2020 Upper Peninsula Award Recipients - Announcement: June 7, 2020
The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center proudly announces the Upper Peninsula Folklife Awardees for 2020. Each year since 2009, the Beaumier Center has presented this award to individuals or organizations who have made a difference in the creation, or preservation, of the folk traditions of the Upper Peninsula. This year’s awardees are:
Randy Seppala, Musician
Yvonne Lockwood, Folklorist
Peter “Pekka” Olson, Wood Carver
The 2020 Upper Peninsula Folklife Awards will be presented on Friday, November 6 at the Sonderegger Symposium at Northern Michigan University. More details regarding time and the event will be released in the fall.
Randy Seppala (Watton) aka “Da Bones Man,” is known throughout the Upper Peninsula for his playing and teaching of the rhythm bones. Trained by the legendary Johnny Perona (2009 UPFA recipient), Randy has taught workshops on the rhythm bones for over two decades throughout the U.P. and beyond. He has performed for decades as a percussionist in many folk groups, in particular, the Finnish American All-Stars, Lumber Jakki, Thimbleberry Band, U.P. Gumbo and many others. He was coordinator of the annual Covington Music Festival and is a regular workshop leader at the Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival and Marquette Area Blue Festival. He participated in Michigan State University’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program in 2003.
Yvonne Hiipakka Lockwood, Phd, (Chelsea) is Emerita Curator of Folklife at Michigan State University. A native of Ironwood, Lockwood has dedicated her career to researching, promoting, and providing material support for the cultural traditions of the people of the state of Michigan with special attention to Finnish Americans and the Upper Peninsula. Her past research has focused on such U.P. traditions as pasty-making, sauna, Finnish American traditional dairy products (especially viili and leipäjuusto), and most notably, rag-rug weaving, which resulted in the thoroughly-researched and sumptuously illustrated book, Finnish American Rag Rugs: Art, Tradition, and Ethnic Continuity (MSU Press, 2009). She also curated a traveling exhibition on the same subject. Lockwood's tireless advocacy for U.P. folklife is seen in her work at MSU Museum, which has consistently awarded both awards in recognition of traditional artists, educators, and researchers who champion folklife, as well as apprenticeship grants which ensure
that U.P. folk traditions will continue into the future.
Peter “Pekka” Olson (Chassell) is a retired forester who devotes much of his time to woodcarving and basket weaving. He specializes in carving Christmas trees, fan birds, boats and many other items. He has served twice as a master in the Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program and has been awarded a fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation. He has also studied under traditional carvers in Finland and Sweden and will soon return to learn a new technique for carving St. Thomas Crosses, one of his many specialties. Pekka has presented and offered workshops at numerous festivals and fairs throughout the region.
The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center has recently received a gift of $25,000 to create a new multimedia web project based on the relationship between the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University. This website will feature a bevy of content detailing how the U.P. defined NMU and, in turn, how NMU helped shape the future of the Upper Peninsula. The goal of this website is to inform NMU students, alumni and the community about this connection. It will also create opportunities for students, alumni and faculty to contribute to this body of work.
This new project is made possible by Dr. Jon Saari, NMU Emeritus Professor of History. Dr. Saari taught in the Department of History from 1971 to 2006, specializing in the history of the Third World, China, Finnish-America and historiography. In 1993, he received NMU’s Teaching Excellence Award. He has served on the Community Engagement Committee of the Beaumier Center since 2007.
Regarding his gift and the creation of the site, Dr. Saari states, "The Upper Peninsula, when you live, work and study here, has a way of getting under your skin. It repels some, enchants others, but it makes you face up to its intense localness, whether walking in a cedar swamp or sitting inside a wood-fired log sauna. I like to reflect on how people and places interact. Thousands of people over 120 years in this half-tamed place provide a rich tapestry of thoughts, feelings and actions. These stories of interconnectedness deserve to be told."
The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center will create a site that explores the roles that NMU, in over a century of inventing and reinventing itself, has played in helping shape the Upper Peninsula’s landscape, culture and society, where students, scholars and members of the public can contribute to the site. The site will be a dynamic resource, which presents new research and perspectives, as well as an archive for past work. It will be multidisciplinary, so that students and faculty from many different academic backgrounds and professions can contribute work that is relevant to the Northern Michigan University’s connection to the region’s history, economy, politics, arts & culture, science, athletics and more.
The site will examine the historical record through an academic, rather than promotional, lens. It will feature multidisciplinary articles, blogs and educational modules created by NMU faculty, staff and students about the connection between the Upper Peninsula and NMU. The site will also feature links to research and writing about the Upper Peninsula from sources outside and inside the university.
For more information, or if you are interested in being a contributor to the site, please contact the Beaumier Center at email@example.com or call 906-227-3212.
2020 Upper Peninsula Folklife Award Nominations
Nominations due June 1, 2020
Submit nominations here: https://nmu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6max2fs4hO8BWjb
The nomination process for the 2020 Upper Peninsula Folklife Awards is now open and the general public is invited to be part of this process.
The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center created the Upper Peninsula Folklife Awards in 2009 to honor individuals and organizations that have made a difference in preserving and promoting the folk culture of the region. Since 2009, 14 individuals and two organizations have received the award.
Each year, the Beaumier Center requests nominations from the general public. The nominee(s) should be a person(s) or organization that has made a difference in the creation and/or preservation of the folklife of the U.P., including music, dance, storytelling, crafts, food, etc. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines folklife as the traditions, activities, skills, and products (such as handicrafts) of a particular people or group.
After the nomination period has ended, a committee will review nominations and make the final selections. Nominations will be accepted through June 1.
To find information on how to nominate someone or organization, please visit the Beaumier Center’s website, www.nmu.edu/beaumier and click on the “Events” tab or follow this link to the online nomination form https://nmu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6max2fs4hO8BWjb.
The Beaumier Center will plan some type of event in the late Summer or Fall to recognize the 2020 recipients of the award.
Past Upper Peninsula Folklife Award Recipients:
2019 – Russell Magnaghi (Scholar); Pat Virch (Rosemaling artist)
2018 - Trenary Home Bakery (Business); Dave Bezotte (musician)
2017 – Carl Pellonpaa (TV host); Marge and Bill Sklar (dance promoters)
2016 – Kay Seppala (dance/music); Hiawatha Music Coop (Organization)
2015 – Michael Loukinen (folklorist); Corrine Rockow (musician and educator)
2014 – Bette and Dean Premo – Musicians, folk music and dance promoters
2013 – Fred Rydholm – Storyteller, author, historian
2012 – Oren Tikkanen – Storyteller and musician
2010 – Les Ross, Sr. – Harmonica Player
2009 – John Perona – Bones Player
Beaumier Lecture Series
Thursday, February 13, 7 p.m.
“The Upper Peninsula of Wisconsin?”
Dr. Russell Magnaghi, Emeritus Professor, NMU
Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center, Seminar Room
What if the U.P. was part of Wisconsin? It actually almost was a reality back in the early 19th century, as the Michigan Territory was moving towards Statehood and the Wisconsin Territory was being created. Dr. Russell Magnaghi will delve deeply into this history, enlightening attendees with what actually happened.
Dr. Magnaghi joined the faculty of the Department of History at Northern Michigan University in 1969. In 1974 he began to focus on regional history and in the early 1980s began to study the Italians in the Upper Peninsula. He was appointed the University Historian (1994) and Director of the Center for Upper Peninsula Studies (1996 and 2006). He also served as the head of the Departments of History and Philosophy. He retired from NMU in 2014 after 45 years of service.
Winter Roots Festival - February 15, 2020
In celebration of our community’s love of music and winter, the second annual Winter Roots Folk Festival will be held in Marquette on Saturday, February 15. The Festival, a collaboration between local arts and culture non-profit organizations, is a day-long event featuring a host of music and dance performances and workshops held at five community venues: the Marquette Arts & Culture Center, Peter White Public Library, Hiawatha Fold, NMU Forest Roberts Theatre, and Ore Dock Brewing Company.
The Festival will kick off at 10:30am at the Marquette Arts & Culture Center and continue throughout the day, concluding with a performance by Ypsilanti-based bluegrass and Americana powerhouse Black Jake and the Carnies at Ore Dock Brewing Company from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.
A $10 Winter Roots Festival button is good for entry to all venues and events. Buttons can be purchased at the door or in advance at the Hiawatha Fold (1013 N. Third St.), Peter White Public Library (217 N. Front St.), or the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center (Gries Hall at NMU). Admission is free for youth ages 12 and under.
The Winter Roots Festival is sponsored by the following organizations:
Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center at NMU
Hiawatha Music Co-op
Peter White Public Library
Carroll Paul Memorial Trust Fund of PWPL
Friends of Peter White Public Library
City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center
Marquette Area Blues Society
Ore Dock Brewing Company
Schedule of Events:
Marquette Arts & Culture Center (217 N. Front St.)
10:30am – 12:00pm Musical Petting Zoo with Yooptone Music
10:30am – 12:00pm Community Guitar Art Project with Gene Bertram
Peter White Public Library (217 N. Front St.)
11:00am – 12:00pm The Battle Cry of Freedom: Songs of the Civil War
with Jim Janofski
12:00pm – 1:00pm Morris Dance Workshop with Carolyn & Evan Provencher
1:30pm – 3:00pm Traditional Folk Dance with All Strings Considered
3:30pm – 5:00pm Finnish Folk Dance with Midsummer Strings
Hiawatha Fold (1013 N. Third St.)
1:00pm – 2:00pm Singer/Songwriter Workshop with Sue Demel
2:00pm – 3:00pm Ukulele Workshop with Jeff Krebs
3:00pm – 4:00pm Patriots & Protest Songs – Presentation and Sing-Along
with Jim Hall & Cindy Morgan
4:00pm – 5:00pm Family Harmonica Workshop with Jason McInnes
NMU Forest Roberts Theatre
4:00pm – 6:00pm Marquette Folk Showcase featuring Waawiyeyaa,
Michael Waite, Kerry Yost, Jerry Mills, Niikah Hatfield,
Alexa Alagon, John Gillette & Sarah Mittlefehldt, & more
Ore Dock Brewing Company (114 W. Spring St.)
7:00pm – 9:00pm Black Jake and the Carnies
Beaumier Lecture Series
Monday, March 16, 7 p.m.
"Where the men are men and the women are too: stereotypes of the Yooper"
Dr. Hilary-Joy Virtanen, Assistant Professor, Finlandia University
1320 Jamrich Hall, NMU
The popular culture of the Upper Peninsula is full of stereotypes about Yoopers, both male and female. Often funny, yet sometimes inaccurate, these stereotypes can be seen on television, in movies, in music and literature. Regardless of their truth, do they portray “Yoopers” in a positive or negative light?
Dr. Hilary-Joy Virtanen is Assistant Professor of Finnish & Nordic Studies at Finlandia University. She is an ethnologist specializing in Nordic and Upper Midwestern (USA) cultural practices, including festivals, traditional arts, oral genres, music, folk dance, ethnic and national dress, and heritage language maintenance. Historical moments that interest her include 19th century national romanticism, particularly in Finland, as well as 1905-1920, a period when American workers culture developed certain hallmarks during intense labor unrest and the entrance of the United States into World War I. This historical period is reflected in the present in existent labor music and laborlore (especially songs associated with the Industrial Workers of the World) and through monuments and museums documenting industrial heritage and the lives of workers. Her research in the iron and copper mining regions of the Upper Midwest and the post-industrial city of Tampere, Finland are related through Finnish American migration and certain similar historical developments in each place.
On November 1, 2019, the Center for Upper Peninsula Studies and the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University will be presenting the 19th annual Sonderegger Symposium. The Symposium is the largest and most prestigious academic conference dedicated to the study of the Upper Peninsula and Upper Great Lakes region.
This year, the theme for the Symposium will be, “Anishinaabek: East, South, West, North.” This title is in reference to the First Nations of this region and the medicine wheel which represents not only the four directions, but many facets of traditional life. This interdisciplinary symposium will feature presentations on many aspects of Anishinaabek life, both past and present.
This event will be held at the Northern Center and is free and open to the public. In addition, there will be a free lunch and refreshments available for all attendees.
19th Annual Sonderegger Symposium
“Anishinaabek: East, South, West, North”
November 1, 2019
8 a.m. Blessing by Vicki Dowd, Hannahville Indian Community
8:20 a.m. Welcome and Introductory Comments
President Fritz Erickson, Northern Michigan University
8:30 – 9:10a.m. “Nda-ozhibii’ige-mi Miijim Gikendaasowin (Documenting Food Knowledge)”
Dr. Martin Reinhardt – Professor, Center for Native American Studies, NMU
9:20 – 10 a.m. “An Ohio Valley perspective on the medical Far North.”
Dr. Michael Dorn – Independent Scholar, Kansas City, MO
10:10 – 11 a.m. "Welcome to the Resistance: An Open Letter to Climate Activists in the Northwoods...and Beyond"
Aimee Cree Dunn, Instructor, Center for Native American Studies, NMU
11:10 – 12 p.m. Keynote Address, “Anishinaabe-bimaadizi: Anishinaabe views about wellness”
Karen R. Diver (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa)
Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona, Former Special Assistant to President Barack Obama for Native American Affairs.
12:00 – 1 p.m. Lunch – Music Performance by Waawiyeyaa
1:10 – 2 p.m. Roundtable on the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act and Cultural Preservation
Colleen Medicine, Director of Language & Culture, Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Earl Meshigaud, Sr., Director of the Culture Department of Hannahville Indian Community; Molly Meshigaud, Hannahville Indian Community; Cory Sagataw, Hannahville Indian Community.
2:10 – 2:50 pm. “Intergenerational Trauma and its impacts on Anishinaabe communities”
Charlee Brissette, Community Health Educator, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
3 – 3:40 p.m. “ᒪᓂᑐ manido spirit ᐃᑭᑐᐧᐃᓇᓐ ikidowinan words: Creating Community Friendly Anishinaabe Language Learning Materials.”
Dr. Jud Sojurn, Assistant Professor, Center for Native American Studies, NMU
3:50 – 4:30 p.m. “Heading into the Woods Near Waaswaaganing: Embodying Relational Accountability Through Anishinaabe Art Education”
April Lindala, Professor, Center for Native American Studies, NMU
4:40 – 5 p.m. Closing Remarks, “What’s in a Name”
Daniel Truckey, Director, Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center
Upper Peninsula Folklife Awards
Nominations due April 12, 2019
Submit nominations here: https://nmu.qualtrics.
The nomination process for the 2019 Upper Peninsula Folklife Awards is now open and the general public is invited to be part of this process.
The Upper Peninsula Folklife Awards were created in 2009 to honor individuals and organizations that have made a difference in preserving and promoting the folk culture of the region. Since that time 12 individuals and two organizations have received the award.
Each year, we request nominations from the general public. The nominee(s) should be a person(s) or organization that you feel have made a difference in the creation and/or preservation of folk arts in the U.P., including music, dance, storytelling, crafts, food, etc. After the nomination period has ended, a committee will review nominations and make the final selections. Nominations will be accepted through April 12.
To find information on how to nominate someone or organization, please visit the Beaumier Center’s website, www.nmu.edu/beaumier and click on the “Events” tab or follow this link to the online nomination form https://nmu.qualtrics.com/jfe/