The Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center Central Park New York
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The Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center

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Fairy and Folk Tales
From Around The World!

Appropriate for children ages 6 and up.
Fun for Adults as well.
Where:
At the Hans Christian Andersen statue
"The Ugly Duckling"
near 72nd Street & Fifth Avenue.
in Central Park, New York.
Click to see map
When:
Saturdays in
June, July, August & September
Time:
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Storytelling is held rain or shine.
Cost: Free
Children are asked to sit with
parents or guardians.

 

Fairy Tales From Around The World

On Saturdays all summer long for more than 50 years, 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 commisioned 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
The 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."

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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