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LuminUS: Stories About Us

Polka Across America

The Chardon Polka Band, known nationwide for its eclectic and modern take on an old genre, typically performs around 200 shows each year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic left the band members facing the same problem that musicians and artists across the county were dealing with: no gigs, no live audiences and limited ways to create and deliver their art. As a way to both celebrate their genre and bring fellow musicians together, the group launched POLKA ACROSS AMERICA. The result is an hour-long documentary that offers a delightful quilt of unique songs by unique artists.

Working artists, unable to go out and play their normal shows, were given a new outlet with POLKA ACROSS AMERICA. The various musical groups and individual artists featured in the program all filmed their pieces independently, sharing the footage with the production team in Geauga County. These performances were then woven together as a “polka-centric” musical tapestry that celebrates Americana, heritage, diversity and musicians everywhere. While the family-friendly program leans heavily on the polka genre, viewers are likely to find something for everyone as they are introduced to the musicians and their back stories.

Premiered on PBS Western Reserve in 2021.

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