Finnish group to take part in Arts Midwest event

Submitted Photo Okra Playground, an electro-folk music band, will perform traditional Finnish music with a fresh approach as part of Arts Midwest’s World Fest in Minot.

Arts Midwest is bringing the electro-folk music of Finland to Minot as part of this month’s Arts Midwest’s World Fest in Minot, according to the Minot Council of the Arts.

During a weeklong residency in Minot, Okra Playground will offer workshops in local and rural schools and other community locations, and will perform live in a free concert, open to everyone, in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at Minot State University on Sunday, March 26, at 4 p.m.

Okra Playground’s visit to Minot is made possible by a partnership between Arts Midwest, the National Endowment for the Arts, North Dakota Council on the Arts and Minot Area Council of the Arts. The partnership will continue to bring world music ensembles to Minot through 2025.

“We’re really excited for Okra Playground’s residency,” said Chandell Lattin of Minot Area Council of the Arts. “Our fall workshops and performances had such an extraordinary impact on the local students, and we have received really fantastic feedback from the community. We feel very fortunate to be the North Dakota hosts for World Fest and we’re looking forward to sharing the insights of these incredible musicians and culture bearers with the people of Minot and the surrounding area. This group has a very unique sound, implementing both modern and traditional Finnish instruments, and we know we’re going to have a great time. We hope that our community will take advantage of the enriching opportunity that these concerts and workshops provide and that many will join us in welcoming the group to the Magic City.”

“Arts Midwest’s goal is to make inspirational and lasting impressions on Midwest communities and people through this program,” said Torrie Allen, president and CEO of Arts Midwest. “We think these weeklong visits offer beautiful opportunities for the musicians and our communities to connect with each other through workshops in schools, concerts in the greater community and social gatherings.”

Minot World Fest events

The following World Fest events are open for public attendance. All World Fest events are free to attend.

Wednesday, March 22:

— Community workshop: Minot Public Library, 2-3 p.m.

— Minot State University Student and Faculty workshop: Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, MSU, 4:30 p.m.

— Welcome reception: Northwest Arts Center at MSU, 6:30 p.m., refreshments will be served.

Thursday, March 23:

— K-12 student concert: Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at MSU, 10 a.m. Area K-12 students, including homeschoolers, are welcome to attend at no cost. Groups of five-plus should RSVP to info@minotarts.org to reserve seats.

Saturday, March 25:

— Artists After Hours: Carnegie Center of Minot, 7 p.m. Event is a collaborative arts social event. Okra Playground will kick off the event with a workshop showcasing its eclectic Finnish-folk style. Open mic and community canvas will be available after the workshop. Donation-based cover, cash bar and popcorn available.

Sunday, March 26:

— Free public concert: Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, MSU, 4 p.m.


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