Road Stories Blog

Rainbow Nation Remembered

By Lindajoy Fenley

Just as South Africa became the “Rainbow Nation” when anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela accepted his country’s presidency in 1994, the Community Life Center at Brooking’s United Methodist Church became the place for a rainbow gathering at the end of Lorraine Klaasen’s second residency week. The South Dakota community danced to Township music as it celebrated the culture of a faraway country.

Brookings, SD, Welcomes South Africa

By Lindajoy Fenley

Brookings was ready for the South African edition of Arts Midwest World Fest when Lorraine and her ensemble pulled in for the second week of their five-week tour.

Lorraine Klaasen teaches ageless lessons

By Lindajoy Fenley

Everyone in Forest City, Iowa—from at least one toddler to elementary, high school, and university students as well as senior citizens—let Lorraine Klaasen know her music not only touched their hearts but also taught them important lessons.

Music: a tool to build community

By Lindajoy Fenley

“The power of music,” said Choral Director Joel Everist. “Its job is first and foremost to build community.”

Anda Union makes connections around Plymouth, IN

By Ken Carlson, photos by Debi Gidley of Encore Performing Arts

Debi Gidley and Encore Performing Arts welcomed Anda Union to town October 3, and when the week was over, Anda Union knew the area almost as well as the locals.

The postman has nothing on Anda Union

By Ken Carlson

It’s said the postman always delivers. So does Anda Union. Most school workshops take place in gymnasiums, or choral rooms, or auditoriums, so that’s what Anda Union expected when they pulled up to Whiteside Elementary in Belleville, IL, to get ready for its afternoon workshop.

Le Vent du Nord visits Forest City, IA

By Stephen Manuszak

Le Vent du Nord created an incredible buzz in Forest City, Iowa! Eager students danced and learned Québécois songs during workshops early in the week, incredible partners spread word of the ensemble’s visit throughout the community, and an all-ages audience celebrated the residency at the culminating public concert.

Le Vent du Nord visits Brookings, SD

By Ken Carlson, photos by Heather Kallhoff

Le Vent du Nord visited Brookings, South Dakota and enjoyed a fine week thanks to Heather Kallhoff and the Brookings Arts Council.

Baladino visits Lebanon…Illinois!

By Ken Carlson

Members of the Israeli band Baladino really looked forward to their trip to Lebanon—Lebanon, Illinois, that is! Peter Palermo, Liz Crabtree, and all the folks at McKendree University and the surrounding community welcomed Baladino so warmly. It was the last full residency week of Baladino’s tour, and we couldn’t have written a better ending.

Baladino creates new fans throughout Plymouth, IN

By Stephen Manuszak

The week in Plymouth, Indiana, featured traditional songs of welcome, roving student reporters, short pauses for selfies, and questions from curious audience members of all ages! Many thanks to our program partner, Debi Gidley at Encore Performing Arts, for sparking wonderful connections and discussion across Plymouth and neighboring communities.