BELGIUM TODAY        MAY 2013  
May 2 at 12:30 pm
Washington, DC
Lecture-recital by Pamela Meys Kane, Sounds of the Silent Cinema Organ Recalled in the Life and Works of Firmin Swinnen, at the Catholic University of America, Benjamin R. Rome School of Music, Room 211, Ward Hall. Website
May 4 - June 29 
Washington, DC
Koen Vanmechelen's  installation Leaving Paradise on view at ConnerSmith Gallery. Opening Reception May 4 from 6-8 p.m.  Website
May 6 at 6 p.m.
Washington, DC
Paul Oorts and Karen Ashbrook will perform traditional music from Western Europe,  on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. Free; no tickets required. (See article, right) Website
May 9 - July 19
Chicago, IL
The exhibition Faces Behind the Truth -- the Mirrors of Charles Szymkowicz includes 25  portraits of famous Americans and Europeans who have influenced American art, at the Koehnline Museum of Art. Opening reception May 9 from 5-8 p.m.
May 11, 10 am - 4 pm
Washington, DC
The Belgian Embassy will participate in Shortcut to Europe, the annual EU Open House. Website
May 29 at 8 pm
Cleveland, OH
The Red Devils, Belgium's National Soccer Team, will play a friendly international match with the U.S. Men's National Team. Website
Through May 19
Washington, DC
"Shatter" images by Jean- Marie Guyaux are included in the exhibition The Newtown Project: Art Targets>Guns, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ. Website
Through May 19
Arlington, VA
Works by Belgian designers Alain Gilles and Sas Adriaenssens are included in the exhibition The Next Wave: Industrial Design Innovation in the 21st Century, at Artisphere.
Through June 9
Los Angeles, CA
The exhibition Looking East: Rubens's Encounter with Asia focuses on the earliest depiction of a Korean costume by a Western artist, at the Getty Center. Website
This year's Open House at the Belgian Embassy, on Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., promises to be our best ever.   Don't miss the exhibition The Cradle of Art Nouveau: Victor Horta and Brussels. We'll also have on display a scale model of the Princess Elisabeth Station, Belgium's research facility in Antarctica, and we'll be showing videos about the Solar Impulse airplane, which on May 1  will begin a series of flights across the U.S. powered solely by the sun.  If you're thinking about flying yourself, you can try out Brussels Airlines' business class seats. Our visitors will also have a chance to view a collection of Spirou comic album covers,  speak with a representative of the diamond sector and learn about Belgian defense.  We'll be sampling waffles, breads and spreads and giving away chocolate, beer and other specialties.
The Embassy would like to thank VisitBrussels, Brussels Airlines, Belgian Tourist Office, Visit Flanders, Le Pain Quotidien,  Antwerp World Diamond Centre, Belgian Polar Secretariat, Solvay, Dupuis Publishers, Orval Brewery, Brasserie DuBocq, Anheuser-Busch/InBev, Duvel Moortgat Brewery, Lindemans Brewery, Trappist Brewery of Westmalle, Delhaize America, Tiense Suikerraffinaderij, Lotus, Guylian, Jules Destrooper, and all of our other generous sponsors.
For information on "Shortcut to Europe" and on the free shuttle bus service that will link the European Union embassies, click here.  
Flemish contre dances, Italian tarantellas, Celtic jigs, French bourrées and musette waltzes will all be on the program that Paul Oorts and Karen Ashbrook will present on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage on Monday, May 6 at 6 p.m.
Oorts will perform on harp guitar and accordion, while Ashbrook will play the hammered dulcimer and wooden flute in this medley of traditional music from Western Europe. 
The concert is part of the European Month of Culture in Washington, DC. To download a complete program of musical performances, art exhibits and tours, film screenings and lectures, click here .
The implementation of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has caused Belgian financial institutions to review their policies towards their US-based clients.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), adopted in 2010 in the United States, was designed primarily to combat offshore tax evasion and increase federal tax revenues. It requires financial institutions to identify US taxpayers who have invested in either non-US financial accounts or non-US entities. The intent behind FATCA is to keep US taxpayers from hiding income and assets overseas.
FATCA enters into force on January 1, 2014, but foreign financial institutions, including Belgian institutions, are preparing to comply with the new reporting regulations.
The consequences of the review may differ from financial institution to financial institution, depending on the status of each financial institution with regard to the US authorities, the specific US rules applicable to them, and the particular financial products held by individual customers.
US-based clients may be asked to sign specific documents enabling the institution to comply with the regulations. In some cases, different rules of conduct may enter into force and a limitation of access to some services or products is possible for US-based clients on United States territory. The Embassy therefore advises US-based clients to contact their financial institution in Belgium as soon as possible to learn about the consequences of the new policies for them.
For general information on FATCA, please visit the U.S. Treasury Website
In keeping with its long association with Antarctica and its strong commitment to the Antarctic Treaty, Belgium will host the 36th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. This ATCM, a "green event," is organized by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety & Environment, and the Belgian Science Policy; it will take place at the Egmont Palace Conference Centre in Brussels from May 20 to 29.   Website
Belgian theater organist Firmin Swinnen, whose organ improvisations made an important contribution to American silent movies between 1916 and 1922, is the subject of a lecture-recital that will be presented by Pamela Meys Kane at the Catholic University of America on Thursday, May 2 at 12:30 p.m. 
The talk will be based on Kane's doctoral dissertation which shows that, collectively, Swinnen’s experiences in Scherpenheuvel (where he witnessed and likely played organ for Liturgical Dramas), the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp (where studies with Benoit and De Hovre exposed him to music in the context of opera and drama), and performing 264 organ recitals in England to benefit the Belgian War Relief on orchestral organs not known to him in Belgium, enabled him to compose music for the organ with features and nuances that were previously unknown in the organ repertoire.  During the second half of the program, Ms. Kane will perform Swinnen’s Longwood Sketches. Website
Visit our facebook page to learn about registration for academic year 2013-2014 at the Bethesda Dutch School.
Embassy of Belgium, 3330 Garfield Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008 or 202 333-6900 with questions or comments.