Here's What's Happening at the Nordic Museum's Grand Opening Celebrations

Party Nordic style during this weekend's celebrations.

The Nordic Museum’s grand opening events officially began May 1, and continues through the weekend with receptions, galas and tours for museum members, donors and VIPs (including the crown princess of Denmark and the president of Iceland), but even the julkinen (that’s Finnish for “public”) can attend a portion of the festivities.

Note: For the grand opening, the museum is free to the public only on Saturday, May 5, and timed tickets must be secured in advance at the museum’s website. For all other opening-weekend activities taking place within the museum, admission is required ($15 adults/varies for other ages), and entry will be timed for traffic control. For the full calendar of grand opening events, visit  

Friday, May 4

A Conversation with the President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson (prices vary)
8–9 a.m.
Location: Amazon Meeting Center
Listen to the the President of Iceland discuss the country's progress in use of green energy, gender equality and economic growth. The event is cohosted with the Wolrd Affairs Council at Amazon's HQ. Attendees are required to bring government-issued ID for security purposes.

Cultural Community Gathering ($25)
10–11:30 a.m.
Location: Nordic Museum
Attend an informal breakfast and networking event, at which a panel of speakers will be commenting on how they envision the new Nordic Museum as a platform for sharing the perspectives and voices of the Nordic countries. Speakers include First Lady of Iceland, Eliza Reid and Director General of the National Museum of Finland, Elina Anttila.

Mikko Joensuu's KEXP Live session
3 p.m.
Get a preview of the Finnish recording artist during his KEXP Live session. Listen along by tuning in on the radio at 90.3 FM or by going to KEXP's website.

Saturday, May 5

Official Public Ribbon-cutting Ceremony (free)
Noon–1 p.m.
Location: Entry plaza
Representatives from each of the Nordic countries, together with Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and the secretary general from the Nordic Council of Ministers, are scheduled to speak.

Saturday Grand Opening Activities (free)
1–5:30 p.m. 
Location: Great Hall and museum grounds 
Assorted music and family entertainment from performers representing all five Nordic countries, including storytellers, choirs, instrumentalists, folk artists and youth musicians. Over the course of the weekend celebration, you will see more than 30 performers, representing all five Nordic cultures. Performers include Norway’s Vokal Nord, the Icelanding male choir, Fóstbræður, Norwegian singer Eva Vea, and Swedish Grammy nominated artist Petra Stahl.

Chelsea Wolfe’s KEXP Live session
1 p.m.
Before the big concert, Chelsea Wolfe will be performing live at KEXP. Join in the Nordic festivities by tuning in on the radio at 90.3 FM or listening along online.

SOLD OUT: Saturday-night Concert ($18 members/$20 non-members)
7–11 p.m. 
Location: Great Hall
An evening of Nordic and Nordic-aligned contemporary sounds featuring American-Norwegian singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe, Icelandic rock band Mammút, Finnish recording artist Mikko Joensuu, and a Danish girl rock trio Baby In Vain.

Sunday, May 6
Sunday Grand Opening Activities (outside portion free)
9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Location: Great Hall and museum grounds
Assorted music and family entertainment including traditional folk musicians, Nordic choirs and choruses performing on both indoor and outdoor stages.

Grand Opening Participatory Dance (free)
5 p.m.–7 p.m.
Location: Great Hall
Join the Nordic dance community for dancing with local musical groups, Nordic Exposure, Barneleikarringen Jam, and Hale Bill and the Bopps, playing both tradional and new music.

Some of the art pieces featured at the temporary exhibit, 'Nordic Exposure.' Photos by Gwendolyn Elliott

Through September 16 (after May 5, with museum admission)
Times vary.
Location: Visiting Gallery
Inaugural temporary exhibit Northern Exposure presents the work of some of the most acclaimed contemporary artists from the Nordic countries. According to the museum, it’s “an aesthetic study of how the Nordic character continues to redefine itself within an evolving global context.”

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