WINONA, Minn. — History, storytelling, and music meaningfully combine in the next Saint Mary’s University “Off the Page” series event. Laatikko/Box will be presented 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. The free event features Minnesota-based musician Sara Pajunen, who explores cultural identity and the immigrant experience in a one-hour multimedia piece.

Laatikko/Box incorporates the reading of archival material, recorded audio interviews with recent immigrants, live violin, voice, and electronic technology to create a poignant interactive sound piece. Laatikko/Box is a search for commonalities: between distant immigrant stories, and between the immigrant journey and our own journeys of change.

Inspired by Pajunen’s research in the Finnish-American archives, Laatikko/Box is a work in stages that follows the personal and musical migration of the artist. Rather than an expected response to the archival material, Pajunen found the immigrant stories mimicked her personal journey of leaving a place of familiarity. Immigration became a metaphor of transition into an unknown world—a quest for a new home. The work was commissioned in 2014 by the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. Learn more at smumn.edu/pajunen.

Pajunen will also lead a conversation on community during a Page in History event at the Winona County History Center at noon on Dec. 1. This free conversation will focus on cultural identity and the power of history to influence the future.

Both events are free to attend, but space for the 7:30 p.m. concert is limited. To reserve your seat, RSVP to tickets@smumn.edu or call 507-457-1715 from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays.

Pajunen is a Fiscal Year 2015 recipient of an Artists Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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