I love The Norwegian American!

Summer fun and a new fundraising campaign

Photo: Ulf Reinhall
Sometimes Editor-in-chief Lori Ann Reinhall simply likes to sit down to relax and enjoy a good cup of coffee while reading The Norwegian American. This month, she and her team invite you to join the “I Love The Norwegian American” fundraiser, as the newspaper continues to grow.

Dear readers and friends,

Summer is here, and there seems to be one thing on everyone’s mind: travel. In the past few months, I think I have heard of more summer vacations plans for Norway than ever before. This, of course, comes as no surprise. After all, Norway is a beautiful country, and I come in contact with so many of you who have strong connections there. There is also a lot of travel going on here on this side of the Atlantic, too, and Norwegian-American destinations are also very popular.

All of this “travel fever” has made putting this issue together particularly fun for our team. We have enjoyed hearing about the travel adventures of our freelance writers and sharing some of our own.

But we’ve also come to understand that travel can be confusing with so many options to choose from, we know the importance of getting good advice, and we hope that you have come to count on The Norwegian American as a reliable source of information.

With our cover story, we are pleased to present Up Norway, a new, innovative travel service that allow you to craft a travel itinerary around your own interests. Recently, the founder of Up Norway traveled around the United States to meet with more Americans who want to visit Norway. It was a great way to learn more about the North American market and to present the Norway of today; there are certainly some surprises awaiting. In this issue, you will also learn more about “modern Norway” in a special feature by author Eric Dregni.

This edition is so full of good content that it’s difficult to pull out the highlights. As editor, I am always amazed with what lands up on my desk each month. Not only do we have an incredibly committed staff, but there is an entire community supporting us. That is why we all love The Norwegian American.

Reaching new heights

In the past few years, we have come far with our newspaper, not only in terms of its content and overall quality, but we have also managed to increase our subscriber base and simultaneously reinforce and streamline the infrastructure behind it all. But we are few people doing it, and we still have far to go.

That is why were are now asking for your help with our new fundraiser “I Love The Norwegian American.” This summer, we are hoping to raise a significant amount of capital to help us reach new heights. Many of us working on the paper have already passed retirement age, and it is important that we leave a solid foundation for the next generation to build upon.

We have a number of improvements planned, including an even better digital presence and an expanded marketing apparatus. We need to increase our staff and work with qualified professional freelance resources to achieve all of this. We live in a rapidly changing world, and we know that we must change with it to survive and thrive.

Working together for the future

Perhaps one of the most significant changes we made over the past couple of years was the transfer of ownership of our paper to Norway House in Minneapolis. This dynamic organization stands as the epicenter of activity for connecting the United States and contemporary Norway through arts, business, and culture. This merger has not only strengthened our presence in the heart of the Norwegian-American community in the Midwest, but we also gained non-profit status, which makes giving a donation to The Norwegian American beneficial to you as tax-deductible donation.

As we kick off the campaign, we have already received one large donation from our principal benefactor and publisher emeritus of the paper, Ragnar Meyer-Knutsen, but I also want to stress that donations of any amount are very meaningful and will make a difference to us. We hope you will wear that “I Love The Norwegian American” sticker you will be receiving with the paper in the mail with pride and share your enthusiasm for our newspaper with others. I’ve got my own stickers on my coffee cup and cell phone—a great reminder of how I feel about my job and how fortunate I am able to share this love with others.

At that, I want to wish you many hours of happy reading. In addition to the travel features this issue offers, there are delicious recipes, an exclusive interview with cross-country skiing champion Jessie Diggins, film and book reviews, and a Barneblad presenting Wendy Jensen’s new book about woven Scandinavian hearts (Wendy, by the way, was the designer of our campaign sticker)—and so much more. I know I have said it so many times, but I am especially proud of this issue. Yes, I do mean it from the bottom of my heart: I love The Norwegian American!

This article originally appeared in the July 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.