The people of Marinette and Menominee anxiously await the upcoming World Fest concert to be performed by West African Okaidja Afroso. He will perform a free community-wide concert on Saturday, October 21 at 6:00 p.m. at Theatre on the Bay, on the campus of UWGB-Marinette.
According to his biography, Okaidja Afroso follows his family’s tradition of storytelling by creating genre-defying music that calls back to his upbringing in a village on the western coast of Ghana. His music speaks to a spectrum of experiences deeply connected to the traditions of the African diaspora. He is devoted to bringing together diverse modes of expression in pursuit of global harmony through his signature performances that blend percussion and dance.
A program of Arts Midwest, World Fest connects Midwestern communities to international musicians to foster an understanding and appreciation of our global uniqueness and differences. The concert is free, but space is limited; therefore, tickets are required for entrance. Concert doors open at 5:00 p.m. and seats are reserved for those with tickets. People can pick up tickets at any office of The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT), Main Street Antique Mall, and Theatre on the Bay.
During his visit in October, Afroso will provide workshops for students from surrounding schools, featuring his distinctive musical style that extends his ancestral traditions and brings an understanding of contemporary African oral tradition, by combining percussion, guitar, dance, and native language vocals.
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community to receive world-class musicians, such as Okaidja, during this three-year World Fest residency,” said Kim Brooks, local event organizer. “It is truly bringing the world to our backyard in an unforgettable way.”
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.
SNBT has always been synonymous with supporting the communities in many ways, from encouraging staff volunteerism, to making charitable donations, and now the list also includes international music appreciation.
“It is such an honor to help make this possible and to see the excitement build with each new World Fest performance,” said Daniel Peterson, SNBT president & CEO. “We are overjoyed by the outpouring of community support from people of all ages.”
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 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