Digital residency will connect Menahga with Finland

The all-woman Finnish folk ensemble Kardemimmit will be part of a week of exposure to Finland's cultural heritage, March 16-24 in Menahga and New York Mills.

Kardemimmit is described as an innovative, Finnish folk quartet specializing in singing mesmerizing harmonies to the accompaniment of 15- and 38-string kanteles, the Finnish national instrument. (Submitted photo)

This month, the Finnish folk ensemble Kardemimmit will spend a week virtually visiting Menahga and New York Mills as part of Folkefest.

According to a press release, the group was selected to participate in Arts Midwest’s 2020 Folkefest program before touring plans were derailed by COVID-19.

Kardemimmit is a band of four young women who play the Finnish national instrument, the kantele – an ancient stringed instrument with a silvery sound. While playing 15- and 38-string kanteles, the singers perform original compositions blending modern techniques with Finnish, Eastern European and Scandinavian traditions.

“Through a variety of digital engagements and educational opportunities, community members will have the chance to connect to Finnish music and culture in a deep and engaged way,” said Torrie Allen, president and CEO of Arts Midwest.

Events will include a St. Urho’s Day Concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, live streamed on YouTube and Facebook and available for limited in-person seating at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. To attend, RSVP at


Kardemimmit will also have a virtual coffee hour at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 24 at

Student workshops will be held in the New York Mills and Menahga public schools between March 22 and 25. Both schools will be gifted Finnish kanteles to use in their classrooms, with music teachers taking part in a virtual workshop with Kardemimmit about their use and care.

The Cultural Center will also partner with Amy Tervola Hultberg, the dean of Salolampi Finnish Language Village, to create take-and-bake Finnish pulla bread kits for students, teach foods class students how to prepare pulla, and share Finnish culture with elementary students.

The week will include virtual events with community members, educational videos and downloadable study guides.

The 2021 Folkefest program is produced with support from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies and the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and in partnership with the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Related Topics: MUSIC
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