Finnish American Folk Arts Series: Saijaleena Rantanen Presents Finnish North American Working-Class Women and Music in the Early 20th Century

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@ 11:00 am CDT - 12:30 pm CDT

This presentation will focus on working-class women of Finnish background and their musical activities in early 20th century North America. Women played an active role in organizing the cultural life of immigrants. They also wrote songs, sang in choirs and participated in demonstrations in defense of women’s rights and better working conditions. Who were these women and what do we know about them? The songs by and about Finnish immigrant women offer an interesting perspective on the activities and goals of working-class women at the grassroots level.

Please register for this free virtual event here.

Saijaleena Rantanen works as a university lecturer at the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. She is a music historian, and her research interests are in social, political, and cultural history of music. She is particularly interested in people and phenomena that have been marginalized in history. Her research interests include migration, labor history and the role of women as musical and cultural influencers. In her current research project, she is studying the music culture of the ”Red Finns” in North America and Soviet Karelia from the late 19th century until the late 1930s.

Co-sponsored by FinnFest USA and the Nordic Folklife project at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the folk arts series features artists, community members, culture workers, and scholars—all experts in various forms of Finnish folk arts. Links to the virtual program will be sent to your registered email address one day in advance of the event.

Although this event is free and open to anyone who can and wants to take part, we do hope you will consider donating to the FinnFest USA organization, whose hard work and dedication makes events like this possible. If you have the ability to donate any amount of money to FinnFest to support future programming, please visit their donation page here. Thank you for your generosity.

Saijaleena Rantanen poses on a staircase