Refuge Journal 71

Jan 15 2020

Happy New Year from the Refuge! We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your ongoing support of our outreach and events programming. Fostering creative expression in our communities has continued to result in rewarding and positive impact, and we are honored to be a part of it with you.

With your help in 2019, we:

  • Produced 9 public events, including a community lecture in our chapel in Appleton, Hopeland Festival in Green Bay, and a Tom Petty 4th of July Tribute in Oshkosh.
  • Continued a music composition, performance, and production class at Lawrence University.
  • Launched a  life enrichment songwriting program called Sound Lab, benefitting veterans as well as community members experiencing homelessness.
  • Revealed the official song and signs for the City of Appleton in collaboration with children from Big Brothers Big Sisters, which have now been installed in Jones Park and the College Avenue bridge.
  • Housed over 100 artists on our property for a total of over 400 combined room usage nights.
  • In conjunction with the National Day of Silence, we hosted the Fox Valley “Night of Noise,” a celebration of over 150 LGBTQ youth embracing their identity in a safe, supportive environment.
  • Hosted a Girls Rock Fox Cities camp for girls and girl-identifying youth to take part in an opportunity to be represented in rock music, learn from women in the industry, and showcase their talents at the end of the program.
  • Co-founders Cory Chisel and Adriel Denae spent a week in Japan joined by Mayor Tim Hanna as Arts Ambassadors in Hiroshima, Kyoto, and our sister city Kanonji. They rang the bell for peace at Hiroshima that is positioned at the point of impact of the Atomic Bomb, visited an elementary school to create a song about Kanonji with students, and offered love and reaffirmed their commitment to the endless work of compassion.

Thank you again for your continued support as we apply ourselves to our mission of transforming communities through the arts. We look forward to sharing exciting updates regarding ongoing work with our partner organizations including Diverse and Resilient, Lawrence University, Pillars Adult and Family Services and Harbor House, as well as new collaborations in the year ahead.

Finally, we would like to recognize Sydney Jacques, who served the Refuge beautifully as office manager for the past two years. Her kindness, upbeat spirit, and wide-ranging talents will be missed, and we wish her all the best with her future opportunities in California. Thank you, Sydney!