Arts Midwest Folkefest is produced by Arts Midwest with generous support from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies and in partnership with Minnesota State Arts Board. The digital residency is also supported by the American Scandinavian Foundation.
In 2020, the Cultural Center was selected as the partner community for Arts Midwest Folkefest, with a goal to bring the vocal harmonies and fresh melodies of Kardemimmit, a music ensemble from Finland, to New York Mills for a week-long residency to include school and community workshops and a live concert at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. Unfortunately, the COVID global pandemic made an in-person residency impossible. Instead, leaders at Arts Midwest, the Cultural Center, and Kardemimmit together worked out a plan to “go virtual” with the residency in 2021.
After much collaborative planning, adaptation, flexibility, and creative problem-solving, the virtual residency was successfully executed in March 2021, and included the following elements:
- Kardemimmit Livestream Concert – view the concert using these links:
- Virtual Coffee Hour
- Virtual school workshops in New York Mills and Menahga, including the opportunity for students to play kanteles sent from Finland!
Arts Midwest posted this story on their website summarizing the digital residency, written by New York Mills local resident and school employee Connie Vandermay:Song, Bread, Friendship: Exploring Finnish Heritage in Minnesota
The Cultural Center and Arts Midwest were honored to work with Finnish artists Kardemimmit on this digital residency.
Kardemimmit are four strong, young women who play a rare gem: the Finnish national instrument kantele, an ancient stringed instrument with a silvery sound. While playing 15- and 38-string kanteles, Kardemimmit sing mesmerizing harmonies in original compositions that blend a modern approach with a deep foundation in Finnish, Eastern European, and Scandinavian traditions.
Since 2017, Arts Midwest Folkefest has brought musicians from Finland and Sweden to communities in the Midwest. In 2021, when we couldn’t be together in person, Arts Midwest brought music and culture from around the world to virtual screens – in the partner community of New York Mills, Minnesota, and beyond.
Arts Midwest Folkefest is produced by Arts Midwest with generous support from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies and in partnership with Minnesota State Arts Board. This digital residency is also supported by the American Scandinavian Foundation.
For more information on Folkefest, including supplementary educational materials and activity guides, visit https://www.artsmidwest.org/programs/folkefest/online