Senator, and Distinguished Representatives of Minnesota and its cities,
Directors, Members and Staff of the American Swedish Institute,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends of Sweden,
Her Majesty The Queen and I are glad for the invitation to The new Nelson Cultural Center at The American Swedish Institute.We have visited Minnesota many times. On every occasion we have visited the museum and cultural center and recognized its great importance for Sweden and Swedish-America.
The founder of the Institute, Swan Turnblad, was a Swedish immigrant. His success led to the place where we are. Encouraged by my grandfather, The Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf, he established the American Swedish Institute in 1929. That was 83 years ago. Much has changed in the world and in our societies since that time. Change must be embraced and cause us to act in ways that benefit our communities and improve society.
I am happy to see The American Swedish Institute is keeping up with the times. The center has an important role as a link between our past and our future, and between the people in our two countries.
Today we are here to honor the new cultural center. It is inspired by the best of Swedish design and filled with remarkable textile art that honors Swedish craft. We are impressed by your hard work to encourage young people to fulfill the tradition.
The new center is physically linked with the Turnblad home. I applaud your efforts to involve all people of different ages and backgrounds into your work. It is vital for your future and will help you build an even stronger institution.
You have accomplished a great achievement in making The Nelson Cultural Center an eco-friendly, green building.
40 years ago in 1972, I attended the first major United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. It was held in Stockholm and was the starting point for international environmental discussions. Today Sweden is a leader in showing new ways of caring for our world and at the same time promoting economic growth and social good.
I know this is a memorable day. So finally, I would like to thank everyone who has made this event possible. You have all worked hard. Let us hope for an inspiring day for each of you.