Events Calendar

Saturday, July 30 2022

July 30, 2022 - 12:00pm - 4:00pm

A shuttle bus will run between the Park & Ride lot to the west of the Brown Deer Road exit of I-43. For further information on free transportation options to Lynden, please contact us at or call 414-446-8794.

The HOME Refugee Steering Committee at the Lynden Sculpture Garden invites you to observe WORLD REFUGEE DAY in a series of outdoor events and programs that celebrate Milwaukee's refugee communities through art, food, fashion, and performance.

Emcee Tessy Sheidun of the Rwandan community welcomes many of HOME Dance Day's previous participants, as well as newcomers, to join us for this family-oriented event.

Rohingya and Malaysian meals will be available for donation. Proceeds directly benefit refugee women and their families (so don’t forget to bring cash!).

Learn new dances: each performance will be followed by a participatory session.
12 pm Chin Youth Dancers (Hakha-Chin)
12:15 pm Tessy Sheidun & Friends (Rwandan)
12:45 pm Chin Youth Dancers (Hakha-Chin)
1 pm Cyenthia Vijayakumar of Aarambh - Indian Dance School (Indian)
1:30 pm Mekdes Woldemariam (Ethiopian)
2:00 pm K.O.G. Dancers (Congolese & Afrobeat)
2:30 pm Afghan Women's Dance Group (Afghan)
3 pm Maggie Bushiri (Afro-Pop, East & West Africa)
3:30 pm Al-Ghurba Dabke Dance Group (Palestinian), presented by Hanan Refugee Relief Group
Program and timing are subject to change

Chin youth of Milwaukee come together as the Chin Youth Dancers to perform Chin traditional dances. They are taught by Thla Chum, an experienced Chin dance instructor. The Chin are most known for their bamboo dance, called Ruakhuatlak in Hakha-Chin. Ruakhuatlak is traditionally performed using bamboo or an alternative wood that provides a steady beat by striking and sliding pieces against each other. The dancers hop over and in between the area created by the moving bamboo sticks to showcase the Chin folk dances. The Chin Youth Dancers will also perform different folk dances, generally called Lai lam, that tell stories of the Chin people and their farming lifestyle.

Tessy Sheidun and Friends is a dance group created by Rwandan Tessy Sheidun. A new but already-known face on the Milwaukee scene, by day Sheidun works in various public health and engagement positions, and by night she can be found offering further connection to the community through her expert emceeing skills and dance background. Tessy Sheidun and Friends bring a festive and colorful atmosphere to any event– an experience not to be missed.

Cyenthia Vijayakumar is a Kathak dancer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the artistic director of Aarambh – Indian Dance School, established in February 2019. Kathak is a North Indian classical dance form composed of rhythmic footwork, elegant stances, graceful movements and swift pirouettes. For Dance Day, Vijayakumar will perform a technical piece that is set on a 16-beat rhythmic cycle, followed by an interactive learning session for participants of all ages. Vijayakumar received intensive training in the Kathak dance style of Lucknow Gharana from Guru Murari Sharan Gupta and Gurus Hari and Chetna from Bangalore, India. She is currently training under Guru Sujatha Banerjee of London. With many accolades to her name, she was awarded the Sashimani Devadasi Yuva Pratibha Puraskar at the 2018 Devadasi International dance festival in Bhubaneswar, India, and the Nritya Shiromani Award at the 2018 Cuttack Mahotsav in Cuttack, India. She has performed extensively in India and the USA. She is also a 2018 IndianRaga Fellow.

Mekdes Woldemariam was born and raised in Ethiopia in a city called Bahir Dar, which literally translates to “by the lake.” She is a proud Ethiopian, a nation that has over 80 ethnic groups and over 90 different languages. For Woldemariam's performance, she has selected four different traditional ethnic dances: Gonder, Tigrinya, Gurage, and Gojjam.

The K.O.G Dancers are a Tanzanian and Congolese group of performers based in Iowa. They travel across the Midwest performing at weddings and other events. They perform to Afro Pop and Congolese music.

The Afghan Women's Dance Group is presented by Khatera Nazari from Afghanistan. She leads a group of Afghan students who fled to Milwaukee after the 2021 Taliban takeover. She is a lover of the arts as they connect with humanity's earliest civilizations and their developments. In Nazari's words, "I grew up in a country that may have limits for women, but we are stronger than our limitations." Her group will perform traditional dance that expresses ideas and emotions about women's rights and the situation of women in Afghanistan. As a young leader, Nazari believes that human rights are a birthright and are fundamental to all people's lives. She aims to use any opportunity to help women from her country through education and the arts, including poetry and dance.

Margurite Bushiri, known as Maggie Bushiri, is a Congolese-born American rapper, songwriter, and actress. She was born in Congo but raised in Tanzania and Mozambique. Maggie and her family lived in Tanzania for 6 years and eventually made their way to the United States as refugees when she was 9 years old. She settled in Salt Lake City, Utah; moved to Minnesota, where she found her creative light through dancing and acting; pursued her acting career in Los Angeles; and has since lived on-and-off in Milwaukee. She earned public attention after releasing her first single, Fly Like That, in late 2016. She later released her second single, Swing Your Body. For HOME Dance Day, Maggie Bushiri will perform Afro-Pop music in English and Swahili with her troupe of dancers, representing both East and West Africa.

Presented by Hanan Refugee Relief Group, Al-Ghurba Dabke Dance Group is a Palestinian folklore dance troupe established in Milwaukee in 2019 by a number of talented performers. The aim of the group is to express the spirit of Arab/Palestinian folklore and culture through a combination of traditional and modern dance. After their performance, Al-Ghurba Dabke Group will invite the audience to join in a hands-on session to learn a traditional form of line dance.

About HOME
HOME is the theme of our work with refugee community leaders, community members, Call & Response artists, and allies. The HOME Refugee Steering Committee is building a space of leading, coming together, and celebrating refugees.

For all HOME 2022 programming, click here.

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