This post is the second of five in a series that outlines key components of an Arts Midwest World Fest residency. Arts Midwest World Fest presents international musical ensembles in intensive week-long residencies in smaller Midwest communities. Its purpose is to foster an understanding of and appreciation for global uniqueness and differences. The residencies consist of school concerts, workshops, and outreach activities, and culminate in a public concert. This series will follow the Unni Boksasp Ensemble from Norway as they visit five Midwest towns during their second and final tour with Arts Midwest World Fest.
While workshops and concerts are a big part of any residency week for the Unni Boksasp Ensemble, one could argue that beginning-of-the-week welcome receptions are one of the most important aspects of each residency. The reception is a time to make those all-important first impressions—a time to gather local community contacts to officially welcome the ensemble and an opportunity for the ensemble to accept that welcome and introduce itself through song and conversation. It’s chance for joyful friendships to begin and then grow as the week continues. Receptions build momentum for the week and the public concert at the end of it. Our Dubuque partners, the University of Dubuque and the Dubuque Arts Council, offered a generous welcome for the ensemble that set the tone for an excellent week..
Tom Robbins of the University of Dubuque got things rolling with greetings and introductions.
Christen Ebby and her University music students offered a song to welcome Unni’s ensemble.
Unni Boksasp Ensemble with Martha Greisheimer in front of the Versterheim Museum in Decorah.
Martha Greisheimer from the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa made the 2 hour trip to Dubuque to welcome Unni and her group. On its travels from Dubuque to Red Wing at the end of the week, the ensemble returned Martha’s generosity and paid a visit to the Vesterheim Museum and Heritage Center to reconnect with Martha and enjoy the Museum. It’s lovely to see these connections—connections that go well beyond the workshops and concerts.
Tom gathered everyone for one last group photo on the Heritage Center stage.