New Orleans’ Norwegian Seamen’s Church begins a new chapter as Scandia House. What was established in 1906 as a dedicated Seamen’s Mission, under the patronage of Norway, later evolved into the Scandinavian Jazz Church in the Lower Garden District.
Located at 1772 Prytania Street, according to Trine Tobar, Executive Director, “The church has always maintained a mission to serve the city’s Scandinavian community. However, changing times and evolving conditions dictate that this mission must now broaden its horizons. This is an exciting new period in our history and the new life of the iconic property as Scandia House will allow us to continue to serve but in a different, more inclusive and contemporary way.”
The Scandia House concept has been established in order to preserve the facility’s rich Norwegian traditions, but it will now represent all of the other Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland) as well as the artistic and cultural traditions of some other countries who have long had a presence in the Crescent City. “Scandia House Presents” will be a monthly series of unique cultural offerings which will enable Scandia House to more fully serve as a truly vibrant cultural gathering place that presents local, regional, national and international talent in the form of musical concerts, lectures and festivals.
Initial plans call for new programming to begin in late August with all events being open to the public. Scandia House advisory board members and supporters intend to continue religious services in the chapel but luncheon and evening events will bring a renewed vitality to the site that has waned over recent years. “It is our hope that through community support of our programs, and an innovative programming model, the legacy of the Norwegian Seaman’s Church facility will continue for another 100 years in our city,” said Erik F. Johnsen, advisory board chair and former Honorary Consul to Norway.
More information regarding the new Scandia House concept is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (504) 525-3602.
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Off Beat Magazine ran an article about our organization, wonderfully put together by Jan Ramsey.