Norway supports Norway House

The Norwegian government has pledged NOK 1.5 million toward new event center

Norway House

Photo: Lori Ann Reinhall
A model at Norway House shows the organization’s plans for the future. The current building is the one in the lower center, and to its right is the planned new structure—an event space and library.

Norway House
Minneapolis, Minn.

Norway has pledged NOK 1.5 million (around $175,000) to Norway House in Minneapolis. The funds will help to build a new event center that aims to strengthen cooperation between the business sector in Norway and the Midwest. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall of 2020.

“Norwegian technology companies are at the forefront internationally, and there is great potential in the Midwest. By supporting this expansion of Norway House, we want to showcase Norway as a leader in technology, with a dynamic business community that is ready to grasp the opportunities that are available in the United States,” says Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

“There are strong historical and cultural ties between Norway and the Midwest. The expansion of Norway House provides an excellent opportunity to present modern-day Norway, with a focus on innovation and the business sector. Norway House also highlights the close ties between the people of Norway and the United States,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide says.

There are 850,000 people of Norwegian heritage living in Minnesota alone, and a total of 2.3 million Norwegian Americans in the Midwest. A number of Norwegian technology companies are already established in the Midwest, and the expansion of Norway House will strengthen cooperation and shed light on new opportunities. Key local industries include health technology, biotechnology, green energy, and unmanned aerial systems.

The Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries has pledged NOK 1 million for the project, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is providing another NOK 500,000. These funds will be used for a new building in connection with the existing education center. This building will have a focus on promoting business. Other financing will be provided by the private and public sectors in the United States and Norway.

In 2017, Norway House was honored with a gift of $5 million in matching grants from the State of Minnesota to expand the current Norway House campus around the entire block. Together with Mindekirken, the Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, this block will solidify its status as the cultural center for Norwegians in America.

Norway House’s mission is to connect the United States with contemporary Norway through arts, business, and culture. Born out of the need for a centralized location in the Midwest Norwegian-American community, Norway House has grown to serve as more than just a convening mechanism for local organizations and heritage; it’s also a destination for contemporary Norwegian art and ideas and a hub for cultivating Norwegian and pan-Nordic government and business relationships.

For more infomration about Norway House, visit

This article originally appeared in the May 31, 2019, 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.