Arts Midwest World Fest

  • This week the Thief River Falls Public Schools and the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council welcome Anda Union to our community. As we enter our fourth and final residency of our Arts Midwest World Fest grant we now know the power this program brings to a community. Sharing their story through music, four groups have connected our large world in a very personal way for students. Baladino from Israel, Le Vent du Nord from Quebec, Lorraine Klaasen from South Africa, and now Anda Union from Inner Mongolia, have made their way to our schools.

    The purpose of Arts Midwest World Fest is to bring international music ensembles to midwestern communities for week-long residencies through grant funding awarded to one community per state in the midwest. During this week the ensemble hosts twelve workshops for students and a public concert for the community. The workshops have included students in all of our schools, plus community events, workshops at Northland Community and Technical College, and small group workshops for aspiring musicians.

    The impact has been tremendous. Students experience first-hand the culture, language, music, instruments and costume of each ensemble. Teachers help provide background information to students in preparation for these residencies, only to have their new knowledge come alive when our musicians arrive in our community.

    We thank the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council, the community and the school staff for supporting this two-year endeavor. The beauty and power of music has made the world a little more connected for our students. These musicians have left us with a greater global understanding and appreciation for many types of music. They also left the message that our culture is a part of our story, meant to be kept alive for generations to come.