For millions of Europeans, the journey to a new life in America started in the warehouses of the renowned Red Star Line shipping company in Antwerp. And this is where the new Red Star Line Museum will open its doors next spring. While the museum is under construction, the public is invited in for a peek for a few days this year. From Saturday, April 28 to Sunday, May 13, everyone is welcome to enjoy the Red Star Line Festival.
The historic building in Montevideostraat will be transformed into the Belgenland Ballroom, inspired by the ballroom on the S.S. Belgenland II, the Red Star Line’s largest and most luxurious steamship. This is an ideal location to hold a party that will feature all kinds of music, including klezmer, jazz, big band, and swing, mixed with talks, theater, dance initiations, comedy, films, walks, and exhibitions.
High Tea America
On Sunday afternoon, May 6, you will be treated to high tea in the lounge of the Red Star Line while listening to talks about Antwerp, America, and the rest of the world.
Putting America on center stage, Belgian TV personality Marcel Vanthilt will journey with you and a few guests to America, the Promised Land. Philip Heylen, Alderman for Culture and Tourism, will tell us why he pledged his heart to the New World. Wilfried Van den Brande, a bass-baritone from Antwerp, greatly admires the American composer Cole Porter. He will talk about his passion and sing from The Great American Songbook. The author Dirk Musschoot will tell us about Flemings who sought salvation in America. Joris Van Parijs is the biographer of Cyriel Buysse, the Flemish writer who crossed the Atlantic numerous times between 1886 and 1893. The Red Star Line specialist par excellence, Robert Vervoort, will also give a talk. Bert De Vroey, a VRT journalist and an expert on America, wrote De kleuren van Amerika (The Colors of America) about multicultural America, with its beautiful and ugly aspects, its successes and its failures. Finally, we will give the floor to two very special Americans: Howard W. Gutman, U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, and Linda Emmet, the daughter of the American composer Irving Berlin, who was a Red Star Line emigrant.
Date: Sunday, May 6
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Place: Montevideostraat 3, 2000 Antwerpen
Price: Admission free
American Club of Brussels
http://www.americanclubbrussels.org/ (also for online registration)