Emilia Amper Band, a music ensemble from Sweden, will visit Devils Lake as part of Arts Midwest Folkefest.

Emilia Amper Band, a music ensemble from Sweden, will visit Devils Lake as part of Arts Midwest Folkefest.

Emilia Amper is one of Sweden’s most renowned folk musicians and a world champion performer on the nyckelharpa, a traditional keyed fiddle played only in Sweden for more than 600 years. Through their deep knowledge of folk traditions, love for exploring music, and joyous energy, this band will keep feet tapping throughout Devils Lake. Emilia Amper Band will perform a public concert on April 14, Palm Sunday, 3 p.m. at Bethel Church Free Evangelical Church, 1312 East Walnut St. in Devils Lake.

The Arts Council of the Lake Region is hosting Emilia Amper Band for a full week of activities as part of a program called Arts Midwest Folkefest. In addition to the public concert, the ensemble will visit schools and other community locations to share their culture through educational workshops. Devils Lake is one of only six communities to host Arts Midwest Folkefest. The program works in small and mid-sized communities in Midwestern states that experienced a significant influx of Scandinavian immigrants during the 1800s and 1900s and still bear signs of this heritage today. Arts Midwest Folkefest seeks to deepen awareness of Scandinavian traditions present in the Midwest while fostering curiosity and appreciation for global cultures. Through the program, the Arts Council also hosted an ensemble from Finland for a week-long residency last year.

Arts Midwest Folkefest is produced by Arts Midwest, a regional organization based in Minneapolis. Arts Midwest covers a substantial portion of the program cost so that communities throughout the Midwest can enjoy this multifaceted experience. David Fraher, president and CEO of Arts Midwest, notes, “Arts Midwest’s goal is to create meaningful and lasting impressions through our programs, and Arts Midwest Folkefest is a perfect example of such an experience. By spending a week in each community, our ensembles have more opportunities to share their traditions and truly connect with community members in a variety of settings.” Arts Midwest Folkefest is produced by Arts Midwest with generous support from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

Additional funding for the program is provided by the Nordic Culture Fund, Swedish Arts Council, We Energies Foundation, Swedish Council of America, and through American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Thord-Gray Memorial Fund, and in partnership with Iowa Arts Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Minnesota State Arts Board, North Dakota Council on the Arts, South Dakota Arts Council, and Wisconsin Arts Board. The concert on April 14 is free and open to the public, all are encouraged to attend. There will be a free will donation basket available.