In 2011, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Maza Kute Singers (Dakota) and Composer Brent Michael Davids toured together with other world-renown performers for 4 concerts! This is the official Dakota Music Tour blog!


In 2011, Maestro Ken Freed conducted Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Maza Kute Singers (Santee Dakota), Trumpeter Manny Laureano (Minnesota Orchestra), M. Cochise Anderson (Chickasaw/Choctaw) and Award-Winning Composer Brent Michael Davids (Stockbridge Mohican) on tour through Dakota country with 4 concerts merging American Indian and Western classical music. The DMT was filmed by Syd Beane (Flandreau Santee Dakota) for some promo videos. The DMT radio broadcast was recorded by James E Gullickson. The DMT publicist was Liz Hill (Red Lake Ojibwe) of Liz Hill Public Relations, Ltd. The DMT evaluator was Dr. Patricia Shifferd. DMT was supported by “Arts Tour Minnesota" and the voter-approved “Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment” of the Minnesota State Constitution.


DMT Evaluator — Patricia A. Shifferd is an independent consultant in research and evaluation to arts groups and communities, and a principal investigator for the Center for the Study of Art and Community's research efforts. Until 2006, she was the lead researcher for the Center for Cultural Assessment at American Composers Forum. While at the Forum, she also directed the Continental Harmony National Composer Residency Project from 1998 to 2003. Holder of the Ph.D. degree in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her academic specialties include the sociology of economic change, social stratification, and political sociology. Her career in the academic world included 30-years of teaching a wide variety of courses in the areas of community development and demography, as well as the application of quantitative methods to questions of social structure and social change. During her academic career at Northland College, she also directed the highly successful Arts & Lecture Series, and served in a variety of administrative roles including interim Academic Vice-president and Dean.

Dr. Shifferd’s research and publications are in the areas of community power structures, large scale social change, and the role of the arts in community development. As occupant of the Marks Chair of the Social Sciences, she researched paradigms of sustainable community development, an area with strong affinity to questions of community health and wellness. She has done contract survey research for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, measuring the opinions and policy preferences of lake property owners. Her research reports, Being at the Lake I & II, are widely cited in discussions and presentations on lake management issues.

At American Composers Forum, Dr. Shifferd directs the community-based commissioning project, Continental Harmony. Having its origin as a millennium project of the National Endowment for the Arts, the program has created a new model of art-based community development. The initial round of the project was highlighted in a special presentation to the NEA national council in July of 2000. In addition, the Public Broadcasting System through its Twin Cities’ affiliate, Twin Cities Public Television, has launched an award-winning interactive web site on the project; a documentary on Continental Harmony will air nation-wide in the fall of 2001.

In addition to the innovative evaluation of this project, designed and carried out in partnership with the Center for the Study of Art & Community and funded by Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Shifferd is responsible for evaluation protocols of Forum chapter projects in Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angeles, the latter as part of a research grant from the California Arts Council. She will also be working in partnership with the Minnesota State Arts Board in the evaluation of their Wallace Funds project to increase cultural participation throughout the state.

Early in 2001, Dr. Shifferd was a panelist for the Department of Housing and Urban Development/National Endowment for the Arts’ Creative Communities project, which will bring arts programming into public housing communities in 20 states.

Pat Shifferd, Center for the Study of Art and Community