Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2018

Kardemimmit comes to Washington through Arts Midwest Folkefest Partnership

Mar 29, 2018

Kardemimmit, a music ensemble from Finland, will visit Washington as part of Arts Midwest Folkefest. The band shares inviting vocal harmonies and fresh melodies played on the Finnish national instrument, the kantele, an ancient stringed instrument with a silvery sound. Their original compositions blend a modern approach with a deep foundation in Finnish, Eastern European, and Scandinavian traditions. The ensemble has released four albums to wide acclaim and toured extensively in Europe, North America, and Japan. Kardemimmit will perform a public concert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Mar. 31.

Washington is hosting Kardemimmit for a full week of activities as part of a program called Arts Midwest Folkefest. In addition to the public concert, the ensemble will visit schools, libraries, and other community locations to share their culture through educational workshops. They have already been seen by over 500 students at the Washington High School and Middle School, Highland High School and St. James Catholic School. They will also be at the United Presbyterian Home, Halcyon House, the Washington Free Public Library on Mar. 29 at noon, at the L.E.T.’s Center on Mar. 29 at 6 p.m., and then end the week with their public performance at the Washington Community Center.

Washington is one of only six communities to host Arts Midwest Folkefest. The program works in small and mid-sized communities in Midwestern states that experienced a significant influx of Scandinavian immigrants during the 1800s and 1900s and still bear signs of this heritage today. Arts Midwest Folkefest seeks to deepen awareness of Scandinavian traditions present in the Midwest while fostering curiosity and appreciation for global cultures. Through the program, the Washington Community Center will also host an ensemble from Sweden for a week-long residency next year.

Arts Midwest Folkefest is produced by Arts Midwest, a regional organization based in Minneapolis. Arts Midwest covers a substantial portion of the program cost so that communities throughout the Midwest can enjoy this multifaceted experience.

David Fraher, president & CEO of Arts Midwest, notes, “Arts Midwest’s goal is to create meaningful and lasting impressions through our programs, and Arts Midwest Folkefest is a perfect example of such an experience. By spending a week in each community, our ensembles have more opportunities to share their traditions and truly connect with community members in a variety of settings.”

Arts Midwest Folkefest is produced by Arts Midwest with generous support from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies. Additional funding for the program is provided by the Nordic Culture Fund, We Energies Foundation, Swedish Council of America, and through American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Thord-Gray Memorial Fund, and in partnership with Iowa Arts Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Minnesota State Arts Board, North Dakota Council on the Arts, South Dakota Arts Council, and Wisconsin Arts Board.

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