Artist Initiative

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Colleen M. Bertsch
Recipient Type
Start Date
March 2013
End Date
February 2014
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview
Artist Initiative
Project Details
Bertsch will create a video reference library of her Transylvanian field recordings of traditional fiddle music and give an informational performance and workshop of that repertoire.
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Judson Bemis Jr.: Actor, arts administrator, founder and principal of Clere Consulting. Secretary, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Ardell Brede: Mayor of Rochester, elected 2002.; Peggy Burnet: Businesswoman, art collector, and community volunteer. Chair of the Nominating Committee, Smithsonian National Board. Trustee, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Michael Charron: Dean of the School of the Arts, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Sean Dowse: Executive director, Sheldon Theatre. Board member for Minnesota Music Coalition, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.; John Gunyou, City manager, Minnetonka.; Benjamin Klipfel: Board member, Minnesota State Arts Board. Executive Director, Alexandria Area Arts Association, Inc. Director and arts educator.; Ellen McInnis: Director of Twin Cities government relations, Wells Fargo. Member of Bottineau Boulevard Partnership. Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Pamela Perri: Executive vice president, Builders Association of Minnesota.; Margaret Rapp: Former educator, Saint Paul Academy and Summit School. Officer at-large, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Anton Treuer: Professor of Ojibwe, Bemidji State University.
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Barbara Depman: Music Administrator for Choral Arts Ensemble, Rochester; Linda Haugen: Composer; Asako Hirabayashi: Composer and harpsichordist; Laurie Johnson: Director of Performing Arts, Paramount Theater and Visual Arts Center, Saint Cloud; Natalie Nowytski: Vocalist, composer and performer.; Karen Quiroz: Professional vocalist, Brazilian music.; Ann Reed: Songwriter, singer
Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Conflict of Interest Contact
Executive director Sue Gens (651) 215-1600
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2011, First Special Session, chapter 6, article 4, section 2, subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Arts Access

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

I will expand and further develop my Transylvanian fiddle repertoire and techniques. Success will be evaluated by the increased number of songs added to my performance repertoire, incorporation of new playing techniques, and by comparing those techniques with village musician recordings. 2: This project will give Minnesotans an opportunity to experience and engage with a highly specialized, relatively unknown music genre from Eastern Europe. Success will be evaluated by audience attendance at informational performance and the demonstrated understanding and response of workshop participants.

Measurable Outcome(s)

I was able to access recordings in my personal collection that I have never seen or heard before. The original mini DV recordings were still in good condition. Digitizing them was no problem once I had computer equipment that could handle the task. My collection now comprises accessible music field recordings from twenty-six villages in Transylvania, Romania. It also contains three examples from Hungary and one from Serbia. With access to these recordings I was able to expand my Transylvanian fiddle repertoire and techniques. For example, I added a set of six Bude?ti songs to my repertoire that are specific to that village. Their playing technique of using a sliding left hand motion in place of vibrato are not used anywhere else in Transylvania. The result is a crying or weeping-sounding melody. While the technique is not quite natural for me yet, I have established a deep understanding of the basic components of the ornament, when it use it and the goal of its overall effect. 2: My band Száska and I presented an informational performance and workshop on Transylvanian string band music. We focused on how standardized string instruments (violin, viola and double bass) are used in unconventional ways in that region. Highlighting video examples from my archive collection, I led the audience through a musical tour of four villages in Transylvania. As one example, I broke down a specific ornament and demonstrated how it is produced. Then I played a video example to show how those ornaments sound in their original context. Szászka also gave a workshop on Transylvanian folk music from the village of Palatca. Workshop participants were musicians in the Twin Cities folk music scene, but this was their first experience with Transylvanian music. They were challenged with learning how to hold and play standardized instruments in unconventional ways. Towards the end, workshop participants and teachers gathered in one room to practice together and give a final performance.

Description of Funds
Source of Additional Funds

Other, local or private

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Colleen M. Bertsch
(612) 396-4234
Administered By
Administered by

Griggs Midway Building, Suite 304,
540 Fairview Avenue North,
St. Paul, MN 55104

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