About Arts Midwest World Fest

Arts Midwest World Fest presents international musical ensembles in intensive week-long residencies in smaller Midwest communities. Its purpose is to foster an understanding of and appreciation for global uniqueness and differences.

Arts Midwest World Fest’s objectives are to:

  • present high-caliber, accessible international artists to small- or mid-sized Midwest communities;
  • provide a multifaceted experience to community residents, particularly young people;
  • integrate the artists and their music into a broader social, cultural, political, and historical framework;
  • encourage young people to explore issues and understand concerns of diverse cultures; and
  • create a lasting musical and cultural impact on participants.

Each cycle of Arts Midwest World Fest occurs over a two year period in which four global musical ensembles conduct week-long intensive residencies in selected communities throughout the Midwest. The residencies consist of school concerts, workshops, and outreach activities, and culminate in a public concert.

To extend the cultural experience to the classroom, Arts Midwest provides participating communities with a curriculum that helps students and teachers better understand and appreciate the customs and traditions of the visiting ensembles. We hope that studying other cultures will spark a lasting curiosity in both teachers and students that will result in further exploration of the diverse and fascinating cultures of the world.

A program of Arts Midwest, the 2017–2019 Arts Midwest World Fest cycle is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Hearst Foundations, 3M, the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program, the Kaufman Family Fund for Israeli Cultural Exchange, the Nordic Culture Fund, and the BNSF Railway Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Heritage Foundation Grants Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation for Manhu. Funding for Sofi & the Baladis is provided in part by contributions from the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest, Israel Lottery Council for Culture & Arts, and Music Port. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.