World Fest Partnership Brings Turkey’s Aysenur Kolivar to the Metro East

Will Perform at McKendree’s Hett Center, Visit Local Schools

(LEBANON, Ill., September 11, 2015) - Turkish folk singer Aysenur Kolivar will introduce audiences and local elementary school students to the music and culture of her Black Sea heritage during a weeklong residency in the Metro East, Oct. 18-25. She and her three-member ensemble will visit the area as part of a World Fest tour coordinated by Arts Midwest.

The group will present a free concert at the Hett on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and visit elementary schools in Edwardsville, Lebanon and Belleville throughout the week.

Kolivar is a recording artist and composer whose work is featured on the soundtracks of prominent Turkish films. Her critically acclaimed debut album, a double CD titled Bahceye Hanimeli” (“Honeysuckle for the Garden”), was released in 2012. She is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology and music theory at Istanbul Technical University. Her academic research focuses on the cultures of the eastern Black Sea with an emphasis on women’s culture.

“The music and culture she shares will be fascinating and different from what we typically hear,” said Peter Palermo, director of the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts at McKendree University. The Hett was selected as one of nine locations - and the only community partner Illinois - to host the 2015-2017 Arts Midwest World Fest.

“It’s a real honor to be part of this program,” said Palermo. The Turkish ensemble is the first of four to visit McKendree University over the course of its two-year partnership with Arts Midwest. In April it will host Mediterranean folk band Baladino, from Israel.

Arts Midwest’s World Fest presents international music ensembles in the nine-state region it serves to connect small and mid-sized Midwestern communities to world cultures. The Minneapolis-based organization partners with program sponsors like the National Endowment for the Arts and 3M to cover a substantial portion of the program cost.




The Russel E. and Fern M. Hettenhausen Center for the Arts - “The Hett” - is Southern Illinois’ premier performing arts venue, presenting world class dance, drama, classical music and jazz. The 488-seat auditorium is located on the McKendree University campus in Lebanon, Illinois, 25 miles from downtown St. Louis.