After 21 years of performing together in Chicago, the Scandinavian folk group, Chicago Spelmanslag, is headed to perform in Europe!
We're Chicago Spelmanslag – the Chicago area's very own Scandinavian folk band.
just over 21 years now, we've been hard at work learning and performing
the traditional folk music of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. In the
process, we've discovered that we've become dynamic participants in our
own right as 'tradition bearers' right here in the heartland of America.
Over these many years, we have been privileged to perform for a wide variety of audiences and venues, from large civic functions to intimate ethnic festivals and concerts within our own local Scandinavian-American community. And all along the way, we've been pleased by the warmth and enthusiasm with which our music has been received.
This year, our ensemble has been invited to perform at Kaustinen,
one of Scandinavia's foremost folk music festivals. This alone is a
great honor for our band, as well as being an incredible opportunity for
us to further develop as an ensemble, and to strengthen our cultural
ties with our musical mentors in Scandinavia.
We've decided to make a 'go' for it, and are determined to do everything possible in order to make this dream a reality. But the costs of such a trip are great, and being a volunteer cultural organization, our own group funds are sorely limited. That's why we are reaching out to you – our many friends and supporters – to help us in this very cool project.
Here's what we are looking to do... In addition to participating in Finland's Kaustinen Festival, we would like to make significant cultural stops in Norway and Sweden as well, to participate in important folk music festivals in those countries. In Norway, we'll be attending Landskappleik in Otta and then connecting with musician mentors of ours in Røros. And in Sweden, we'll be staying – and playing – with some of the very best of Sweden's folk fiddlers at Bingsjöstämman, an annual festival in the Dalarna region.
In making a trip such as this, our folk band will have an exceptional opportunity to participate in the living cultural traditions which we represent back here in the U.S. And, we'll have many opportunities to play with – and learn from – some of the finest folk musicians in Scandinavia today, each of them living 'tradition bearers' in their own right. The result of this will have a profound impact upon us as a spelmanslag as we seek to further develop as individual musicians and as a group. In so doing, we will be strengthened in our ability to fulfill our band's goal of preserving the folk music traditions of Scandinavia as a living tradition right here at home in Chicago.
To fund a trip such as this, we've embarked upon a multifaceted approach. A significant portion of our expenses will be covered by our own group funds which are derived almost exclusively from our many performances over the past several years. In addition, we have applied for a number of cultural grants, which - if they come through - will go a long way towards ensuring our tour's success. The third element in our financial plan lies in seeking out individual and corporate sponsors by means of this Kickstarter project. And, although we've set our goal at $1000 so as to ensure success in this project, our actual need is significantly higher.
your help, we can make this dream a reality. We ask that you partner
with us in this project to help us strengthen the cultural bonds between
Scandinavia and the U.S., and in ensuring the continued growth of this
unique musical heritage – here in America – for many years to come.
We sincerely hope that you will join with us in supporting this project!
Tusen takk / Tack så mycket / Kiitos paljon / Thanks - !
This project is sponsored by the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce and Finlandia Foundation National.
Yes! It will cost MUCH MORE than $1000 for our group to have a successful Scandinavian tour. By using all of our group's meager savings from past performances, plus $1000 from Kickstarter, we should have just enough to buy our airfare from Chicago to Scandinavia and back. There will be additional costs we'll need funded: food, housing, transportation within the countries, and festival entrance fees! Any additional funds we can raise on Kickstarter will go directly to providing for these many costs.
Our primary stop is the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival which runs July 9-15, 2012 in Finland. Our hope is to also tour Norway and Sweden the two weeks prior to the festival.
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