An annual celebration of Estonian culture takes place in New York City from April 5th through 9th, with an impressive lineup of performers such as Ott Lepland, Tanja Mihhailova, WAF choir and many others.
The Estonian Cultural Days in New York is a multi-day affair with concerts, theatre performances, lectures, and other events spanning, April 5-9, 2017, and featuring Estonians from both the local diaspora and abroad. The festival celebrates Estonian culture in the United States by bring together a wide variety of impressive performers.
Back in January the executive director Kadri Napritson Acuna and the creative director Valev Laube revealed this year’s lineup of performers, including many well-known artists and musicians like Ott Lepland, Tanja Mihhailova, La La Ladies, We Are Family (WAF) choir, Tallinn City Theatre, Jaanika Peerna and many others.
The idea of the Estonian Cultural Days is to ensure that the Estonian population in New York retains their sense of culture and heritage. “In addition to bringing some of the most impressive and relevant performers from Estonia to New York City, we also wanted to pay special tribute to the 47-year-old tradition of holding cultural days in New York” said Kadri Napritson Acuna, “We’re also aiming to bring more attention to contributions that Estonian-Americans have made to the Estonian culture and the unique stories that this community embodies”.
The director of WAF choir, Maiken, comments, “It is an honor to introduce Estonian culture in New York. The most exciting part of it is that we can do it with the most prominent and talented Estonian singers.”
WAF choir will also collaborate with local New York-based artists currently working on a musical “The Innocence”. The musical follows two Estonian children across 50 years, through two World Wars, and across three continents.
The eclectic program brings special attention to the history of Estonians in the United States through a book presentation, “Estonians in America – 1945-1995, Exiles in a Land of Promise” conducted by the editor Priit Vesilind. The book was published by the Estonian American National Council (EANC) in 2016. The program includes lectures and discussions by many other speakers such as Heie Treier, Hannes Astok, Piret Raud, and Kätlin Vainola.
While most events take place in the historic New York Estonian House, the festival also holds events at the Scandinavia House and Immanuel Lutheran Church. The Estonian Cultural Days are organized in partnership with the Foundation for Estonian Arts and Letters.
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