Program Stories

A hub for Scandinavian Folk Arts & Cultures in the Midwest

Folk Arts & Cultures including arts, crafts, and other practices have traditionally been passed down through families and networks of acquaintances. Today, schools, arts centers, and cultural venues are honoring and continuing these traditions and making them more widely accessible.

In Decorah, Iowa, Vesterheim, the National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center, is home to thousands of artifacts, many historic buildings, and a Folk Art School that offers classes in such Scandinavian traditions as embroidery, knifemaking, and rosemaling. But not all members and followers from around the region are able to visit Vesterheim regularly.

With MACP support, the organization has been offering offsite classes all over the Upper Midwest to enable lovers of Scandinavian folk arts to remain connected and continue their learning. Participants are delighted and grateful when world-renowned instructors arrive in their town to teach woodcarving at a local church or community center, and it strengthens Vesterheim’s connections to communities well beyond Northeast Iowa.