To Freedom is a comprehensive series of events that aims to introduce the local community in Menomonie, WI and surrounding area to the history and culture of Ukraine, Poland, and Estonia. Over fall semester of 2022, public lectures, discussions, and classroom visits will culminate into an art exhibition featuring artists from the three countries, as well as a choral concert featuring music from those three countries. Through a variety of cultural offerings, community members are invited to observe, listen, learn, engage, share, and gain valuable perspectives on this region of the world that has recently taken center stage of geopolitics.
|Monday, Nov. 7, 4:30-6:30pm||
To Freedom art exhibition opening reception
Furlong Gallery, Micheels Hall
|Saturday, Dec. 3, 7:00pm||
To Freedom: music of Ukraine, Poland, and Estonia
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (910 E 9th St)
The series opens with an art exhibit featuring artists of Estonian, Polish and Ukrainian descent, on display from Monday, Nov. 7, to Saturday, Dec. 17, at Furlong Gallery in UW-Stout’s Micheels Hall.
An artist reception will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 7. At the reception, Weiss will perform Orgé 2022, composed and choreographed by the artist, with participation by the UW-Stout Symphonic Singers and select faculty and students.
The show is co-curated by Robert Atwell, director of the Furlong Gallery, and Izabela Gola, Visual Arts and Design Programming for the Polish Cultural Institute New York.
- Riivo Kruuk, an Estonian American painter
- Christina Shmigel, a Ukrainian American artist
- Monika Weiss, an internationally renowned Polish American artist.
See Biographies for more information about each artist.
See Art Exhibition Program for more information about the artworks.
Opening Reception, Monday, Nov. 7
Reception will take place at the Furlong Gallery and the Micheels Hall Atrium. All three artists will be present.
- 4:30pm Gallery opens
- 5:00pm Chancellor’s Remark
- 5:05pm Music presentation by UW-Stout Symphonic Singers and Chamber Choir
- 5:20pm Orgé (2022) by Monika Weiss (world premiere)
- 6:30pm Reception concludes
Text and translation of music presentation are available in the full concert program.
UW-Stout Symphonic Singers and Chamber Choir, conducted by Dr. Jerry Hui, will perform music from Ukraine, Poland and Estonia that speaks to the perils of war and the desire for peace. The university choirs will be joined by Schola Cantorum of Eau Claire and the Treble Singers from the Menomonie Middle School.
Swan Lake Ballet and Ganna Ensemble, an Eau Claire-based dance studio, will perform to some of the songs. The ensemble is led by Ganna Berge, a lecturer in UW-Stout’s mathematics, statistics and computer science department. She was born in Crimea, a peninsula that borders Ukraine and Russia.
See Biographies for more information about all performers and guest ensembles.
See full concert program for text and translation.
Many external partners are involved in creating this project. They include:
- Consulate General of Estonia
- Polish Cultural Institute New York
- Ukrainian Institute of America
- Ukrainian American Community Center of Minnesota
- Wisconsin Ukrainians Inc.
Additional support and partnership provided by:
- Explore Menomonie (operated by Menomonie Area Chamber & Visitor Center)
- The Mabel Tainter
- Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (Menomonie)
Header image: Symphonic Singers and Chamber Choir performing at The Raw Deal on October 12, 2022, part of the Stout Investiture Week. / Photo Credit: Lucas Falkavage ('25 Video Production)