Folk Art Festival takes shape

Alexandria may not have been the destination anyone had in mind initially when Pioneer Public Television wanted to sponsor a free event for its viewers.


It quickly became an obvious choice, however.

"We were looking for somewhere in our northern viewing area with Scandinavian ties," said Patrick Moore, the station's communications director. "We know that there's a bedrock of Scandinavian culture in the region, with ties to Knute Nelson going way back. And it's a great membership town for Pioneer."

Not to mention that Explore Alexandria has been a longtime corporate supporter of the station's Postcards documentary series, which has turned the spotlight on Alexandria in the past.

However, it wasn't until Amanda Seim, executive director of the Runestone Museum, got involved that Alexandria became a natural choice.

The idea has more than taken hold in Alexandria, and the public TV station's inaugural effort will be rolled out Thursday, April 25, in the form of the Nordic Folk Art Festival. Launching the festivities will be a full afternoon of music, artists, food and specials at a half-dozen downtown stores and the museum, live music and a documentary screening at the Andria Theatre, followed by events that evening at the Garden Bar on 6th and the Runestone Museum.

"It has really blossomed," Seim said of the festival. "The downtown is going to be hopping."

Downtown gets involved

Moore was looking for something more than a simple screening and discussion of Postcards, its series of locally-produced documentaries that celebrate the region's history and culture. Now in its 10th season, they have included shows with a Scandinavian focus, chronicling how that culture is being practiced and passed down to a new generation. 

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Source, image(s), credits & more: Echo Press | Ross Evavold