Road Stories Blog

Welcome Çudamani!

Company members rehearse a dance

By Arts Midwest

We are excited to welcome Çudamani to the Midwest as they kick off their first Arts Midwest World Fest tour!

The ensemble members spent their first few days in Hill City, SD, resting from the long travel and rehearsing. They also met many friendly residents, explored the beauty of the Black Hills area, and went fishing in the winding Castle Creek.

The group began its tour with workshops in the Hill City schools, where the students were incredibly kind and responsive. The ensemble also hosted workshops at STAR Academy for Youth, a juvenile corrections facility.

A look back at this year's tours

School workshop with Tarim

By Arts Midwest

In our first year of Arts Midwest World Fest 2011-2013, we’ve been thrilled to partner with such wonderful global musicians, and equally wonderful Midwestern communities. Egypt’s Wust el Balad, Israel’s Yamma Ensemble, and China’s Tarim have had great effects on the communities they visited in the fall and spring.

Yamma Ensemble in Hill City, SD

Band members interacting with students

By Eric Young Smith

The week in Devils Lake was packed so full that it seemed over before we were ready to say goodbye. Every day was filled with countless adventures that bred new friendships through the great hospitality of the Devils Lake community. Before I realized our stay was over, we were packing our belongings for the trek to Hill City.

When plotting our course, we realized our time on the road to Hill City would be long. We decided to saddle-up and leave early in order to have a relaxed time and afford ourselves a few stops along the way.

Yamma Ensemble in Devils Lake, ND

Musical performance

By Eric Young Smith

From Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Yamma’s tour continued to a town in North Dakota named Devils Lake. Yamma arrived to a warm welcome with the comforts of chocolates and cookies from Kimberly Hatten of the Arts Council of the Lake Region. We were delighted to meet up with Kim, our friend and primary contact during the residency in Devils Lake. She began by guiding us to another thoughtful gift: a wonderful meal prepared for us at the house of Arts Council member Theresa Leiphon.

Yamma Ensemble in Detroit Lakes

Seated, holding the violin on his knee

By Eric Young Smith

After closing a great week in Wausau, Wisconsin, the members of Yamma Ensemble and I made a long, northwest drive to the community of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Though our week in Wausau seemed to end too soon and we would gladly have stayed longer, I was looking forward to our visit to Detroit Lakes. I imagined beautiful, small inland lakes and colorful sunsets.

The geography surrounding Detroit Lakes didn’t disappoint! We arrived later in the day and settled in to our hotel, which was a short walk from the lakes after which our host community was named.

Yamma in Wausau, Wisconsin

Yamma ensemble performing at a small reception.

By Eric Young Smith, Arts Midwest World Fest tour manager

After a drive from Minneapolis with a few stops along the way, Yamma arrived in Wausau and settled in for a well-deserved night and morning of rest since traveling halfway around the globe.

Carrying rich memories of people and places past while fulfilling the mission of Arts Midwest World Fest brought anticipation of good things to come.

Yamma Ensemble returns to the Midwest

Middle school workshop with Yamma Ensemble

By Arts Midwest

We’re excited to welcome back Yamma Ensemble for their second tour as part of the 2011–2013 Arts Midwest World Fest!

The group arrives this week to begin a tour through the western states in our region:

Wausau, WI – April 15-21, 2012
Detroit Lakes, MN – April 22-28, 2012
Devils Lake, ND – April 29-May 5, 2012
Hill City, SD – May 6-12, 2012

Full event details

During their previous tour in fall 2011, Yamma Ensemble hosted inspiring hands-on workshops and demonstrations, sharing their unique musical blend with students who were excited to meet people from another country a

A sendoff from Elyria, Ohio

Tarim dancers pour water from the cups after the dance.

By Shigeyo Henriquez

The weather was incredibly warm the last few weeks of the tour. When they arrived in Chicago on February 16, it was still winter. We were wrapped in winter coats, scarves, and boots. By the end of the tour in Elyria, Ohio, we needed short sleeves and lightweight clothes.

Springtime in Wabash, Indiana

Dancers in colorful costumes with students on stage

By Shigeyo Henriquez

We left Saugatuck, MI, on Sunday morning and made a stop at a Halal meat market in Fort Wayne, IN. It was a small store, and the store manager was overwhelmed when all 20 of us walked in. I bet it was the biggest day since he opened the store! We bought beef, mutton, chicken, and some sweets, and we planned to have a big feast when we got to Wabash, IN.

Colorful crocuses and daffodils in full bloom accented the beautifully renovated Charley Creek Inn, our home in Wabash.

Saugatuck, Michigan

Dancing with kids on stage

By Shigeyo Henriquez

We left Charleston, IL, in the early morning of Sunday, March 4, and stopped in Chicago on our way to Saugatuck.

We had lunch at a restaurant on Chicago’s North Side that served food from Uzbekistan, and then our bus driver, Bob, drove us downtown for some quick sightseeing. Near the planetarium, everyone got out of the bus and took thousands of pictures with the Chicago skyline in the background.

Our first workshop in the Saugatuck area was at Glenn Public School. It’s a one-room school with a total of 50 students from K-6.