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Arts Midwest Folkefest

The 2017–2019 Arts Midwest Folkefest presents traditional music ensembles from Finland and Sweden for intensive, week-long residencies, featuring public performances and educational activities designed for all ages and levels of musical experience.

The program visits small and mid-sized communities in six Midwestern states—North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—all of which experienced a significant influx of Scandinavian immigrants during the 1800s and 1900s.

The program seeks to deepen awareness of the Nordic traditions, heritage, and history of the Upper Midwest and foster understanding and appreciation for global cultures.

Participating Artists

Kardemimmit | Finland

Kardemimmit are four strong, young women who play a rare gem: the Finnish national instrument kantele, an ancient stringed instrument with a silvery sound.

Emilia Amper Band | Sweden

Emilia Amper is one of Sweden’s most successful folk musicians. She is a world champion player of the nyckelharpa, a traditional instrument played in Sweden for more than 600 years.

Tour Schedule


Sep 27-28, 2017 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire

Sep 29, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Cedar Cultural Center

Oct 1-7, 2017 in Chisholm, Minnesota
Minnesota Discovery Center

Oct 8-14, 2017 in Rice Lake, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin-Barron County

Oct 15-21, 2017 in Marquette, Michigan
Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University

Partnerships and support

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.