit Sámi Dreams: Portraits of Resilience in the Norwegian Arctic. Register for the Zoom link here.

• September 27 at 7:00 p.m. – Online presentation by Dan York, Kayaking the Lofoten Islands: Norway’s Craggy Crown Jewels. Register for the Zoom link here.

• October 1 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. – In person presentation in Vesterheim Commons by silver experts from the Sylvsmidja company in Voss, Norway. Find out more here.

With 7,600 square feet spread across three levels and almost an acre of surrounding landscaped patio, the new Vesterheim Commons building physically links the past and the future, connects the museum collection to the Folk Art School, and enriches the Vesterheim visitor experience for those coming to Decorah or participating digitally through a new video and photography production studio. This project is part of a comprehensive, long-range planning process with Snøhetta, the renowned international architecture and landscape architecture firm, and is supported with work of the architect of record, consultants, and construction management including BNIM; Meyer, Borgman, Johnson (MBJ); Morrissey; and McGough Construction. Find more about the Commons building and the Strong Roots Bold Future, Campaign to Grow Vesterheim here.


September 30, 2023
1:30 PM - 4:00 PM