Baladino in Rice Lake, WI

By Emily Anderson, Photos by Eric Young Smith

It seems like the members of Baladino make fast friends in every community they visit with Arts Midwest World Fest. Their week in Rice Lake, Wisconsin was no exception. Even with bone-chilling cold fronts preoccupying the region, the band’s experiences of wonder and awe at Midwestern snow and cold lightened the mood in Rice Lake, as did the playfulness and warmth of the Mediterranean melodies they shared in workshops and performances.


University of Wisconsin-Barron Continuing Education Director Samantha Heathman welcomed the ensemble with a reception on campus.


Baladino loves doing workshops with children because they are so free with expressions of excitement, like these young students at Barron Area Community Center (left) and these Shell Lake Elementary Students (right).


Yael with some new fans at Riverview Middle school in Barron.


Baladino members with Shell Lake High School Band Instructor Ben Kunselman.


Daniel Sapir braves temperatures that are unfathomable in Israel, where 80 degrees Fahrenheit is normal for this time of year. The residency experience for Arts Midwest World Fest communities is definitely a two way exchange, with artists from other parts of the world learning as much about Midwestern culture and experiences as they share their own cultural heritage through their art.


Yonnie Dror was excited to try cross country skiing, a favorite winter sport in the upper Midwest. Locals Haylee and Paul Lytle help fit Yonnie with shoes and skis.


Cumberland students tune up for a workshop with Tomer and Daniel. Having professional string musicians visit their community and teach a musical style from another part of the world was an inspiring and unique treat.


Members of the ensemble and their community hosts celebrate a great concert and a successful week of residencies in Rice Lake. Left to right: Yonnie Dror, Samantha Heathman, Paul Lytle, Haylee Lytle, Yael Badash, and Daniel Sapir.

Adults posting together in a school gymnasium
Baladino poses with Samantha Heathman and Mark Ratzloff from 3M Cumberland. 3M is a primary sponsor of Arts Midwest World Fest.

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