Refuge Journal 67

Aug 01 2019


Co-founders Cory Chisel and Adriel Denae recently spent a week in Japan for a life changing experience through cultural exchange of the Arts. The duo was joined by Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna as Arts Ambassadors in Hiroshima, Kyoto, and our sister city Kanonji.

Chisel and Denae rang the bell for peace at Hiroshima that is positioned at the point of impact of the Atomic Bomb, offered love, and reaffirmed their commitment to the endless work of compassion. They also visited an elementary school to make a song about Kanonji with students and loved seeing how music connected everyone in the room regardless of the language barrier.

“This opportunity to work as Arts Ambassadors in this indescribably beautiful country has changed us forever.”

Appleton Welcome Signs

Appleton will soon have five new welcome signs gifted by Refuge Foundation for the Arts and Fox Communities Credit Union, with the sign made by artist resident Chad Brady and the base by Urban Evolutions. Each sign will feature a lyric from “Our Song” written by Cory Chisel and members of Big Brothers Big Sisters in our chapel and presented at last year’s Bike to the Beat. The city stated that the signs “reflect the City of Appleton’s dedication to music and its strong support for original artists.” Mayor Tim Hanna wrote, “Like Cory says in his song, Appleton is a ‘home for everyone,’ and these signs reflect both the song and that welcoming feeling Appleton provides.”


The first sign is up in the newly renovated Jones Park, and the other signs leading downtown will go up in the coming weeks. Read more in the WBAY article here.

J.S. Ondara in BBC

Refuge artist J.S. Ondara’s “American Dream” video was shot, directed, and written by Refuge resident artists and recently highlighted by BBC. From Nairobi, Kenya, Ondara moved to Minnesota six years ago after winning a green card lottery. He taught himself to play guitar while pursuing a career in music and later released an album with Decca Records. Ondara is drawn to the quiet honesty of folk music and its ability to connect to social issues “and finding what my place is in the world and how I can contribute positively in the world.” He supported Neil Young earlier in the year and is currently on tour in Europe, Canada, and the US. Read more in the BBC article here.

Upcoming Events - Life is Meant to be Heard

Join us for this special event for Hear in the Fox Cities, “Life is Meant to be Heard” on Sunday August 11th! Enjoy the wines and gorgeous location of Whistler’s Knoll, and learn about Hear in the Fox Cites while enjoying the musical talents of Cory Chisel and Christopher Gold.

Food will be available for purchase, and all event proceeds will go towards the purchase of brand new hearing aids for children in the Fox Cities. Get your tickets here!

Refuge Corners