Scandinavian Charitable Society Fall 2014 Newsletter

Page 1

FALL 2014

news& events SCSGB

what's inside...

page 6 Around the Neighborhood

page 8 Nordic Food Festival

page 10 Cultural Center

Scandinavian Living Center


Scandinavian Cultural Center

Kaffestugan Expansion Soon to Become a Reality

After nearly three years and the financial support of three foundations and a multitude of dedicated donors, we have reached our goal to commence the expansion of the Kaffestugan area of the Scandinavian Living Center. “This is a great day for the residents and for the many visitors to the Scandinavian Living Center and the Scandinavian Cultural Center,” said Executive Director, Joe Carella. The new construction will vastly improve the space around the dining room and the common area referred to as the Kaffestugan. It will also make improvements to the front patio, turning it into a more functional and safer area for residents and visitors to meet and sit during the warmer months. More specifically, the plans call for reconfiguring the entrance to the dining room to reduce congestion during mealtimes. The work to be done in the common area of the building will serve to improve traffic flow while also creating additional space for smaller, more intimate programs, such as poetry readings and small lectures. The Kaffestugan, open as a public cafe on Saturdays will benefit from more space to operate and serve the increasing number of patrons. Christine Peterson, President of the Scandinavian Charitable Society of Greater Boston, and on behalf of its Board of Directors, expressed sincere appreciation to all those who made this possible. “This has been a big project to fund, but thankfully we had a lot of support. Our deepest gratitude goes out to the Charles H. Farnsworth Charitable Trust, Charlesbank Homes and the John W. Boynton Fund without whose grants we might not be celebrating today. And I extend a special thanks to long-time friend of the Society and former President, Suzanne Frederick, who led the charge with her financial leadership role in the campaign.” Over the next few months, the construction plans will be finalized and the necessary permits obtained. “Barring any unforeseen delays,” Mr. Carella said, “it is anticipated that the work will begin in the early spring of 2015.” He added “Stay tuned. We will keep everyone posted on our progress.” Thank you all for your support, encouragement and patience. Once again, the Scandinavian Charitable Society’s perseverance has paid off.

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This model of living enables the residents to stay connected to younger generations, sharing their wisdom and experience, as they come together in a natural way and on a regular basis. The Scandinavian Cultural Center’s successful Nordic Food Fest was a wonderful example of all ages coming together to share new ideas and experiences. Everyone involved felt the vibrancy and energy that flowed throughout, once again creating another positive living experience.


These statements made me think about how the Scandinavian Charitable Society has viewed this “service” over the years. By challenging an “accepted” model of living (an environment that creates institutional isolation), we have pushed for something more inclusive and integrated. Our model encourages a path of accountability for both residents and the community, breaking down the barrier of isolation that exists between us.

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During a recent conversation with Past President Gardi Hauck about the importance of social accountability as it applies to the non-profit world, Gardi’s responses left a great impact on me. First, she stated, “In a broader sense, we are all obligated to give back to society for our good fortune.” She then went on to quote Marion Wright Edelman, President of the Children’s Defense Fund, “Service is the rent we pay for living.” Her brief statements were inspiring to me and in fact created an immediate and reflective change in my newsletter message.




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Joseph Carella

By challenging an “accepted” model of living (an environment that creates institutional isolation), we have pushed for something more inclusive and integrated. Our model encourages a path of accountability for both residents and the community, breaking down the barrier of isolation that exists between us.



A Big Thanks to our Smörgåsbord Nordic Food Festival Sponsors


That special obligation continues with our supporters as they have helped us build both the Living and Cultural Centers and, most recently, helped us reach our goal to fund the much anticipated and needed Kaffestugan expansion. We are slowly accomplishing our dreams. It has taken time, and our collective social accountability and obligation are getting us there. Our positive accomplishments continue to impact the quality of life for everyone involved in our community. As we go into the holidays and begin to reflect on this past year, I hope you look at our wonderful community and feel the sense of accomplishment as you look back and consider ways to contribute and be connected. I can assure you that your support will have a positive impact toward the living legacy we continue to create.



Executive Director to speak at national symposium Joe Carella, Executive Director, has been invited to speak and participate in a panel discussion on international design and development of senior housing. The invitation was extended following the publication of an article in Real Estate Review on the Scandinavian Living Center’s “enlightened approach to senior housing.” by Janet Nyberg. This is the third such symposium and will be hosted by the University of Maryland/College Park. Participants will include top designers, developers, academics and representatives from AARP and the National Association of Homebuilders. Symposium organizers view the blending of the activities of the Living Center and the Cultural Center as a successful case study. A question that they hope to answer is, can this model be replicated elsewhere?

The Scandinavian Charitable Society is proud to be part of community efforts for a happy holiday season. For the seventh consecutive year, Village Bank will partner with the City of Newton’s Department of Health and Human Services for the annual Holiday Gift Drive to help brighten the holidays for Newton children. Thanks to the generosity of many organizations and individuals, last year’s drive touched more than 200 income-eligible families.

Holiday Gift Drive

The bank has asked for our help in getting the word out and being a collection site for toys and gifts. Please help us bring smiles to many faces by dropping off new, unwrapped toys for newborns to age 10 to the reception desk at the Scandinavian Living Center between Monday, November 24 and Friday, December 12. Gift cards from local merchants will also be accepted and will benefit businesses in the Newton area. According to Joseph DeVito, president and CEO of Village Bank, “This is a perfect example of community spirit. The success of this campaign each year defines who we are as individuals, as residents, and as a City that cares.” Thank you in advance for caring. Your efforts will enhance the lives of many families this December.

Changing of the Guard If you have been down to the Business Office this past year, you can’t help but be impressed with Brooke Cabot’s friendly smile and infinite patience. She has stepped into the position of Business Manager flawlessly and is always able to set someone at ease. Brooke, a resident of Dedham, graduated from Duke University with a degree in Psychology. She received her Masters of Social Work (MSW) from Boston College. Her prior position was with a healthcare company focused on the needs of seniors. Along with four other women, she is part-owner of “Nest” in Dedham, Brooke Cabot a store that specializes in art, antiques, homegoods and accessories. Brooke and her husband Chris have two children at the University of Richmond and a set of twins in high school. She looks forward to the challenges of her role and is excited to see all the improvements taking place. Fran Dragon, who preceded Brooke as Business Manager for 20 years, is now known to everyone as Community Advocate. Fran has taken on this newly created position with her typical enthusiasm and commitment, focusing on a wide range of issues that include the various needs of residents. It is a perfect position for Fran since she is an excellent listener and problem solver and will strive to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and happy. So far, the feedback has been extremely positive, especially from new residents who may need some guidance as they adjust to living here. Fran sees the Center as “a community in which kindness and connection are paramount.” As part of her preparation for her new role and with thanks for her commitment to the organization, Fran was recently sent on a sojourn to Scandinavia, Fran says, “I am immensely grateful to have been given the opportunity to experience first-hand Scandinavian inclusivity and co-operation. I’ll do my best to bring my renewed respect for both into my current position of Community Advocate”. We are confident that Fran will continue to work hard to improve the lives of others.

Fran Dragon


The times they are a changing, and so is the SLC! The new digital display in the reception area informing residents and visitors of what is happening is just one example of the changes occurring at the SLC. Some comments from residents include “There’s a lot of action around here,” “The Cultural Center is the best,” and “It’s great that we have a van driver more often now. I love all the new bus excursions, especially the mystery trips.” We asked others to comment about changes here. What came to mind for past President Suzanne Frederick is the newly formed Suzanne and Albert Frederick Resident Friendship Fund which launched this past year to enhance the lives of residents. It will enable more people to participate in a wide range of activities such as outside lectures, excursions, AL trips, cultural and educational programs luncheons,Gtheatre R O U andOvisits with friends outside the community. Stacey Christie, Activities Director for 13 years, commented that a lot has happened at the SLC recently. Transportation has been increased from two to four days a week and now includes limited personal transportation. Residents are driven into Boston more often to take in its beautiful sites, including boat cruises and a variety of museums. The addition of Corinne Bennett in the Activities Department has been a shot in the arm for on-site programming such as Jeopardy, bocce, Wii and trivia games, and a new art program is starting soon. Residents agreed that the increase in the amount and quality of cultural activities and trips was definitely noteworthy. Kim Nadolny, Food Service Director, has been here 14 years and is quite proud of some innovative ideas in recent months, including a number of summer cook-outs and clambakes which the residents enjoyed tremendously. There were also several theme-based meals such as a Hawaiian Luau, Red Sox Opening Day, and an Oktoberfest Celebration. Kim implemented “stations” at some meals, such as omelet

stations for breakfast and pasta stations for dinner, which have been very popular. What she enjoys the most is her monthly breakfasts with a small group in the Private Dining Room where residents get to share their thoughts. So far the feedback has been very positive. Kudos to Kim and her staff! Mary Robles, Resident Care Associate, who has been with the organization for 25 years, commented that communications have been continually improved which has led to increased safety. She cites the greater use of walkie-talkies, a new wireless emergency response system that includes fall detection, and an updated computer in Resident Care. Mary is happy that they have received ongoing training to work with residents and feels that new staff members in Resident Care have added to the SLC’s great reputation and resident satisfaction. Finally, Carl Carlsen, the son of one of the very first residents to move into the Scandinavian Living Center 13 years ago, had only positive things to say. He loved the temporary sculptures that were placed on the lawn prior to our Nordic Food Festival and thought they were an innovative way to enhance the overall charm of the building and grounds. Secondly, he was “knocked out” by the quality and variety of events offered by our burgeoning Cultural Center. He saw it as a big boost to the Scandinavian model of eldercare. Rather than isolating older adults, as many American models do, it has created an “inclusive” community by connecting residents to the outside world. All in all, the ongoing efforts made to improve things for residents and visitors have not gone unnoticed and seem to be greatly appreciated. Everyone looks forward to seeing more changes implemented and to the continuing success of the organization – a great place to live and to visit.

Turn $8.33 into $100 You would like to do more for the Scandinavian Charitable Society of Greater Boston, but it is hard on your budget. One way to significantly increase your support with a minimum impact on your budget is to make a pledge and then pay that pledge throughout the year in easy to manage increments. For example, a pledge of $100 can be paid for as little as $8.33 per month. If you choose this option, please contact Bill Woodard, Director of Development at or 617.467.3176.



From Tim Dreher Physical Therapy and Chiropractic This is the first of many articles on healthy living… easy things that can be done to promote wellness

Welcome to our New Residents!

WHY WALK? We have all heard that walking is good for us, but why exactly? First, walking is an easy way to exercise that doesn’t require equipment. In good weather it can be done in your neighborhood. In bad weather it can be done in your home or apartment building, in a mall (many area malls open their doors early to allow walkers to get their exercise and socialize with others) or here at the SLC, where 13 laps around the inside of the building equal one mile! But why walk? First, walking is considered an aerobic activity which means it strengthens the heart. The heart is a muscle that needs to be kept strong. And just like a 1955 Chevy, it needs to be brought out onto the highway and opened up! Aerobic exercise has also been shown to help with mood. One study suggested walking 20 minutes, 2-3x/ week was just as effective as taking anti-depressants.

Since our last newsletters, we would like to give a hearty welcome to our newest residents:

Sally Wadman Sally, a native of Auburndale, lived in Sudbury for 45 years. She has 4 children and 4 grandchildren. She volunteered at the Scandinavian Living Center for 19 years teaching Scandinavian culture and crafts to residents. Her earliest memory of the Center was of her parents bringing her to Midsummerfest at the age of 3 when it was known as the Swedish Home. She enjoys all things related to Scandinavian culture.

Bette O’Hare

Walking in the sunlight also helps us get Vitamin D, which is good for mood, but also helps absorb Calcium, which is very important for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. The act of walking provides stimulation to the bones to help absorb the calcium. Researchers found that healthy, young astronauts who were weightless in space for many months developed osteoporosis as severe as an elderly woman.

Bette was born in Cambridge and has lived in a variety of places before moving here. She has six children, 10 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Bette was an accomplished ballet dancer and taught dance well into her eighties, including line dancing at the Natick Senior Center. She also enjoys music, art, theater, literature and puzzles and has travelled extensively throughout America and abroad.

Getting sunlight, especially first thing in the morning, helps set our circadian rhythm (our internal clock) which promotes good sleep at night.

Rosemarie, born in Boston, is a long-time resident of Newton and has 3 daughters, 4 grandchildren and a new great-grandson born this June. Her interests are knitting, reading, sewing and cooking. She enjoys watching the birds gather at the feeder right outside her window.

Walking also challenges our balance reactions and strengthens our leg muscles, which prevents falls. We recommend walking 2-3 days a week at varying speeds and inclines for 20-60 minutes. It is best to have a set time to walk and go with a friend who can encourage and motivate you.

Happy walking!

Rosemarie Culkeen

Ann Pilla Ann, a lifelong resident of West Newton, lived in her current home for 52 years. She joins her older sister, Grace Cerra, who has been at the SLC for 4 years. Ann has 2 children and 3 grandchildren and enjoys knitting and crocheting. She loves to interact with the other residents.

Nelvia Van’t Hul Nelvia was born in Iowa but lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan for 45 years before coming to Newton to be closer to her daughter. She is a grandmother of 2 girls and 2 boys. She worked at the University of Michigan for 25 years as a writer and editor and, until recently, led a weekly writing group for older adults for almost a decade. Her hobbies are reading, writing and music.


Ice Cream Social

“This is like a neighborhood and not an institution.” – Resident, Howard Johnson reflecting on the Scandinavian Living Center

Hawaiian Luau

Plumbing Museum

New England Clambake


Apple Picking Oktoberfest

Opening Day

Gillette Stadium

Castle Island


“Hungry for some


Nordic Food Festival

“Nordic food is suddenly very, very in. Visitors milling about the great lawn of the

Scandinavian Cultural Center are tasting salmon, Danish pastries and fish stew at the first Smörgåsbord Nordic Food Festival.”– Jessie Hazard, The Boston Globe, October 2014


Kjøttkaker? Fancy a bowl of ärtsoppa? It’s likely you can sample both at a Smörgåsbord, a Nordic Food Festival hosted by the Scandinavian Cultural Center. The first of it’s kind in the Boston area.” The Improper Bostonian September 2014

“Food Festivals...bring

different generations, so it’s fun to see people bringing their kids or their grandparents and really all types of people. I like that part.” – Astrid Chow, Newton Tab September 2014

9 7

An Update from The Scandinavian Cultural Center

Christina Mealey y Director, Scandinavian Cultural Center The fall season at The Scandinavian Cultural Center got off to a running start, ushered in by the highly successful and sold out Smörgåsbord Nordic Food Festival on September 20th.

by its audience who lined up to purchase all of Lo’s copies of “SLEET,” her father’s recently published collection of short stories. We wish Lo success in sharing Stig Dagerman’s voice with a growing audience.

The fall also saw two exciting installations: vibrant metal sculptures on the grounds by local Latvian artist, Gints Grinbergs, and Von Echstedtska Gården, a photographic exhibition in the Nordic Hall Gallery which captures the beauty of an 18th century manor in the Värmland region of Sweden, displayed by special arrangement with the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C.

Coming to The SCC in November is an exhibition entitled “Continental Drift” featuring works by the printmakers of Íslensk Grafík, The Icelandic Printmakers Association, who recently welcomed The Boston Printmakers for a visit and collaboration. In a companion exhibit at The Belmont Gallery of Art, works by both the Boston and Iceland printmakers will sit side by side, while the SCC will exhibit works by the Icelandic printmakers exclusively. On November 20th, some of the artists featured will join us for a reception and artist talk.

At the end of September, the SCC presented a concert by Scandinavian vocal ensemble Stämbandet as part of its Fika Sound Series, a program funded by a grant from the Barbro Oscher Pro Suecia Foundation. Attendees of Stämbandet’s concert were treated to a trip through Scandinavia complete with funny and bittersweet anecdotes intermingled with storytellingthrough-song. It was a very special afternoon, and the concert was a fine complement to the Center’s weekly Kaffestugan in which pastries from The Danish Pastry House and The Crown Bakery are served along with open-faced sandwiches and coffee. The Nordic Hall was set up café style encouraging visitors to bring their brunch into the Nordic Hall to enjoy during the concert. This alternative set-up allowed for a more informal and comfortable setting befitting Stämbandet’s engaging and inviting performance style. Pauline Yang stunned our audience with a performance that served as testament to her impressive musical biography which began with a solo recital at Carnegie Hall at age eleven. We are honored to have hosted such a fine artist who will undoubtedly continue to garner further accolades with her extraordinary talent and zeal. In partnership with The Scandinavian Library, the SCC proudly hosted Lo Dagerman for “Dreams of My Father,” a talk about her father Stig Dagerman’s life, work and untimely death as a result of a debilitating depression at just 31 years of age. Sixty years since his passing, Dagerman’s works are still widely read and revered in Sweden, but Lo aims to bring his work to American readers. This intimate talk was well-received


On November 22nd at 1:00pm, the SCC will host another Fika Sound Series concert featuring fiddling duo Rachel Panitch and David Kaynor. Like the Stämbandet concert, the program will be offered during the Center’s weekly Kaffestugan. Guests will enjoy a mix of Swedish and American fiddle tunes including polskas, schottisches, waltzes and walking tunes. In December, the SCC will join SWEA at its annual Yuletide event at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts. Planning is well underway for 2015, with return visits planned by Finnish pianist Paavali Jumppanen, Swedish-American fiddler Brian Wicklund, and “Twosomes” photographer Mark Chester who will share a series of immigrant portraits in March/April. Also planned is an exciting collaboration between musician Maria Finkelmeier and Swedish-American fiber artist Anna Kristina Goransson which will be presented as part of the City of Newton’s Festival of the Arts and ArtWeek Boston. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Scandinavian Cultural Center Seeks Inaugural Members It is so exciting to be building The Scandinavian Cultural Center from the ground up. Our audience is growing, our offerings are increasing, our social media following is expanding and our reach is broadening. Gints Grinbergs

Lo Dagerman

This increased reach was evident at September’s Smörgåsbord Nordic Food Festival which sold out and welcomed over 400 people to our campus to enjoy a day of food, fun and cultural celebration. The festival also sparked the interest of the press, gleaning write-ups in The Boston Globe, The Newton Tab and Improper Bostonian, as well as a story on NewTV. With growth comes a need to continuously evaluate the sustainability of our initiative, and to refine our thinking and approach as needed along the way.

Von Echstedtska Gården


Brian Wicklund

“Continental Drift”

To that end, we have launched a new membership program for 2015. We are calling this venture “community supported culture” – just like community supported agriculture, only instead of supporting your local farm, you are supporting your local cultural center, and instead of collecting a bounty of fruits and vegetables, your bounty comes in the form of cultural enrichment. Membership benefits are many: being part of the growth of a young cultural center, supporting the sharing of Nordic culture on a site with over 100 years of Scandinavian history and supporting a pioneering community nonprofit model, all while enjoying quality, enriching programming free of charge with preferred seating. Members will also be invited to an exclusive annual forum in which they may share thoughts and ideas for the growth of the Center. All for a modest $75. Thanks to a long-time supporter of parent organization, The Scandinavian Charitable Society, all contributions made to the Cultural Center, including those which go toward the purchase of membership, will be matched dollar for dollar through the end of the year.

Pauline Yang

Paavali Jumppanen

We are looking for individuals who are interested in Nordic culture and who believe in what we are doing to make a formal commitment and join us in maintaining the momentum the Cultural Center currently has. Are you one of them? For more information about becoming a member, visit the “Get Involved” tab on the Cultural Center website or contact Christina at

Rachel Panitch

David Kaynor

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (Scandinavian Cultural Center) and Twitter (@ScandiCenter). Subscribe to our e-list for monthly updates on upcoming events at


The Scandinavian Charitable Society of Greater Boston 206 WALTHAM STREET, WEST NEWTON, MA 02465 y PHONE: 617.527.6566

FALL 2014

Dear Friends, As we move into the holiday season, I have given thought

After several years in the planning we are fulfilling our

to all the many things we have to be thankful for. Among

mission with the opening of the Scandinavian Cultural

those thoughts I have as the President of the Scandinavian

Center. In only three years, it is drawing audiences

Charitable Society of Greater Boston is how far the Society

comprised of the residents as well as many others from

has come and the very impact we are having on senior

the greater community. It is estimated that annually we


have more than 20,000 visitors. They come for the cultural

In our fall donor appeal I drew a parallel between the American Revolution and the revolutionary approach to senior living we have introduced.

programs, for physical therapy, the Kaffestugan and the Scandinavian Library and its films on Saturdays. No matter the reason, we have successfully maintained and promoted community connections for the residents.

I am thankful to those leaders of the Society who had the forethought and will to explore an alternative means of senior living. They encouraged a research trip to Scandinavia and borrowed from the Scandinavian fundamentals

Looking ahead, it is my wish to see us continue to build on our “revolution” and to be an inspiration to others providing senior living.

of eldercare. The result was the creation of the Scandinavian

From all of us, may the coming holiday season bring you

Living Center, an affordable open community model that

and your family the very best.

strongly promotes day-to-day connection with the people beyond our doors. The Living Center was only the first step in this endeavor.

news& events SCSGB

Scandinavian Living Center

Scandinavian Cultural Center

Christine Peterson, President

For comments, questions or information, contact us at 617-527-6566 or by email at Contributors: Joseph Carella, Carol Chudnofsky, Tim Dreher, Christina Mealey, Christine Peterson and William Woodard; Photographers: Corinne Bennett, Alan Bloom, Brooke Cabot, Carol Chudnofsky, Stacey Christie, Richard Snider, and Yesenia Jaimes; Edited by: Brooke Cabot, Carol Chudnofsky, Christina Mealey and William Woodard. Graphic Design: Karen Ancas; Printing: Atlantic Printing Company

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