Events Calendar

Saturday, June 22 2024

June 22, 2024 - 11:00am - 4:00pm


We will be running a free shuttle bus between the Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun parking lot, across Brown Deer Road from Lynden, and the sculpture garden. The ramps at the Brown Deer exit are currently closed, so consider alternate routes for getting to Lynden. The final shuttle of the day will depart Lynden at 3:30 pm.

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.

Bring a picnic and a blanket to enjoy the outdoors with friends, family, and community. Or bring along cash to “taste the world”: you’ll be able to grab a snack, sample dishes, or purchase a full meal from chefs from the Afghan, Burmese, Congolese, and Rohingya refugee communities. Halal and vegan options provided. A full menu will be displayed.

World Refugee Day at Lynden, co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families – Bureau of Refugee Programs, is organized as both a resource fair and a celebration of many cultures. In addition to making art, tasting food, and listening to stories, poems, and music and dance, visitors will be able to gather information on local services for refugees. Under our resource tent, you’ll find new and existing partners including refugee-serving agencies and community-based organizations.

Select HOME craft vendors include: Olive Essence Soap (Syrian, Turkish); Puffy and Fluffy (Palestinian); Rahman Ros Batik & Accessories (Rohingya); Fairouz (Syrian); Rumaneh Nourish (Palestinian); Frey Faris Crafts (Ethiopian); Mchete’s African Treasures (Tanzanian); Knyaw Craft (Karen); Nur Khalida’s Henna Booth on behalf of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (Rohingya); Catherine Art Studio KJ (Congolese); Royal Beauty (Jordanian); and Ashwaq Clothing (Iraq).

Participants in Lynden’s Be the Change! group will be offering face painting and an opportunity to make a World Refugee Day card to take home throughout the day.

Sponsoring agencies and participating community organizations include: Community Center for Immigrants, Hanan Refugees Relief Group, Engauge Workforce Solutions, Institute of World Affairs-UWM Center for International Education, Medical College of Wisconsin-Office of Global Health, American Red Cross Wisconsin Region, United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition, Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance, Wisconsin Conservative Voters, Milwaukee Consortium for Hmong Health, Inc, and more. Special thanks to staff members and organizers from Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Rohingya Maiyafuinor Collaborative Network (RMCN), Milwaukee Public Library, International Newcomer Center of the Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language, Jewish Social Services Madison, South Division Newcomer Center for their support and involvement.


11-11:30 am: Interfaith prayers & blessings, with nasyid (children’s choir), presented by Habibah Ramatullah & Hasina Ahmad (Rohingya)
12 pm: Traditional mandolin performance by Ibrahim (Rohingya)
1-3 pm: Multilingual Story Time & Interactive Pond Station
1 pm: Al Muharebeen dabke dance group (Palestinian)
1:15 pm: Dance performance by Fizal (Rohingya)
1:30 pm: KBSW Dance Group (Karen)
1:30-3 pm: Multilingual Poetry Reading with Chuck Stebelton and friends (assemble at Eliza’s Cabinet)
1:45 pm: Golden Melody Music Band U.S.A. (Burmese)
2:30 pm: Spring Star Music Band (Burmese)
3:15 pm: Congo Gospel Music Band U.S.A. (Congolese)
Program and timing are subject to change.

The program will begin at 11 am with a series of interfaith prayers organized by the Rev. J.C. Mitchell of Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee and the Rev. Gwendolyn F. Sutton of the HOME Refugee Steering Committee. They will be joined by Habibah Ramatullah’s & Hasina Ahmad’s children’s choir and Rohingya uztaz Mohamad Sharif Mohamad Nizam.

Following this welcome, our event host and master of ceremonies will be Sudanese doctor and jiu-jitsu practitioner Duaa Salah.

Multilingual Story Time will move off your screens and outdoors, where Lynden’s art educator and naturalist Claudia Orjuela will lead a multilingual program and activities for children. She will be joined by a group of our dedicated readers and collaborators, including educator and artist Ceci Tejeda (Spanish), librarians Eric Johnson and Erin Sloan of Milwaukee Public Libraries, and community readers Halyna Salapata and Karina Tweedell (Ukrainian), Mala Nan Leth (Burmese), and Khojesta Faizi (Dari). Expect singing, hands-on activities, and an exploration of Story Time’s theme of migration and identity in the context of Lynden’s gardens. Also of interest to children: Evie Kumar will staff an Interactive Pond Station.

We are pleased to have Ibrahim and his group of musicians perform an hour-long traditional mandolin performance, under the banner of the Rohingya American Society.

Fizal returns this year with his upbeat, contemporary dance performance. Fizal’s peformances are popular at weddings and celebrations in the Rohingya community.

Al Muharebeen dabke dance group, presented by Hanan Refugee Relief Group will perform their celebrated Palestinian folk dances–an expression of the spirit of Arab/Palestinian culture.

KBSW Dance Group, lead by Gay Wah from the Karen Buddhist Society of Wisconsin, will perform traditional Karen dance.

Chuck Stebelton assembles a group of poets, refugees, historically displaced people, and social justice advocates for a Poetry Reading at Eliza’s Cabinet. The group will share poems together in an open, multilingual conversational setting. Participants include: Mauricio Kilwein Guevara (English, Spanish); Khatera Nazari (English, Dari); Haji Mohammad Essa Durrani (English, Dari); Alex Niemi (Russian, French, Spanish); Antonio Vargas-Nieto (English, Spanish); Mary Ronaldile (English, Congolese); and Iryna Gazizullina (English, Ukrainian).

Stay until the end as we finish the day with three of Milwaukee’s refugee music groups: Golden Melody Music Band U.S.A. (Burmese Muslim); Spring Star Music Band (Burmese); and Congo Gospel Music Band U.S.A. (Congolese).

About the Master of Ceremonies, Duaa Mohamed

Duaa Mohamed is a medical school graduate from their beloved country of Sudan, and will begin their residency at the State University of New York Downstate. Aside from medicine, they have a passion for sports, including tennis, and especially Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

About the Artists

About Habibah Ramatullah and Hasina Ahmad
The nasyid children’s choir is organized by the dynamic duo Habibah Ramatullah and Hasina Ahmad of the Rohingya community. Both have organized community gatherings, community interpreter support, and women’s led initiatives since 2022.

Hasina Ahmad has been especially involved in community organizing and women’s leadership. She is a Rohingya refugee community leader from Myanmar/Malaysia. Prior to resettling to Milwaukee, Hasina was the head and supervisor of a refugee kindergarten learning center under the Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign. Hasina played a pivotal role in developing strategy and approaches to case management, community health clinics, resettlement issues, and arrest and detention faced by her community. In Milwaukee, Hasina continues to lead, organize, and support community initiatives and events, including advising community advocates on refugee issues, presenting Rohingya/Burmese/Malaysian cuisine for Tables Across Borders, organizing and participating in community fashion shows and celebrations, co-coordinating Lynden's HOME event for World Refugee Week, and impacting and involving community members in the arts. Through her life's work, and inspired by the active Lynden community, Hasina's interests and involvement include batiking with textile artist Arianne King Comer and community worker/artist Kim Khaira, modelling for Rosemary Ollison's Beyond Fashion show, and building the refugee and immigrant community through HOME.

About Ibrahim
Ibrahim has been performing the traditional mandolin since a young age. Inspired by stories of his homeland, Arakan, his rhythmical melodies remind us of a place that many in the Rohingya community long for. Joined by his group of singers and musicians, he is presenting at World Refugee Day 2024 for the first time, and with support from the Rohingya American Society, the first Rohingya non-profit organization in Wisconsin.

Al Muharebeen dabke dance group
Al Muharebeen, which means “warriors” in Arabic, is a group of six male youth from Salam High School. Their members include Kais Ahmed, Kais Jaraba, Qutaiba Banifadel, Samer Banifadel, Ismail Bektesi and Yusuf Bektesi. This folk dance performance is presented by the Hanan Refugee Relief Group.

About Fizal
Within a few months of resettling to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Fizal (Rohingya) set his sights on dance and music opportunities, including World Refugee Day 2023. Originally from Myanmar, Fizal lived in Malaysia for many decades with his family and worked in various occupations, including performing at weddings and community events.

About KBSW Dance Group
KBSW Dance Group is a group of traditional Karen dancers organized by Gay Wah under the Karen Buddhist Society of Wisconsin.

About Golden Melody Music Band U.S.A.
Golden Melody Music Band U.S.A. is led by Burmese Muslim Mohammad Hasan alongside volunteer singers and managed by Burmese grassroots community worker Moe Aung. Hasan captures his audience with a nostalgic style and persona, both poised and enigmatic, and with sounds of yesteryear. He plays international music, oldies, and classic rock songs in Myanmar, English and Hindi (Bollywood). Hasan and his rotating band members perform at farmers’ markets, community fundraisers, and practically anywhere that they are called for. At the Lynden Sculpture Garden, Golden Melody has performed at HOME celebrations since 2019. In 2021, inspired by community activism and the Spring Revolution in his homeland and locally, Hasan advised and arranged music for the Spring Star Music Band consisting of musicians from the Karen, Kachin, Chin, and Burmese communities.

About Spring Star Music Band
Inspired by community activism in the wake of the Spring Revolution in Myanmar in 2021, a group of Burmese musicians and activists from the Karen, Kachin, Chin, and Burmese communities gathered to organize Spring Star Music Band. New members of the group are joined by members of the former C&K Music Band Group. They performed at HOME Music Day in 2021 and 2023 at Lynden, and will return to World Refugee Day 2024, to remind us of their sound, and love and passion for their homeland.

About Congo Gospel Music Band
Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Congo Gospel Music Band is led and organized by drummer and frontliner Bodack Mondembe. Based at their local church, Congo Gospel Music Band also performs at street and neighborhood events, churches and weddings, and community-led events. They have performed at Beet Street, the annual Fall Harvest Festival at Cactus Club, Friends of Zion worship concert at Benediction Lutheran Church, as well as at HOME World Refugee Day celebrations at the Lynden Sculpture Garden. Their sound, described as rhythmical, upbeat and infectious, is in high demand.

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.

World Refugee Day 2024 celebrations extend into two additional HOME “days” featuring music, dance, food, fashion, and craft. For all HOME 2024 programming, click here.

HOME 2024 is sponsored in part by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, Refugee Programs.

©2024 Lynden Sculpture Garden