June 22-24, 2023 | Registration Deadline: May 31, 2023  

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This Event is Made Possible with Major Support From the Following Sponsors

The focus will be Ecologies and Ethnicity and culminate with the museum’s annual Sankt Hans Aften festivities. Plan to participate, visiting America’s heartland where so many Danish immigrants between 1870 and 1930 found new lives.

Held in partnership with the Museum of Danish America, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023!

Because the Danish American Heritage Society played a seminal role in the museum's founding, the DAHS is planning its seventh international conference in and around Elk Horn, Iowa.

TRANSPORTATION TIPS: If you plan on flying to the conference, the nearest airports are Omaha and Des Moines. There is no regular public transportation to Elk Horn, or between the different communities hosting the conference events. You may choose to rent a car, or seek ridesharing opportunities with other conference attendees.

HOTEL INFO: Conference rates have been secured at a number of hotels in the surrounding communities for rates between $100 - $150 per night. Please make hotel reservations by May 15 and mention the DAHS conference to receive the reduced rate.

Conference Schedule

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Therkildsen Center, Harlan, Iowa

Welcome reception, dinner, and keynote presentation by:
Morton Kabell, former Mayor of Copenhagen for Mobility, Climate, and Urban Development


Friday, June 23, 2023

Elk Horn High School, Elk Horn, Iowa

A full day of diverse perspectives on the themes of
Ecologies and Ethnicity

Coffee, kringle, and a boxed lunch will all be provided at the high school.

Speakers include

- Kevin Mason, European-style land use and ecological transformation in western Iowa      

- Pete Berthelsen, prairie restoration in Nebraska and the Midwest   

- Warren Watson, Elk Horn community history     

- Virginia Small, Jens Jensen’s legacy in landscape architecture ·        

- Charley Frisk, documentarian exploring the global sharing of seeds with human migration

- Anders Bo Rasmussen, winner of the inaugural DAHS Book Prize

- Staff from Joslyn Castle, a historic house and garden in Omaha, Nebraska


Friday evening, Manning Hausbarn in Manning, Iowa

Enjoy a tour of the 17th-century Hausbarn relocated from the Schleswig-Holstein area of Germany.

When the Hausbarn was originally built, Schleswig and Holstein were duchies ruled by the king of Denmark.

Other historic structures from the area are also preserved at the cultural site.

An Iowa-style summer barbeque meal will be served, along with musical entertainment by Glenn Henricksen

and a chance to sing along with Danish folk school favorites.


Saturday, June 24, 2024

Museum of Danish America, Elk Horn, Iowa

Jens Jensen of Jensen Ecology (Madison, Wisconsin) will lead a panel discussion about the legacy of Danish immigrant Jens Jensen,
a pioneering landscape architect and early advocate for the conservation of natural spaces.

The Jens Jensen Prairie Landscape Park will be the site for this conversation.

After lunch on the prairie, choose among a variety of activities at the museum and throughout the local community:


- Bedstemor’s House (historic house built in 1908)   

- Elk Horn Lutheran Church cemetery walk with Warren Watson      

- “Nature – Culture / Natur-Kultur” exhibit open in the museum galleries     

- Danish Windmill (relocated from Norre Snede, Denmark, originally built in 1848)    

- The museum’s Genealogy & Education Center on Main Street  

- Film screenings  

- Little Mermaid Park in Kimballton

- Other options to be announced


Evening 40th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

After the conference activities are concluded, all attendees are invited to purchase tickets for the

Museum of Danish America’s 40th Anniversary Celebration Dinner


After dinner, Sankt Hans Aften (Danish-style Midsummer) activities will be free and open to the public:


- Live music     

- Bonfire at sunset

- Smores and snobrod at the Council Ring fire    

- Galleries open for viewing     

- Kubb, croquet, and lawn games

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