BELGIUM TODAY         APRIL 2012  
April 10-14
Washington, DC
The Alliance Française of Washington, DC, presents Small is More, a five-day festival of theatre and dance from  Wallonia, in various venues.  (Please see article on right)  Website  
April 13 - 24
multiple cities
Tour of the European Union Youth Orchestra with Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor, and Clara Yang, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman, Yefim Bronfman, or Mark Kaplan, soloists:
4/20 Boston, MA 
April 15 - 21
Washington, DC 
Two films from Belgium will be shown at Filmfest DC: The Giants by Bouli Lanners, on 4/15 at 7 and 4/18 at 8:30 at Naval Heritage Center; and  Come As You Are, by Geoffrey Enthoven (director of The Over the Hill Band) on 4/17 at 6:30 and 4/21 at 6 at Regal Cinemas Gallery PlaceTickets  $11.
April 27 - 29
Norfolk, VA
The Royal Band of the Belgian Navy will participate in the Virginia International Tattoo, in cooperation with the NATO and Norfolk NATO Festival.  Tickets or 757 282-2822 
Through May 6
Washington, DC
Henri Evenepoel is one of seven  European artists featured in Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard, at the Phillips Collection. Introductory tours of the exhibition (included in the admission price) are offered every Sunday at noon. Website
Through  May 13
Dallas, TX
The exhibition The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries features a set of four monumental 15th century tapestries woven in Tournai and recently restored in Mechelen, at the Meadows Museum.  Website
Through June 3
Sarasota, FL
More than 75 engravings from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp form the exhibition Peter Paul Rubens: Impressions of a Master, at the Ringling Museum of Art. Website
Preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Commerce indicate a significant surge in the financial inflow by companies from Belgium into the U.S. last year. Belgium was the leading foreign investor in the U.S. in 2011, investing $43.8 billion (20% of total foreign investment in the U.S.). Belgian investment surged by more than 600% over 2010. The EU-27 represented 48% of all foreign investment in the U.S. The data are based on a survey of every U.S. company which has 10% or more foreign ownership. The data for 2011 will be revised and published on June 14, 2012. 
In keeping with its mission to promote emerging francophone artists, the Alliance Française of Washington is showcasing Belgian theater and dance in a festival that will take place  in Washington, DC, from April 10 through 14.  "Considered among the most cutting-edge troupes in Europe today, these five companies captivate audiences with their corrosive humor, incongruous plots and experimental settings."  Website
Last week, the Commission for International Policy, European Affairs and International Cooperation of the Flemish Parliament visited the US East Coast. This study trip of 15 Flemish Representatives was focused mainly on economic aspects, especially with regard to high-tech industries such as biotechnology and life sciences, cleantech, green construction and renewable energies, including the link with academic research in the northeast of the United States.
The Commission started in New York, with a visit to Flanders House, where they met with staff members of the Flanders Government; they also visited the Tourist Office for Flanders-Brussels and Flanders Investment and Trade and discussed future projects to position Flanders as a region that lives and breathes Cutting Edge Craftsmanship.  At Flanders House, the Commission met with a number of Belgian professionals active in the New York area. Other stops on their New York visit included the United Nations and the Belgian Permanent Representation to the UN, Ground Zero, NYSE, Vlamingen in de Wereld and ‘t Klokhuis, a  school which offers Dutch classes.  To conclude the New York visit, the Consul General of Belgium hosted a working luncheon for the delegation at his residence.
The second part of the study trip, organized jointly by FIT and the Consulate General,  was centered in Boston, with visits to both MIT's Media Lab and School of Architecture and Planning, Harvard Law School, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, the Massachusetts State Assembly and the Wind Technology Testing Center. At MIT, the Commission was hosted by Belgians Pattie Maes (Media Lab) and Alexander d’Hooghe (Architectural Urbanism). In addition, the Commission met with Dries Buytaert, inventor of Drupal, a software tool used by some of the biggest sites on the Web.  The Honorary Consul of Belgium in Boston also hosted the delegation and set up contacts with the financial sector in that city.
In 1997, the Belgian Government declared an official day of remembrance to honor members of the military who have died since l945 while in service to humanitarian causes or peacekeeping operations.  April 7 was chosen as the specific date, because it marks the day in 1994 when ten Belgian paratroopers, UN soldiers in Rwanda who were escorting the Rwandese prime minister, were captured and brought to a camp in Kigali, where they were brutally murdered.  Since the end of World War II, more than 200 Belgian military servicemen have lost their lives in the line of duty. They are now remembered with a ceremony that takes places on April 7 at 11 a.m. (Belgian time) at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Brussels; Belgian military and civilian personnel elsewhere in the world also honor their fallen comrades on this day.
To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of Gerard Mercator (1512-1594), the Flemish geographer, engraver, and maker of scientific instruments, maps and globes, the New York Public Library is hosting Mercator at 500.  This is an exhibition of extraordinary cartographic works that, according to the Library, "not only illuminate the brilliant mind and skillful hand of the cartographer himself, but also highlight his esteemed position and enduring legacy within the long arc of the history of cartography and geography."   Website
Visit our facebook page
- to find out why the UN thinks Belgians are among the happiest people in the world!
- to listen to a message by Lieselot Watté, Belgian cellist with the European Union Youth Orchestra, on the countdown to the Orchestra's Spring Tour 2012 to the United States of America!
Embassy of Belgium, 3330 Garfield Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008 or 202 333-6900 with questions or comments.