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Community Leaders Bring World Fest to the Region

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Okra Playground will kick off the event on October 8, 2022 at Theatre on the Bay, on the campus of UWGB-Marinette.

Several community leaders have come together to bring a three-year music program known as “World Fest” to Marinette and Menominee counties. The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT) is the title sponsor among a generous group of businesses and individuals: Provident Health Foundation, M&M Area Community Foundation, Riverfront Inn, Rusty Wolfe Studios, The Print Shop, and many other local donors. Together, their goal is to bring music from around the world to around the corner.

A program of Arts Midwest, World Fest connects Midwestern communities to international musicians to foster an understanding of, and appreciation for, global uniqueness and differences.

The Finnish ensemble group “Okra Playground” will kick off this three-year rotation. The Helsinki based electro-folk band formed from a shared wish to bring together excellent people and musicians to play traditional Finnish music with a fresh approach. The music resulting from the unusual and interesting combination has its roots deep in the Finnish soil, but its tallest branches spread out towards the furthest shores of world music.

SNBT has always been synonymous with supporting our communities in many ways, from encouraging staff volunteerism, to making charitable donations, now the list can also include international music appreciation.

“We’re happy to be part of something as exceptional as World Fest and are looking forward to this first performance as well the incredible variety of musicians to come,” said Daniel Peterson, SNBT president & CEO. “Strengthening and supporting our community is one of our core values and this three-year event is an excellent opportunity for area students and residents to take a journey around the world without leaving home.”

During the first week of October, students from surrounding schools will get an up-close introduction to the music ensemble who will share their talents, language, and culture. The free, community-wide concert will take place on Saturday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Theatre on the Bay, on the campus of UWGB-Marinette. The concert is free, but space is limited therefore, tickets are required for entrance. People interested in attending can pick up tickets at any SNBT office.

World Fest is a project of Arts Midwest and is sponsored by the National Endowment of the Arts and the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies that brings six international ensembles (approximately ten musicians per ensemble) to communities in Midwestern states. Marinette/Menominee has been selected as the city in Wisconsin to receive this incredible opportunity for the period of fall 2022–spring 2025.

To learn more about the three-year World Fest residency and find information on subsequent concerts, visit the World Fest Marinette/Menominee Facebook Page by searching @worldfestmm.