Somali Sister Musicians FAARROW to embark on 3-City Midnimo Residency

The Cedar Cultural Center is pleased to announce an upcoming Midnimo residency with Somali sister musicians FAARROW taking place March 19th to April 10th, 2019.

Somali sister duo FAARROW

FAARROW is the project of sisters Iman and Siham Hashi, who were born in Mogadishu, Somalia. After fleeing their home to escape civil war, the sisters and their family relocated to Toronto, Canada as refugees. Iman, meaning “FAITH” and Siham, meaning “ARROW” gives light to the group’s name, FAARROW. Their sound fuses African rhythms with modern production resulting in a drum-heavy fusion of world, hip-hop and pop music. The sisters released their EP “LOST” in 2016 with Warner Brother Records. In 2017 FAARROW made their debut at SXSW for the “ContraBanned” showcase highlighting artists from countries affected by Trump’s travel ban. FAARROW is currently working on a new album set for an independent 2019 release. Iman and Siham also serve as United Nations Spokespeople with the UN Refugee Agency and are actively involved with humanitarian efforts for other human rights organizations. They recently launched a podcast called “PowHer” that discusses spirituality, mental health, soul health, mysticism, healing, culture, identity and beauty through their eyes as recording artists, refugees, and black Muslim women living in a patriarchal world.

Midnimo, the Somali word for "unity," is a program that presents the world's leading Somali musical artists in the form of month-long residencies. Midnimo aims to increase understanding of Somali culture in Minnesota, which is home to the largest Somali immigrant population in North America. The program was launched in 2014 in collaboration with Augsburg University, and in 2016 expanded into Greater Minnesota. During residencies, Midnimo artists connect with Minnesotans through in-depth community engagement across the state, including activities like workshops, class visits and education programs, discussions, and live performances in Minneapolis, Mankato, and St. Cloud.


One hallmark of Midnimo is the opportunity for Somali singers and musicians of a variety of genres to perform with a live band - a practice that nearly died out in the wake of war in Somalia in the early 1990s. While in Minnesota, FAARROW will be working with the music collective Astralblak, who will learn the sisters’ music and perform as their live backing band during the residency. Astralblak, known for their exploratory modern sound that merges hard grooves, Afrofuturist themes and soulful melodies, consists of musicians/producers MMYYKK, Proper T, Greg Grease, DJ Just Nine, and Art Parté. FAARROW and backing band Astralblak will conduct performances and community-based activities in Minneapolis, Mankato, and St. Cloud, with a public live finale performance in each city. Primary partners for this residency include The Cedar and Augsburg University in Minneapolis; Somali Community Barwaaqo Organization and Minnesota State University Mankato Area International Festival in Mankato; and Paramount Center for the Arts and St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud.

“We look forward to creating a beautiful experience with Midnimo for the first time! We’re so excited to play our music live with Astralblak,” says FAARROW. “It will be magical.”

Catch FAARROW at the following public residency activities in Minneapolis:

Welcome Dinner with FAARROW and Aar Maanta

Tuesday, March 19, 7pm - 9pm  FREE

It is Somali tradition to welcome visitors with a dinner on the night of their arrival.

Email for Welcome Dinner location

Buraanbur Session at Brian Coyle Center

Wednesday, March 20, 1pm - 3pm  FREE. Women only.

Brian Coyle Center, 420 S 15th Ave, Minneapolis

In January The Cedar and the Immigrant Women Advocacy Project launched a series of ongoing Buraanbur dance sessions to foster intergenerational and community connection to support the wellbeing of Somali elder women in Cedar Riverside. Join FAARROW and neighborhood women to learn this traditional poetry and dance form, led by Asha Buraanburtoy.

Drop-In at Sisterhood Boutique

Thursday, March 21, 11am

Sisterhood Boutique, 2200 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis

FAARROW stage a drop-in to check out the fashions at Sisterhood Boutique, the neighborhood’s entrepreneurial thrift store run by East African youth.

Aar Maanta & Friends’ "Ubadkaa Mudnaanta Leh" Album Release

Friday, March 22, doors 6pm/show 6pm  FREE

The Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis

Ubadkaa Mudnaanta Leh (“Children Have Priority”) is a new bilingual Somali-English children’s album by London-based Somali musician Aar Maanta written and created with 20+ youth and teenagers from the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. For their album release show Aar Maanta & Friends will be joined by storytellers from The Children’s Theatre Company and a fashion show curated by Sisterhood Boutique. FAARROW make a surprise guest appearance, making intergenerational connections with Somali youth and families.

Annual Women’s Night Out at Brian Coyle Community Center

Saturday, March 23, Time TBD  FREE event. Women only.

Brian Coyle Center, 420 S 15th Ave, Minneapolis

Pillsbury United Communities’ Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project presents the 13th Annual Cedar Riverside International Women's Night Out celebrating women and multiculturalism in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. Join us for dinner, music, and a discussion about health and healing with guest speakers FAARROW and Dr. Farhiya Farah. The evening will close, as always, with Buraanbur dance. 

FAARROW: Faith/Arrow in the Chapel 

Monday, April 1, 10:30am - 11am

Augsburg University, Hoversten Chapel (Foss Center), 623 22nd Ave S, Minneapolis

Fardosa Hassan, Augsburg’s Somali/Muslim interfaith scholar and leader of interfaith conversations and the Somali Student Association host FAARROW as a musical intro to morning chapel focused on health and healing. FAARROW will engage the students in singing exercises as a form of spiritual grounding and connection.

FAARROW present POWHER: A Live Podcast Recording with special guests

Thursday, April 4, 6:00pm – 7:30pm  FREE

Moon Palace Books, 3032 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis

Midnimo Residency Finale Concert

Friday, April 5, 7pm doors/8pm show  $10 advance/$15 day of show  FREE with Augsburg ID

The Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis

FAARROW will also perform shows in st. Cloud and Mankato:

  • St. Cloud: Paramount Center for the Arts on on March 30, 2019 7:30PM. Tickets are free for children and students with an ID, otherwise $10.

  • Mankato:  Minnesota State University, Mankato Centennial Student Union Ballroom on Sunday, April 7th, 2019. Doors 8:30pm, show at 9pm. FREE admission / FREE parking.

FAARROW performing "Chasing Highs," courtesy of FAARROW’s YouTube channel.

About The Cedar Cultural Center

The Cedar Cultural Center is an eclectic non-profit music venue located in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis with a mission to promote intercultural understanding and appreciation through the presentation of global music and dance. Over its 30-year history, The Cedar has established itself as a premiere US venue, presenting 200+ shows a year that highlight international artists, local emerging talent, and nationally renowned voices.

About Augsburg University

Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to more than 3,600 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and the Rochester site. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings.

About Paramount Center for the Arts

The mission of the Paramount Center for the Arts in St. Cloud  is to provide opportunities for artistic production, creative exploration, arts education and the enjoyment of arts and entertainment. Over 100,000 people come to the Paramount annually to enjoy theatre productions and to take part in visual art studio classes. Their Education and Outreach department offers the arts to those with limited access reaching out to the elderly, disabled, refugees and children in service organizations.  

About St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud State University prepares students for life, work, and citizenship in the 21st century. Key elements of a St. Cloud State education are active and applied learning, community engagement, sustainability, and global and cultural understanding/accessibility.

About Somali Community Barwaaqo Organization

Somali Community Barwaaqo Organization (SBCO) in Mankato, Minnesota exists to enable Somali and other immigrant families in getting their basic services. Founded in 2014, the SCBO works with new Somali and other immigrants to ensure that they undergo a smooth transitional process of settling in the community and attaining self-sustainability. In addition to advocating, SCBO provides health education, assistance for elder-adults to attain independent life, information on affordable housing and searching for jobs. All these services are free of charge.

About The Minnesota State University, Mankato Mankato Area International Festival

The Mankato Area International Festival is Minnesota State University, Mankato's largest international event. The festival provides attendees with a passport to discover a colorful flag parade, great singing, dancing, a fashion show, food vendors, cultural displays, a children's area for making crafts, as well as a silent auction to raise funds for future international festivals. The festival celebrates diversity and culture from around the world and within the Mankato community. This event provides a common message of peace, harmony and friendship. It also gives an opportunity for attendees to experience many cultures under a single roof.

Funding for The Cedar’s Midnimo program is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund; and by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals; Building Bridges: Arts Culture and Identity, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Additional Midnimo funds are provided by Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Joyce Foundation; the Arts Midwest Touring Fund; and from local corporate and government supporters including U.S. Bank Foundation, H.B. Fuller, and the City of Minneapolis, One Minneapolis Fund.

Funders and supporters of the Midnimo program