COVID-19 has completely disrupted business as we know it in the performing arts. Artists are unable to tour, and in-person festivals are on pause. Despite these extreme difficulties, a group of North American venues, presenters, and festivals that present global music are banding together in a brand-new way: Global Music Month 2020.
Global Music Month is a collaborative online celebration of international music featuring concerts, panels, and presentations offered by 19 members of the Consortium of World Music Presenters, a group that Arts Midwest’s World Fest program has been working with for over a decade. From August 29 to October 1, 2020, audiences can tune in to live events and special archival festival performances featuring incredible global musicians. Each event will be unique with no repeat performers.
Founded in 2004, the Consortium of World Music Presenters is a collective of global music presenters and festivals whose primary goal is to share resources for block booking world music artists. Block booking is when multiple organizations coordinate to book an artist, making a financial offer that pools the combined individual offers of the “block” and offers performances along a route and in a timeframe beneficial to the artist. By working together, the Consortium can bring artists to U.S. and Canada-based festivals that they wouldn’t be able to reach as individual organizations. Over the past 16 years, this partnership has toured over 200 bands from over 100 countries through North America.
“The depth of musicianship along with the breadth of performance and global representation in Global Music Month is truly outstanding”
- Tamara Loewenthal, Lotus Festival
“I think most audiences don’t know that so much collaboration goes on behind the scenes between presenters in our region to coordinate tours for the international artists that are featured in our festivals each fall,” says David Hamilton, Executive Director of The Cedar Cultural Center located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “It’s great to work with these same presenting partners to introduce Global Music Month, which will make it possible to uplift and experience each other’s work while showcasing even more global artists to a wide digital audience.”
“The depth of musicianship along with the breadth of performance and global representation in Global Music Month is truly outstanding,” says Tamara Loewenthal, Executive Director of the Lotus Education & Arts Foundation located in Bloomington, Indiana. “We know that audiences across the nation will be thrilled by the originality and nostalgia of these performances.” The Lotus Festival is presenting a compelling roster of new-to-Lotus artists, archived musical performances, and nationally renowned local artists during their 2020 Virtual Festival.
“I am excited that we are doing the Festival and Global Music Month despite the limitations the pandemic has brought to all of us,” says Esty Dinur, Artistic Director of the Madison World Music Festival located in Madison, Wisconsin. During their 2020 Virtual Festival, audiences can tune in to performances and workshops from The Ho-Chunk Wisconsin Dells Singers, Mordovian/Russian group OYME, Guinean artist Natu Camara, Jordanian singer Farah Siraj, multigenerational collective Lakou Mizik from Haiti, and the Madison-based Afro-Cuban band Rebulú.
Global Music Month Partners
Afro Roots Festival, Miami, FL, USA
Arts Midwest World Fest, Midwest, USA
Ashkenaz Festival, Toronto, ON, Canada
BU Global Music Festival/Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
City of Chicago World Music Festival, Chicago, IL, USA
Flushing Town Hall, Queens, NY, USA
Global Roots Festival/Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA
¡Globalquerque!, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, Bloomington, IN, USA
Madison World Music Festival / Wisconsin Union Theater, Madison, WI, USA
NY Gypsy Festival/ Drom, New York, NY, USA
Old Town School of Folk Music’s Square Roots Festival, Chicago, IL, USA
Pop Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada
Seattle Sacred Music & Art, Seattle, WA, USA
Small World Music, Toronto, ON, Canada
TB Sunfest, London, ON, Canada
URGNT TRNTO, Toronto, ON, Canada
West Lafayette Global Fest / Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
World Music Institute, New York, NY, USA