Letters from Alexandria

By Arts Midwest

Last week, we received an envelope in the mail from Alexandria, Minnesota packed full of letters from students who participated in the Arts Midwest World Fest residencies there over the past few years.

Thank you so much to all of the students who wrote to us! All of the letters were very thoughtful and kind. Here are some of our favorite quotes…

“After watching these four groups, …I realized that all of the music was so different, but yet so beautiful in its own way. Music is something that people love all over the world and it brings different cultures together, just like it did for us.” –Josie

“I really appreciated all of the groups and this will stay with me forever.” –Paige

“I had never heard any music from any one of these countries where the groups were from. It was all so interesting and I would love to do it again. The music was so different from what I had ever heard before but I loved it and it made me have a different way that I look at and hear music.” –Kristin

“I believe that these concerts are good for anyone because all of the groups come from many different backgrounds and heritages. …When someone shares music with you it creates a sort of common ground, regardless of who or where they come from.” –Matthew

“It was fascinating how [Agatsuma] could play the shamisen so fast and how sweet and peaceful it sounds with only 3 strings.” –Chase

“I really like learning about the different cultures. I have a brother and sister from China, and it felt good for me to be able to hear some of their music, and to learn what it is like where they come from … I was thinking about starting something like this with my friends, because of inspiration from these wonderful musicians.” –Camille

“[This experience] opens people up to different kinds of music that they’ve never heard but they really love that style. Thank you for having the groups come to our schools. It was a really eye opening experience for me.” –Adam

“When Agatsuma came, the earthquake and tsunami had just hit Japan. Them coming triggered me to look up on the internet the information on the earthquake. Once I had learned a little, I couldn’t stop. It was very interesting to learn, and I wouldn’t have known any of it if it weren’t for Agatsuma coming! Also, now that I have learned about these cultures, if someone says something about, I find it fun to share my knowledge with them.” –Emma

These great residencies in Alexandria were made possible in part because of funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Kids in a music workshop
Israeli Ethnic Ensemble workshop in Alexandria, MN


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