Manhu, a musical ensemble from China, will visit Peoples Bank Theatre as part of Arts Midwest World Fest. Hailing from the Stone Forest of Yunnan Province in southwestern China, Manhu brings to life the traditions of the Yi people, an ethnic minority group with a rich musical history. Playing the hulusheng, a mouth organ made from dried gourds, and even an ordinary leaf used as a reed, Manhu shares instruments and songs that are well-known in their homeland but rarely seen on an international stage. The ensemble has performed throughout China, but this is their first tour to the United States. Experience this exciting American debut and connect to an age-old culture made modern. Manhu will perform a public concert on October 7 at 7:00 p.m.

Peoples Bank Theatre has just begun a two-year partnership with Minneapolis-based Arts Midwest. During the partnership, four different international ensembles will visit Marietta, spending a week each. Manhu is the first of the ensemble to come to town. “We’re so fortunate to have these groups coming to our community,” says Peoples Bank Theatre Executive Director, Hunt Brawley. “The groups not only perform a public concert but most of the week they are in the schools and other community locations sharing their culture through workshops.  I’m eager for them to arrive. It’s not often smaller communities like ours have the chance to host international ensembles like Manhu at all—let alone for a full week,” continues Brawley. “The music and culture Manhu will share is so different from what we normally experience. It’s a rare opportunity for us to enjoy an authentic slice of Chinese music and culture right here.”

According to Brawley, Marietta typically would not have the resources to host week-long residencies of the kind Manhu will offer. Arts Midwest, one of six U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, partners with program sponsors like The National Endowment for the Arts and program sponsors such as 3M and The Heart Foundations to cover a substantial portion of the program cost so that communities throughout the Midwest can enjoy this rich arts experience. Marietta was selected as one of only nine Midwestern cities to host the 2017–2019 Arts Midwest World Fest and is the only partner community chosen in Ohio. “It’s a real honor to be part of this program,” says Brawley.

David Fraher, president & CEO of Arts Midwest notes, “Arts Midwest’s goal is to make meaningful and lasting impressions on the communities that host this program. We think week-long residencies can offer so much more than one-day visits. There are more opportunities to truly connect with each other whether through workshops in schools, concerts in the greater community, or through social gatherings. We want this to be a rich experience for the entire community.”

Arts Midwest World Fest presents international music ensembles in the nine-state region it serves with the goal of connecting small and mid-sized Midwestern communities to world cultures. Arts Midwest’s

organization-wide mission is to “promote creativity, nurture cultural leadership, and engage people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives.”

A program of Arts Midwest, the 2017–2019 Arts Midwest World Fest cycle is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Hearst Foundations, 3M, the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program, the Kaufman Family Fund for Israeli Cultural Exchange, the Nordic Culture Fund, and the BNSF Railway Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Heritage Foundation Grants Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation for Manhu. Funding for Sofi & the Baladis is provided in part by contributions from the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest, Israel Lottery Council for Culture & Arts, and Music Port. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Arts Midwest is also generously supported by Illinois Arts Council Agency, Indiana Arts Commission, Iowa Arts Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Minnesota State Arts Board, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, South Dakota Arts Council, and Wisconsin Arts Board.

Manhu’s public performance at Peoples Bank Theatre will take place Saturday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10, $15, and $20. Tickets for students and youth are $10. Tickets may be ordered online or by visiting or calling the Peoples Bank Theatre box office at 740-371-5152, 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Manhu will perform for students of Phillips, Putnam, Washington, and Harmar elementary schools on October 3 and for Marietta High School and Marietta Middle School on October 4.