"I thank the VPO society’s commitment to promote the rich artistic traditions of Austria in the U.S., especially its efforts to bring Vienna’s signature sound to young people,” Wolfgang Waldner, Austria’s Ambassador to the United States, pointed out at the opening of the Gala.
Christoph Palaschke (b. 1974), an autodidact artist from Austria, is sporting his inner Andy Warhol by portraying celebrities from the past and present. His first solo show in the United States - entitled FACES 2.0 - is on view through March 31, 2017, at the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington.
The USA Biz-Awards, or “WirtschaftsOskars,” are granted every year to recognize outstanding achievements by Austrian companies in the U.S. market. This year’s winners, assessed by the Austrian Trade Commission in Los Angeles, are Aichelin, ETM, Frequentis, RIEGL, Stratodesk, and ViewAR.
Austrian Foreign Minister, Sebastian Kurz, in his capacity as OSCE Chairman-in-Office travels to the United Nations in New York.
Following his official visit to Washington, DC, Austrian Federal Minister of Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter stopped by in Connecticut to pay a visit to the 93-year-old film producer Eric Pleskow and then travelled to Los Angeles to meet the 96-year-old exile composer Walter Arlen at the residence of Austrian Consul General Ulrike Ritzinger
Austrian Minister of Justice, Professor Wolfgang Brandstetter visited Washington, DC from February 1st to 3rd, 2017.
Accompanied by Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner, he met the present chair of the Helsinki-Commission of Congress, Congressmen Chris Smith, as well as Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee.
The Economic Chamber of Austria (WKO) organized the 2017 edition of ‘trip to the future,’ giving Austrian company representatives an insight into Silicon Valley’s businesses during a five day round trip from January 23-27, 2017.
The Governor of the State of Upper Austria Josef Pühringer accompanied by State Minister for Social Affairs Birgit Gerstorfer and State Minister for Economic Affairs Michael Strugl undertook an official visit to New York City from January 29 to February 3, 2017.
Ambassador Heim, Special Representative of the Austrian OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transdniestrian Settlement Process, visits the U.S.
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the world-famous Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss II, the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington organized a short film competition to bring the classical waltz into the age of multimedia and film.
Alexander Van der Bellen was sworn in as the Federal President of the Republic of Austria on January 26, 2017. The final election result was published on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 (including absentee ballots); Van der Bellen won the re-run of the second round with 53.79%.
On the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary Volume of Contemporary Austrian Studies, the Embassy will host a panel discussion and reception.
When: Monday, December 12, 2016, 7:30 pm
Where: Embassy of Austria, 3524 International Court, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Graduate students from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy presented the results of their capstone project entitled Austria and the Refugee Crisis: An Analysis of American Sentiment in Social versus Print to Embassy staff on December 2, 2016.
A study group from Danube University in Krems, Austria under direction of Austrian political scientist Peter Filzmaier visited the Embassy for briefings regarding the U.S. Presidential election on November 6 and 8, 2016. The group, graduate students in political communication, spent two weeks in Washington, D.C. as part of their curriculum.
On October 25, 2016, Austrian Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner and his wife Gudrun Faudon-Waldner welcomed more than 500 guests at the Embassy on the occasion of Austrian National Day.
On Tuesday, October 4, over 130 guests including Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner, Consul General Ulrike Ritzinger and Trade Commissioner Rudolf Thaler joined co-directors Martin Rauchbauer and Georg Fürlinger for a celebratory opening of their new office with pastries by Austrian-born pastry chef Albert Kutternig. Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, U.S. Ambassador to Austria Alexa Wesner, and the Vice President of the Austrian Chamber for the Economy (WKO), Jürgen Roth participated live from their respective offices in Vienna via a Google Hangout broadcast.
All participants were delighted by the opportunities that this new presence in the West Coast’s entrepreneurial hub presents to Austria. “Silicon Valley, with companies such as Apple or Uber and a third of the world’s venture capital is one of the most innovative regions in the world” said Foreign Minister Kurz. “With this new office, we want to build a bridge to better connect Austrian entrepreneurs with this region and grow their networks and potentials.”
Ambassador Waldner concurred, underlining the growing Austrian network in the U.S.: “I’m delighted to see our excellent network in the U.S. grow even further with this new office in San Francisco, making Open Austria the door opener to Silicon Valley for Austrian start-ups.”
Ambassador Wesner underlined the importance of California and the U.S. in general for the global IT sector: "The U.S. has a vital role in supporting and assisting entrepreneurship worldwide because of our experience, our diversity, and our entrepreneurial culture." Vice President Roth weighed in by stating that “this initiative presents a unique opportunity for Austrian businesses and adds to our existing network of opportunities”.
With the Open Austria initiative, Austria is sending a strong signal to the world’s most innovative and future-minded region. Its mission is to connect Austrian entrepreneurs, innovators, scientists and creative minds to the Valley and provide those who are already here with a home base. Another goal is to shed light on the vast creative and innovative potential of Austria. As a high-tech nation of “hidden champions” in the heart of Europe, Austria deserves to be recognized well beyond its world-famous artistic and cultural traditions.
Ambassador Waldner at the Annual Meeting of the German Studies Association
Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner attended the 40th Annual Meeting of the German Studies Association (GSA), which was held in San Diego, CA, from September 29 – October 2, 2016. The GSA is the premier- multi- and interdisciplinary assocoation of scholars focused on German, Austrian, and Swiss history, literature, cultural studies, political science and economics. The 2016 conference brought together over 1,000 scholars.
Ambassador Waldner participated in a roundtable entitled "Austria and Migration: The Current Refugee Crisis in Historical Context," chaired by Professor Günter Bischof (The University of New Orleans) with fellow discussants Professor Dirk Rupnow (University of Innsbruck) and Dr. Christiane Hintermann (University of Vienna).
Austrian Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology Jörg Leichtfried travelled to the United States in September.
Visit to Silicon Valley
Leichtfried visited the Bay Area with a focus on the future of mobility and Austria as an E-mobility hub. Besides inspecting the brand new Transportation Center of the “smart city” San José, Minister Leichtfried met with Professors from Stanford and UC Berkeley, start-ups, representatives of GoogleX, Tesla and BMW Technologies, as well as Austrian-born Vice President of Security & Privacy Engineering at Google, Gerhard Eschelbeck.
Austria Connect North America in Atlanta
Minister Leichtfried went on to attend the Austria Connect North America conference in Atlanta from 22nd to 24th of September 2016, organized by the Austrian Trade Representatives in the USA. This year, Austria Connect attracted an unprecedented number of more than 110 representatives of Austrian companies. Besides Leichtfried, who gave a keynote on “The Future of Innovation from an Austrian Perspective,” the wide range of speakers comprised renowned experts in the field of computer science, engineering and financial technology, who gave their insights into the future of innovation and manufacturing in the USA and in the world: Austria Connect thus positioned itself anew as a not-to-be-missed event for Austrian companies interested in doing business in North America.
Austrian Federal Chancellor Christian Kern, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, and Minister for Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter were in New York to attend meetings on the occasion of the so-called “leader’s week” of the 71st General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) end of September.
Chancellor Kern attended the Leader’s Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis hosted by President Obama on Tuesday, September 20. He also met UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon together with Foreign Minister Kurz. Both had represented Austria the day before at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants and held a joint press conference for Austrian and international media. Chancellor Kern also attended a reception on the invitation of Ronald Lauder at the Neue Gallerie and held bilateral meetings with H.M. the King of Jordan Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein, the President of Egyt Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.
Foreign Minister Kurz delivered the official Austrian statement at the 71st UNGA on September 21.
Apart from his meetings together with Chancellor Kern, Foreign Minister Kurz met with human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Nadia Murad Basee Taha, had a working lunch with the Foreign Ministers of the Western Balkan countries, attended the EU Foreign Minister’s Transatlantic Dinner with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Libya, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. Minister Kurz also met with the UN Special Envoys for Syria and Libya as well as representatives of Jewish Organizations (AJC, ADL, and B'nai B'rith), opened an Austrian design exhibition at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York and also attended the “Austrian-American Day” reception at the Austrian Consulate-General.
Austrian Minister for Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter attended a side event hosted by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on equal access to an independent justice worldwide. He also discussed the Agenda 2030 with high-level government representatives, including the Minister of Justice of Ukraine, Pavlo Petrenko.
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The Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY) opened its fall exhibition on September 21st - a ten year retrospective of Vienna’s largest and most influential design event, VIENNA DESIGN WEEK - in the presence of Sebastian Kurz, Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs.
Curated by Lilli Hollein, the exhibition 10 Years of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK featuring the City explores the history, structure, and impact of the non-profit event, which has brought renowned international designers to the city and provided a platform for the vanguard of Austria’s young designers. The focus of the retrospective lies on a showcase of works created over the past ten years in novel collaborations between contemporary designers and celebrated Viennese manufacturers such as J. & L. Lobmeyr, Wiener Silber Manufactur, and A.E. Köchert Juweliere.
From its inception in 2007, VIENNA DESIGN WEEK’s modus operandi has been “A City Full of Design,” a slogan that manifests the festival’s desire to view design as a means of activating the urban environment. With this exhibition, ACFNY director Christine Moser and VIENNA DESIGN WEEK founder Lili Hollein decided to bring this major Austrian design event to New York audiences. 10 Years of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK featuring the City is on view until January 16, 2017, open daily, and admission is free.
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Photos: David Plakke/ACFNY