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Quarterly Newsletter - Summer 2018

Letter from the President & CEO

At Arts Midwest, everything we do—all our accomplishments and successes—are a result of our strong partnerships with others. Our programs take place thanks to the relationships we have developed with the National Endowment for the Arts, our state arts agencies, donors and friends, artists and agents, partners throughout the region, and many others, both at home and abroad.

As you read about our work below, I hope you will bear in mind the incredible collaborations that have helped make these programs possible. The Iowa Arts Council has supported our work on the ArtsLab: Iowa initiative. Our tour of Dessa in China and Hong Kong would not have been possible without the assistance of entities like the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong, and the China Arts and Entertainment Group. And Arts Midwest Folkefest relies on the strong commitment of the Executive Directors, Folk Arts Coordinators, and other staff at our member state arts agencies.

The connections that we hold at Arts Midwest—to our state arts agencies, to our grantees, to the numerous other organizations with which we collaborate, and to individuals like you—are critical to our ability to achieve our mission. Your support, and that of so many others, strengthens both our organization and, by extension, the role of the arts in our communities. We could not do it without you.

David Fraher
President & CEO

Folkefest Taps Into Town’s Finnish Roots


Kardemimmit explores the collections at the Frederick Area Historical Society. Photo by Stephen Manuszak.

The small town of Frederick, S.D., gave Finnish folk ensemble Kardemimmit a big welcome. Read about how celebrating Scandinavian heritage has been an important part of revitalizing this small community.

Read more about Folkefest

ArtsLab Iowa Kicks off with 33 Partner Organizations


ArtsLab Iowa participants. Photo courtesy of the Iowa Arts Council.

In April, ArtsLab gathered the leadership teams of 25 Iowa-based arts organizations and a group of eight peer mentors to get serious about building long-term capacity for the arts in Iowa.

Read more about ArtsLab

‘Dessa in China’ Visits Four Major Cities


Dessa leads the audience in a rap created from a Chinese tongue twister. Photo by Wilson Tong, courtesy of Guangzhou Opera House.

Midwestern hip-hop phenom Dessa made a splash with audiences in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, China! See photos and read stories from the tour on our blog.

Read more about Dessa in China