Key Milwaukee

November 2013

An A-Z visitors guide to Milwaukee Wisconsin. Sponsored by Key Magazine Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Key COVER FEATURE 70th Holiday Folk Fair International preserves cultural heritages MILWAUKEE'S HOLIDAY FOLK FAIR International celebrates its 70th anniversary Nov. 22-24, once again providing the opportunity to travel around the globe without airline tickets, hotel reservations or jet lag. "This includes oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, and the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts." Held in the Wisconsin Exposition Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park, 8200 W. Greenfield Ave., the three-day celebration features tantalizing foods, irresistible music, intriguing dance performances and a vast array of exhibits and merchandise. For 70 years, the Holiday Folk Fair International has been a keeper of our rich and diverse living heritage, safeguarding the past, honoring the present, and embracing the future. A special exhibit will use archival materials to tell the fun and fascinating story of the Folk Fair's last seven decades. For example, every poster from first Folk Fair will be on view. Produced by the International Institute of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee-based nonprofit social service organization dedicated to racial, cultural and ethnic understanding, the award-winning event is one of the oldest and largest festivals of its kind. Fair-goers have the opportunity to learn the ways in which music, food, dance, and art explain a culture's history and traditions. Rights and Freedoms, There and Here is a locally created United Nations exhibit. Those "Rights and Freedoms" are water, education and civil rights. The exhibit will debut at the Folk Fair. The exhibit Human Rights will explore that topic in words and pictures. This year's theme is "Celebrate the Culture of Community." Al Durtka, president of the International Institute, explains that "folklore" or "folk life" is the living expression of culture woven into everyday life – anyone's culture – learned and passed on informally from person to person. It must be alive and current to be folk life, even though it may have existed over long stretches of time. Another exhibit by Sister Cities International features the winners and finalists for the organization's 2013 Young Artists and Authors Showcase. For more than 20 years, the showcase has given youth from around the globe the opportunity to artistically express their vision for a more unified peaceful world. "This intangible cultural heritage refers to traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendents," says Durtka. The popular bonsai exhibit returns, with the addition of special demonstrations that will show how these living works of art are created. 8

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