July 15, 2023 - 11:00am - 4:00pm

music and dance 2023


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.

For HOME Music and Dance Day, emcees Moe Aung of the Burmese communities and Tessy Sheidun of the Rwandan community welcome back returning performers including Congo Gospel Music Band (Congolese), Golden Melody Band U.S.A (Burmese), and C&K Music Band (Chin and Karen). Maggie Bushiri's troupe of dancers will perform Afro-Pop music in English and Swahili, representing both East and West Africa. New performers include Spring Star Music Band (Burmese), and dancers Dian Novita (Indonesian) and Fizal (Rohingya). Maggie Bushiri (Congolese) also returns with a group of African dancers.

Bring your dancing shoes and learn some new dances: each dance performance will be followed by a participatory session.

Pack a picnic and a blanket to enjoy the outdoors with friends, family, and community. Or bring along cash to purchase food and refreshments prepared by chefs from the Burmese community.

Gather around the dye vat with artist-in-residence Arianne King Comer who will open her outdoor batik dyeing studio from 11 am to 3 pm for t-shirt making.

11 am – Golden Melody Music Band U.S.A. (Burmese)
12 pm – Fizal (Rohingya)
12:20 pm – Spring Star Music Band (Burmese)
1 pm – Dian Novita (Indonesian)
1:20 pm – C&K Music Band (Chin & Karen)
2 pm – Maggie Bushiri dance group (African)
2:20 pm – Congo Gospel Music Band (Congolese)
3:20 pm – Golden Melody Music Band U.S.A. (Burmese)
Program and timing are subject to change.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, a major sponsor of HOME 2023, will provide community resources, PHE unwinding materials, and health and wellness educational information.

About the Artists
Golden Melody Music Band U.S.A. (Burmese) 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.

C&K Music Band (Chin & Karen) was founded in 2020 by Saw Klo Futurestar and Kyaw Mu. Kyaw Mu now leads the band of music lovers from both the Chin and Karen community in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They enjoy performing varied genres of music but are most inclined to rock and heavy metal.

Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Congo Gospel Music Band (Congolese) 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 album and music video is forthcoming, and their sound, described as rhythmical, upbeat and infectious, is in high demand.

Born and raised in East Java, Dian Novita (Indonesian) has a deep love and passion for dancing. Through her performances, workshops, and interactions with the community, she shares the richness and diversity of Indonesian traditions, allowing others to experience the magic of her country's cultural expressions. She will be performing Gandrung for HOME Music and Dance Day. Gandrung is a traditional dance from the Indonesian island of Java, specifically from the region of Banyuwangi. It is a vibrant and expressive dance that is accompanied by traditional Javanese music called gamelan. Gandrung reflects the rich cultural heritage of Java and embodies the community's values, traditions, and beliefs. The dance continues to be passed down through generations, preserving the cultural identity and traditions of the Banyuwangi region.

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.

Maggie Bushiri dance group is organized by Margurite Bushiri, known as Maggie Bushiri. Bushiri 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 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. She has previously performed with HOME at Lynden. For Music and Dance Day 2023, as an exciting experiment, she is gathering a small but mighty new African dance group to present to the audience.

Inspired by community activism and the Spring Revolution in Myanmar in 2021, a group of Burmese musicians and activists gathered to organize Spring Star Music Band, represented by diverse ethnic groups from Karen, Kachin, Chin, and Burmese communities. They performed at HOME Music Day in 2021 at Lynden, and will return in 2023, to remind us of their sound, and love and passion for their homeland.

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 2023 celebrations extend into three additional HOME “days” featuring music, dance, food, fashion (both ethnic and traditional), and two markets offering handicrafts and homemade goods. For all HOME 2023 programming, click here.

HOME 2023 is sponsored in part by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, Refugee Programs; Anthem Blue-Cross Blue-Shield; and Hanan Refugee Relief Group.

Additional partners include Milwaukee Public Library, UWM Libraries, Tables Across Borders, Wisconsin for Ukraine, Community Center for Immigrants, and more.

©2023 Lynden Sculpture Garden