In New York, 2018 Nytårskur Celebration Heralds a Year of Opportunity for the Danish-American Bond

Amid the hustle and bustle of Midtown Manhattan, Denmark In New York convened this week for its annual Nytårskur event, bringing champions and stakeholders of the Danish-American bond in the arts and in business together for an evening of jazz, champagne and a hint of the ambitious plans that the Consulate General of Denmark in New York has for 2018.

The event, held at the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, did indeed bring Danish and American leaders in business and culture under one roof. But the evening was also a prime opportunity for host Consul General Anne Dorte Riggelsen to reaffirm the strengths, shared values, and goals of the Danish-American bond, especially in the Big Apple.

“It is indeed within our range, our capacity, and our responsibility to gather and mobilize all the good forces of our Danish family on this side of the Atlantic to tackle head-on the uncertainties of today and the looming disasters of tomorrow,” the Consul General declared, opening the festivities. “My vision is that together we are stronger. Together much is still possible. And together we may turn crisis into opportunity.”

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Denmark In NY Consul General Anne Dorte Riggelsen addresses the celebration.

Opportunities, in fact, remained an overarching theme of the evening as the Consul General noted the growing success of the Danish-American business relationship. Over the last five years, the United States has become one of the top markets for Danish companies with exports to the United States growing more than 20 per cent and healthcare — “one of the essential pillars of Denmark and Danish society” — taking a notable lead. These positive numbers, Ms. Riggelsen added, were “a call to action” for other industries, from design and urban solutions to global partnerships and finance, to follow suit.

Turning to the year ahead, the Consul General also flagged the 50th anniversary of Denmark’s civil registration system — the CPR Registry — which, she said, offered an exceptional occasion to promote and discuss how big data, paired with quintessential Danish values such as trust in government and sense of community, have elevated CPR into a stunning success story for both the public and private sectors. Denmark In New York’s #CPR50 campaign is set to kick-off with a series of New York-based events later this year.

Against that backdrop, the international #MeToo movement and Denmark’s role as a global leader in gender equality became an equally present theme during the evening as guest of honor and Minister for Equal Opportunities, Karen Ellemann addressed the audience with rousing remarks focusing on gender equality, the #MeToo movement, and the future of equal opportunity for everyone.

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Denmark’s MInister for Equal Opportunities, Karen Ellemann. (Credit: Tina Buckman)

“The international #MeToo movement is a much-welcomed wake up call to us all and should be embraced as such,” said Minister Ellemann to a rapt crowd. “The #MeToo movement has shown us that sexual harassment may not be a minority concern. And combatting it is indeed a majority goal.”

The evening was also contoured by the relaunch of the Danish American Society, now reimagined as the Danish American Cultural Exchange (DACE) — a non-profit organization that will function as a platform for both Danish and American artists and creatives.

Applauding the renaming of the organization, Consul General Riggelsen noted that DACE, in particular, highlighted the “special relationship” between Denmark and the United States and how both countries “thrive and prosper from the mutual flow of talented and creative people.”

“I feel convinced that this admirable effort will help nurture, strengthen and promote the Danish-American bond in the arts, in business, and in generating new ideas to help propel us towards a brighter future,” she concluded.

“DACE can now serve as a cultural hub and fundamental connector bridging Danish potential with American dynamism.”

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The Official Medium Blog for the Consulate General of Denmark in New York. For all things Danish, #DenmarkInNY.

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