Augsburg College students, alumni, and faculty have helped bring a cutting-edge musical partnership to life by performing alongside the rising voices of the Somali music scene and even some “super stars.
Midnimo, the Somali word for “unity,” is a two-year partnership between Augsburg and the Cedar Cultural Center to bring Somali artists to Minnesota for educational residencies and concerts. This unique opportunity is supported by a prestigious $200,000 grant award and a number of Auggies—including Faculty Emeritus Bob Stacke ’71—whose cross-cultural relationship building and love for performance set the stage for a truly intergenerational, intercultural musical immersion.
At concerts held through Midnimo, artists ranging from the pop collective North American Super Stars to Somali-British singer-songwriter Aar Maanta played alongside backup ensembles comprised of a mix of Auggie students, alumni, and former faculty whose own musical gifts and talents helped make Midnimo a critically acclaimed program.
For many of the Auggies, participating in Midnimo has offered the opportunity to join a partnership that’s the first of its kind in the nation and to do what they love best: play.
Midnimo was awarded one of six $200,000 grants from the highly competitive Building Bridges: Campus Community Engagement program by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
[Top photo] A mix of current students, alumni, and former faculty serve as the backup band for one of the Midnimo artists. Somali-British musician Aar Maanta (far right) practices with musicians [L to R]: Kyle Burbey ’15, Steve Herzog ’06, Andy Peterson ’05, and Ben Somers.