BELGIUM TODAY         MAY 2011  
 
WHAT'S COMING?
 
May 2-8
Memphis, TN
Salute to Belgium at the 
Memphis in May Festival includes Belgian exhibitions,
performances and special events. Website
 
May 3 -17
Washington, DC
Peru: Idealismo y Costumbrismo, figurative paintings and watercolors by Belgian artist Stephane Lefebvre DeBernardi, at the Embassy of Peru (weekdays, 10am - 5pm). Website
 
May 7
Washington, DC 
Visit the Belgian Embassy on EU Open House Day: view a photography exhibition and a video, learn about the country and sample Belgian treats (10am - 4pm). For info on all embassies participating in Shortcut to Europe, click here
 
May 13
Washington, DC
Belgian architecture lecture (in English) by Fred Joris Wallonia: Above and Beyond the Battle of the Bulge, at the Alliance Française.
 
May 14
Washington, DC
The 2011 Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live at the Goethe-Institut  (3-6 pm) RSVP to 202 289-1200, ext 173 or rsvp@washington.goethe.org
 
May 14-20
Various U.S. cities
Flat Earth Society, the 15-piece Belgian big band founded by Peter Vermeersch, performs everything from strictly written sheet music to liberating improvisation.
5/14 Tropical Heatwave, Tampa, FL
5/15 The Palladium, St. Petersburg, FL
5/17 Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center (free)
5/18 Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia
5/19 Lincoln Center, Atrium Stage, NY (free)
5/20 Museum of the Moving Image, NY  Website
 
 
 
VISIT OUR SITES: 
VANACKERE CONGRATULATES OBAMA ON OPERATION AGAINST OSAMA BIN LADEN
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Steven Vanackere issued a statement congratulating President Obama and his Administration on the successful military operation against al-Qaeda in Pakistan.  "The elimination of Osama Bin Laden, who among other things ordered the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, is a historic step in the fight against terrorism."
 
The Minister's remarks were reiterated by Ambassador Jan Matthysen in a phone interview with FM-Brussels Radio on May 2.  The Ambassador added: "Bin Laden's death brings full circle the events that traumatized Americans ten years ago."
 
FINANCE MINISTER GETS GOOD NEWS IN DC
Having been Belgium's 'Treasury Secretary' since 1999, and chair of the EU ECOFIN Council twice (2001 and 2010), Didier Reynders has attended more gatherings of the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee, of the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and of the G20 Ministers than most of his colleagues.
 
But this year’s 'Spring Meetings,' held in Washington from April 14-17, were especially sweet to the Belgian Minister of Finance, as they were marked by the publication of a very positive assessment of Belgium’s economic and financial situation by the IMF.  Read more
 
LARGE CONTIGENT FROM WALLONIA
AT LAS VEGAS MEDIA FAIR
Minister-President of the Walloon Region Rudy Demotte visited the National Association of Broadcasters Trade Fair in Las Vegas from April 12-14, 2011. The NAB-Show is the largest electronic media show in the world, with more than 1,500 exhibitors and over 85,000 visiting media and entertainment professionals from over 150 countries.
 
For the sixth time in a row, the Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency (AWEX) organized a highly visible “Wallonia, Region of Belgium” stand at the NAB Show, hosting a large number of high technology companies from Wallonia and Brussels active in the media sector.  Read more
 
VIOLINIST LORENZO GATTO
AT BELGIAN RESIDENCE
Belgian violinist Lorenzo Gatto, winner of the second prize at the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Music Competition, performed a recital at the Ambassador’s residence on April 8.  He was accompanied by Roman Rabinovich, a twenty-four-year-old Israeli pianist, who was the top prizewinner of the 2008 Arthur Rubenstein International Piano Master Competition.  The musical program, which included sonatas by Mozart and César Franck and two pieces by Camille Saint-Saëns, received a standing ovation from the very enthusiastic audience.  The concert was organized under the auspices of The Embassy Series, a not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to “unite people through musical diplomacy.”  Read more
 
SHORTCUT TO EUROPE
On Saturday, May 7, enjoy a tour of Europe without leaving Washington, DC! The Embassies of the 27 EU member states will open their doors to Washingtonians during this annual EU Open House Day. Each embassy will be open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on May 7, offering a rare look inside the buildings and providing a unique opportunity to experience the country's cultural heritage and national traditions.

Free shuttle bus service will be provided throughout the day, with stops at various embassies and select Metro stations. For complete information about the EU Open House, please visit: http://www.eurunion.org/EUinUS/eu-open-house.

This annual event will also kick off Europe Week — seven days of European events (concerts, exhibitions, performances, etc.) throughout the United States.
Embassy of Belgium, 3330 Garfield Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008
washington@diplobel.fed.be or 202 333-6900 with questions or comments.