Cultural event set in New York Mills

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Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

NEW YORK MILLS — The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center and Niijii Radio presents a night of music and culture from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, at the Finn Creek Open Air Museum, 6 miles south of New York Mills. This outdoor event is open to all with free-will donations accepted.

This event came about when the Cultural Center was forced to cancel its annual Kalevala Puppet Pageant due to COVID-19.

“We wanted to do something to honor the Finnish and Indigenous cultures of our region,” organizers stated in a news release. “We reached out to several partners and the ‘Celebrating Our Cultures’ event was born!”

The event will include cultural features of Finnish and Anishinaabe traditions and histories, and a concert by Annie Humphrey. The Cultural Center is partnering with Niijii Radio, Finn Creek Museum and local cultural experts.

Humphrey, an Ojibwe grandmother, mother, singer, songwriter and visual artist, was born and raised on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. She has been recording work for three decades and was named Artist of the Year at the 2018 Native American Music Awards.


Niijii Radio will share some of the Anishinaabe culture from the White Earth Reservation. People will share Finnish culture, including characters from past Kalevala Puppet Pageant performances. There will also be coloring books available with Ojibwe, Finnish and English words and illustrations, created by Cultural Center Programs Director and visual artist Cheryl Bannes.

The event will follow COVID-19 guidelines and the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention recommendations, including physical distancing and masks when distancing is not possible. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should not attend.

People may bring lawn chairs and/or blankets and spread out in the wide open spaces outdoors at Finn Creek. People may pack their own food for a picnic. There will be pop, water and snacks for sale. No pets or alcohol are allowed at Finn Creek.

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