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Swedish governors, folk fiddlers to visit May 30-31

May  07, 2013

Self-portrait by Olaf Krans

Three northern Swedish provincial governors, two university presidents and cultural representatives including Riksspelmän (folk fiddlers) from their region will make a Quad Cities area visit "in the trek of their immigrants" May 30-31. 

Two events associated with the tour on May 30, a program on energy and sustainability in Sweden and a musical performance, will be open to the public.

Participants include governors Barbro Holmberg of Gävleborgs län, Sweden´s former Minister of Migration; Britt Bohlin of Jämtlands län, recognized national defense expert; and Bo Källstrand of Västernorrlands län, former head of Swedish Energy.

Also visiting will be university presidents Dr. Maj-Britt Johansson of Gävle Högskola, a forestry land use expert, and Dr. Anders Söderholm of Mittuniversitetet, specialist in regional planning and development. 

Cultural representatives include national folkfiddlers (riksspelmän) Görgen Antonsson and Örjan Hans-Ers, who is also manager of the Gävle Symphony Orchestra.  Tourism directors Katarina Ceder Bång of Hälsingland and Mats Forslund of Jämtland also will participate in the tour, to speak about the cultural and natural history of their northern Swedish region, including the newly-named UNESCO World Heritage Hälsingland Farms. They will be accompanied by Jämtland provincial planner and tour organizer Olle Lundgren.  

The governors will present a panel discussion, "Sustainability in Energy, Transportation & Tourism: The View from Sweden" as part of a colloquium hosted by Augustana College and the City of Rock Island's Advanced Technology and Sustainability Consortium. The colloquium will take place from 9-10 a.m. May 30 in Hanson Hall of Science at Augustana.

Bohlin's province of Jämtlands has become a leader in renewable energy, including hydroelectric, wind and biofuels.  Holmberg took part in a forum last December in China on Eco-City Construction. She is a member of the Earth Charter Initiative

The musicians, Görgen Antonsson and Örjan Hans-Ers, will perform from 6-9 p.m. May 30 at the River Music Experience in Davenport. In Sweden, the designation Riksspelman indicates a badge of mastery in folk music. Both Antonsson and  Hans-Ers have achieved the designation as folk fiddlers.

Suggested donations of $5 will be used by the American Scandinavian Association to fund the Mauritzson Scholarship program at Augustana, which helps to bring student from Sweden to study at Augustana.  

On May 31, the delegation will visit the Jenny Lind Chapel at Andover, Ill., then continue to a public program at nearby Bishop Hill, and Galva, Ill., (sister city of Gävle, Sweden), home of famed Illinois primitive artist Olof Krans. Krans' paintings at the Bishop Hill Museum tell the story of early Swedish migration to western Illinois.

Their study tour will conclude June 1 with a program in north Chicago´s Swedish-American Museum in "Andersonville."

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833