The Hans Christian Andersen Foundation combines research, tourism and events. The foundation is responsible for cooperation and coordination of the work involved in exploiting the Hans Christian Andersen brand at local, national and international levels. The executive committee of Hans Christian Andersen Foundation Odense is made up of representatives from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Industry and Growth, the Municipality of Odense, the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), the Region of Southern Denmark, and Development Funen. The executive committe of Hans Christian Andersen Foundation Odense has laid down three main tracks for work on Hans Christian Andersen.
Research and reports
SDU has implemented a research project that is to clarify the relevant aspect of Andersen’s importance today as a cultural icon, ‘brand’, myth and historical figure. The knowledge that emerges from the project is to help indicate new tools and new ideas for exploiting Andersen within tourism, culture and events. Among other things, the research project is to clarify Andersen’s importance in Denmark, and a cooperation has also been entered into with Chinese researchers at Fudan University, Shanghai, which has already resulted in a book about the present-day importance in China of Hans Christian Andersen.
Here, one of the aims is to support and contribute to the Hans Christian Andersen Festivals that are held in Odense in August and that bring together a wide selection of local, national and international names and cultural events in Odense, thereby raising it up to a national/international level. The festival features a host of activities, with games, robots, theatre, music and literature for all ages and target groups.
There is considerable potential for exploiting the Hans Christian Andersen brand to attract more tourism – especially international tourism. In cooperation with national tourism organisations and operators, the foundation is to select particular areas for special focus and implement initiatives on the basis of existing Andersen offers. Furthermore, a sophisticated, target effect is to be developed on the basis of research and reports on such topics as the relation between Denmark and China.
Strategy for the work with Hans Christian Andersen
– the four tracks
The Hans Christian Andersen Foundation seeks to promote knowledge of the writer of fairytales and his native city in a national and global context. This work follows four main tracks:
• Research into the importance of Hans Christian Andersen
• Hans Christian Andersen events
• Development of cultural tourism based on Hans Christian Andersen
• International cooperation between iconic cities with the aim of exchanging knowledge and experience
The Hans Christian Andersen Foundation indicates in its present action plan the individual projects and initiatives the foundation has decided to focus on within the chosen main tracks.
The Municipality of Odense and the Hans Christian Andersen Foundation support the Hans Christian Andersen Festivals, held for the first time in Odense in 2013. The Hans Christian Andersen Foundation participates in marketing Hans Christian Andersen and Denmark on a number of global markets, at present particularly China.
The Hans Christian Andersen Museum has established a cooperation with the Chinese Lu Xun Foundation, which seeks to promote international knowledge of the Chinese poet Lu Xun, who was born in Odense’s twin city of Shaoxing in 1883. In addition, the Hans Christian Andersen Foundation is working on establishing a European and international network for the cities that are native cities or domiciles for icons of international stature. In connection with a radical transformation of the central part of Odense in the coming years, a new ‘fairytale house’ will be established adjacent to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum.
The Hans Christian Andersen Centre at the University of Southern Denmark and Odense City Museum (The Hans Christian Andersen Museum) have research contacts all over the world, and take part in a number of projects about Hans Christian Andersen together with international universities.
The Hans Christian Andersen Centre and Odense City Museums are focal points for researchers and research projects based on the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen. The museum and the centre have a comprehensive library and archive.
A key element in research efforts related to Hans Christian Andersen is the analysis and development of modern heritage tourism.
The Hans Christian Andersen Foundation supports the potential that lies in disseminating knowledge of Hans Christian Andersen’s life and work through teaching. This is a task that opens up many perspectives and is an area to which the foundation intends to give increased attention in the coming years.
Odense and Hans Christian Andersen
The Hans Christian Andersen Foundation secretariat is at Odense City Hall, but the first contact the visitor makes with Hans Christian Andersen is at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum.
The house in which he was born is part of the museum, and at a walking distance from the museum you will also find his later childhood home, close to Odense River. This place plays a key role in his boyhood and tales. At various points of the city there are locations and buildings that Hans Christian Andersen once knew, and one can follow in his footsteps by going on a historical walking tour of the old heart of the city.
The open-air museum Den Fynske Landsby (The Funen Village) provides a unique picture of, in particular, everyday life at the time of Hans Christian Andersen.