On Wednesday, September 28, St. Cloud’s own Paramount Theater announced in a press conference that a consortium, including the Paramount Theatre, had won a grant of $500,000.
“Only one consortium was chosen in the nation, and we were it,” said Jane Oxton, the Paramount’s Director of Education and Outreach. This prestigious grant, known as Building Bridges: Arts, Culture, and Identity; was awarded by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) for the consortium’s efforts with their project, “Midnimo”.
The Consortium consists of three main partners, the Paramount Theatre, in partnership with SCSU; the Cedar Cultural Center, in association with Augsburg College; and Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Department of Music Performance Series.
The grant will go towards the growth of “Midnimo,” which, according to Cedar’s Executive Director Adrienne Dorn, “… is supporting the revival and preservation of rich Somali musical traditions while fostering social connections between generations and cultures in the heart of the largest Somali diaspora in North America.”
The grant is scheduled to support multi-week residences for high-profile Somali artists from 2016-2019. As part of the residency, the Kenyan native hip-hop collective Waayaha Cusub will be performing in three Minnesotan cities this year.
Their first performances in the United States, Waayaha Cusub will be performing at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis on October 22. October 28 we’ll see them performing in Mankato’s Kato Ballroom, and St. Cloud’s own Paramount Theatre will host a performance on November 4. If you are a fan of local hip-hop groups, members of St. Paul native group Heiruspecs, in addition to other local instrumentalists, will be performing as the backing band for Waayaha Cusub.
For more information about the “Midnimo” program, please visit The Cedar’s webpage on the program: http://www.thecedar.org/midnimo/.