Music in the trees: Event features musicians performing from tree stands above audience | Local News

AFTON — Belwin Conservancy will host the of Music in the Trees, a returning two-day outdoor event showcasing a diverse group of instrumentalists and vocalists, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 14, and Aug. 15, in the trees near the Belwin Education Center, 1553 Stagecoach Trail S., Afton.

Music in the Trees was first held in 2019. This year’s event features live performances from an

eclectic group of artists including gospel and hip hop vocalists, found-object percussionists,

a Zither player and jazz musicians, according to a press release from Belwin Conservancy. Each day will feature a different roster.

On Sunday, Aug. 15 at 2 p.m., the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent will present a

fully accessible performance, including ASL and Hmong-English interpretation. Performers will include Hillary Lor, a Hmong flutist, and Celestials, a Hmong dance team.

Curated by Belwin’s Program Director Susan Haugh, Music in the Trees was created as a

way to draw attention to the health of a pine grove undergoing restoration, the release states. With the pines as their inspiration, artists will perform from tree stands 16 feet above the ground.

Attendees may sit at the base of the performance spaces or enjoy the sounds of the musicians as they explore 4 miles of trails that weave through woodland, prairie, and wetland.

“The performing artists are being very brave about this invitation to improvise with nature, not to mention performing in tree stands!” Haugh said. “They all have strong improvisational chops and an intuitive connection with nature, and will be inspired by what they are hearing and feeling around them. The landscape might move them to perform something they composed or by someone else. It’s the unknown that makes this such a unique event for performers and attendees alike. No two performances will be the same.”

The cost to attend each day is $10 per car. Attendees are invited to carpool and to bring a chair, food and non-alcoholic beverages will be sold onsite. The Education Center building will be open for restroom use and water bottle refills. Face masks are required inside the building.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota

State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Music in the Trees also received funding from the St. Croix Valley Foundation.

Belwin Conservancy is a nonprofit organization with a mission of inspiring connection and

engagement with the natural world. At Belwin, we spark passion for wild places through a variety of innovative experiential programs that include the arts, astronomy, athletic fields, bison, education, and public access to -restored lands. Through land protection and habitat restoration, we revive threatened ecosystems so wildlife can thrive for generations to come.

Located in Afton, Minnesota, on the ancestral home of the Wahpekute Dakota people, Belwin’s 1,500 acres of permanently.

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