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Saturday, September 24, 2022
"Duckling's Birthday Party"
THE SUGAR HILL MUSEUM of Arts and Storytelling
Where: 898 St Nicholas Ave, New York
Time: 11am and 1pm

Saturday, October 1, 2022
Where: 901 G St NW, Washington, DC
Time: tba

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The Sugar Hill Museum of Arts and Storytelling

898 St Nicholas Ave, New York

Two shows: 11:00 am | 1:00 pm

THE SUGAR HILL MUSEUM of Arts and Storytelling


The annual celebration of the DUCKLING'S BIRTHDAY PARTY.
Hear Andersen tales, and global stories, with music, in honor of beauty and kindness.

The Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center of New York is delighted to collaborate with The Sugar Hill Museum of Storytelling and Art on Saturday, September 24th for a special celebration of storytelling and music. For more than sixty years, The Andersen Center has sponsored a birthday party in Central Park for the Ugly Duckling – who we all know, turned out to be a beautiful swan.

This year we have moved our annual storytelling party indoors to the Museum. Our Artistic Director and world-renowned storyteller Laura Simms has put together a riveting program for all ages with other wonderful storytellers – Linda Humes & Megan Wells, and African Kora master musician Salieu Suso.

The Sugar Hill Museum is a beautiful space in Harlem celebrating arts and culture.

Joy Kelly storytellerMegan Wells storytellerartists

Storytellers and Musicians:
and Master Kora musician

The Sugar Hill Museum
898 St. Nicholas Avenue @ 155th Street
New York, NY 10032

Museum Hours:
Open every
10:00am - 3:00pm
Closed Sunday - Friday
Admission Prices:
Children ages 0 to 8 FREE
Members FREE
Youth ages 9 to 17 $4
Seniors (65+) $4
Students (with ID) $4
Adults $7


Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

901 G St NW, Washington, DC

Two shows: 11:00 am | 1:00 pm | Reserve tickets

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

papercut image In addition to our live storytelling event at the Sugar Hill Museum on September 24, 2022, please keep your eyes on the Martin Luther King Library in Washington DC on October 1, 2022, where our wonderful storyteller, Noa Baum will be in a live performance telling Hans Christian Andersen Stories as a part of the Danish Embassy's contribution to the Euro Kids Festival 2022.
More details will be posted later on our fb page find hca storycenter on facebook
Register and get your tickets for the event here

The illustration of The Wild Swans fairytale (a beloved Hans Christian Andersen story of sibling love) is shared by courtesy of Randel McGee as Hans Christian Andersen, another of our talented storytellers, who combines live storytelling with paper cutting. Thank you for letting us share this paper cut!


The history of Hans Christian Andersen's Statue

More than sixty summers in New York City's Central Park

Fairy Tales From Around The World

On Saturdays all summer long since 1956, New York children have gathered around Hans Christian Andersen's statue at the Conservatory Pond in Central Park to hear his tales told by a fine ensemble of storytellers. Celebrity performers such as Victor Borge, Eva la Gallienne, Fanny Hurst and Celeste Holm have also visited, telling their favorite stories.

Statue of Hans Christian AndersenThe idea for the statue originated with Baroness Alma Dahlerup, then president of the Danish-American Women's Association of New York, who had for years arranged for Andersen's stories to be read on the radio. Robert Moses, then New York City Parks Commissioner, secured the 'perfect' site and the City Department of Parks and Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy have given their active support ever since. A significant share of the funding for the statue came from donations made by school children both in Denmark and the United States. Danish-American sculptor George Lober created the larger-than-life bronze statue that was commissioned in 1954, in anticipation of marking the 150th anniversary of the author's birth. Hans Christian Andersens' well-rubbed knees are ample evidence of the fun children continue to have sitting on his lap.

Storytelling for a rapt audiencespaceThe statue has become a symbol of the good relations between the United States and Denmark. Following a tradition established by her father and mother, her Majesty, Queen Margrethe II visited the statue in 1976 during her American Bicentennial trip. Other members of the Danish royal family continue to visit. In 1964, the City of Copenhagen contributed two 19th century street lamps that now stand on each side of the statue. In 1985, New York City Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, wishing to reciprocate, sent two New York City street lamps to Copenhagen, which can be seen standing in Dantes Plads. More historic information to be found in "From The Archives."



2022 & 2023 Seasons




Dear friends and supporters,


We are pleased to bring you the two live storytelling events described above at the Sugar Hill Museum of Storytelling in Harlem and at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in Washington DC.

We have been trying to get back to live performances in Central Park by the Hans Christian Andersen Statue, to continue our storytelling tradition of more than 65 years, but have been unable to do so during the 2022 season.

Unfortunately the Central Parks Conservancy has decided no longer to support us with logistics, meaning they will no longer bring chairs and sound equipment, as they have for many years.

We can probably find a solution for the sound equipment but obtaining outside services to bring chairs in and out for each performance has shown to be a big obstacle.

For the 2023 season, we are considering asking our audience simply to bring their own blankets or cushions. The challenges with the rental chair service providers are that they tend to be expensive, they will have to park on the main road in Central Park and use dollies to bring chairs in and out (down and up the hill), and we have not found a service that will deliver and pick up again the same day, which is a Saturday, with a very short time frame (one hour before the performance and one hour afterwards).

If you would be happy to bring a blanket or cushion for the regular Saturday sessions and still show up or if you know of any rental chair service providers who can meet our needs, please feel free to comment on our Facebook (e.g. under the two posts about our 2022 events) or to contact us directly at

Most of our 2020 and 2021 seasons are still available online, and you can enjoy them any time you please at the below links.


PayPal link Hans Christian Andersen Storycenter

Fairy and Folk Tales From Around The World!
Appropriate for children ages 6 and up. Fun for Adults as well.

If you and the children in your life enjoy our free storytelling sessions in Central Park, please consider making a donation to ensure the continued survival of the program. Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center is a not for profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status. Donations of $25 or above will receive a formal receipt.

PayPal link Hans Christian Andersen Storycenter

Sponsored by
the Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center, Inc.
in cooperation with the City of New York / Parks & Recreation and The Central Park Conservancy.

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