SWEA San Francisco held its annual Spring Dinner at the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco on May 20.
The event began with welcoming laughter, chatter and smiles from fellow SWEA members already on the "lower deck" of the yacht-inspired club. Here was the chance to mingle and meet old and new SWEA members, enjoy delicious imported cheeses, fruit and refreshing drinks, and purchase something from SWEA members who had items for sale: jewelry, Tove Alsterdals’s book “Kvinnorna på stranden,” homemade bread, prints by Lena Lindeholm and a lot more. Also available were free issues of Nordstjernan and Nordic Reach.
Dinner was on the "upper deck." When everyone was seated, the new SWEA San Francisco president, Camilla Podowsky, welcomed everyone and gave a brief speech as overture to the tasty plate of Chef Pelle’s dinner buffet: baby spinach salad, wine and dill-poached salmon with cold watercress caper sauce, new potatoes and tender lemongrass garlic grilled kebobs. Last but not least was a splendid dessert of apple berry crumble pie with vanilla cream.
During the meal, a few SWEA ladies began the “allsång” (sing-along), which heightened the mood even more. Outside the sun set and disappeared behind the hills and the Golden Gate Bridge before 2010’s SWEA San Francisco Scholarship recipient was revealed.
This year’s recipient was Kimberly La Palm, for her study of the relationship between text, production performance and reception of drama in her project, “Ethnography of Stockholms Stadsteater’s production of 'Fadren' by Strindberg." Kimberly’s intention is to study how the misogynistic "Fadren," first performed in 1893, is approached by Swedish contemporary artists and received by contemporary critics and audiences. By attending several performances in the course of one week Kimberly will study variations in productions as well as audience responses. Her immediate goal is to present the results of her research at a conference on Scandinavian Studies and to have them published.
Kimberly has a degree from the Scandinavian Section of UCLA, a Bachelor of Arts in Scandinavian Studies and Drama from the University of Madison-Wisconsin, experience in theater production, is fluent in Swedish and is now working on doctoral studies toward her long-term goal of using research as groundwork for more wide-ranging academic work.
Next on the evening's agenda was the announcement of the Hat Competition winners, voted for by attending SWEA members. There were all kinds of creations: straw hats, baseball caps, hard hats—all with unlimited decorations like flowers, nests, antlers and the like. The proud winner was Gun Johnston, whose straw hat had a wreath of cornflowers and garden with a birch-bark bird nest on top. The winner received a pin with a hat and a bottle of wine.
A few more “allsånger” filled the room before it was time for the SWEA San Francisco Silver Spoon award, which acknowledges a local SWEA member’s devoted work for the organization. There are many devoted members, but this year’s winner, Kerstin Eriksson Splawn, received the Tove Norlander designed silver spoon. She has been a member of the board as treasurer, president and vice president, member of the finance review committee, district meeting committee and SWEA International Finance Committee. She has been responsible for SWEA SF investments and the “bank” at SWEA SF Christmas Fair, many times SWEA SF general for the Christmas Fair and member of the Peninsula “pysselgrupp.”
Soon after, the evening was over. It never fails to amaze me how time flies when you are in good company.