Refuge Journal 36

Jul 20 2018

"Our Song"

On Monday, members of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley Region joined co-founder Cory Chisel and Mayor Tim Hanna in our chapel to host a live-streamed collaborative songwriting session. The goal of the gathering was to engage the community of Appleton as a whole to contribute to and create “Our Song”, a community anthem that aims to represent the diverse talents and values of the people of our community.

Participants, both present and online, were asked to submit statements of what Appleton means to them. ‘Funnel cakes‘, ‘riverwalk’, ‘roundabouts’ and ‘family’ were just a few of the many thoughts offered. These suggestions will comprise the body and imagery of the song to be completed by Chisel. You can watch the livestream here. The song will be debuted by Chisel and a diverse array of community members at Fox Communities Credit Union’s, Bike to the Beat on Saturday August 4th at 1:30pm.

The hope is that the song might become an enduring and unifying civic moment at municipal events including but not limited to parades, festivals, ceremonies, or as Chisel says, “around a summer family cookout where a guitar might be feeling left out.” A selection of the song’s lyrics will then be used to adorn a series of new welcome signs for the city. These signs, created by Appleton’s Urban Evolutions and designed by artists from Refuge Foundation for the Arts, will greet both locals and visitors alike, and extol the diverse talents and creative connections within the city of Appleton.

Upcoming Events: Life Is Meant To Be Heard

Our friends from HEAR in the Fox Cities are hosting Life Is Meant To Be Heard at Whistler’s Knoll on Sunday July 29th 12:00-4:00pm. The event will feature the music of co-founder Cory Chisel, wines and the gorgeous location of Whistler’s Knoll, crepes from Le Prince French Crepes food truck, door prizes, and a raffle. All event proceeds will go towards the purchase of brand new hearing aids for children in the Fox Cities. The adults only event is $35 at the door or $30 presale with the button below.

HEAR in the Fox Cities mission is to assist children under the age of 21 in the Fox Cities purchase hearing aids. They help families pay for hearing aids for their child(ren) when other funding sources are not available such as Medicaid or DVR (Division of Vocational Rehabilitation) and family income is limited.

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Upcoming Events: Hopeland Festival

Refuge Foundation for the Arts announced the official renaming of Homeland Experience to Hopeland Festival.

The time is right to make strong statements of inclusion. We want to turn our focus from one of homeland to one of hopeland, prompting the need for change in the name of our festival from Homeland Experience to Hopeland Festival. Home is a relative term that can be enclosed in walls that create barriers, but hope is a limitless feeling that knows no boundaries. As an arts organization, we feel it is our responsibility and duty to our community to stand up for what we believe in. We have always been an inclusive organization putting on inclusive events, and we want the name of the event to reflect our mission of enriching our community with art that knows no boundaries.

The unique two-day festival will celebrate community through live music & visual artists starting on Friday, September 21 from 5:00pm – 10:00pm, and Saturday, September 22 from 11:00am – 5:00pm. It will combine musicians with captivating visual artists. It will be hosted in downtown Green Bay, partnering with local businesses around town including Kavarna, Keggers, Lyric Room, Black & Tan Lounge, Neville Public Museum, Three Three Five, Cup O Joy, and Titletown Brewing Company Roof Tap.

Refuge Foundation for the Arts, along with title sponsor Fox Communities Credit Union are pleased to announce the first ten artists for this year’s lineup:

Adriel Denae – Appleton, WI
Emily Kopp – Nashville, TN
Feed The Dog – Wisconsin
David Paul Martin – Wisconsin
Cat Clyde – Stratford, Ontario
Parker Gispert – Athens, Georgia
The Lately – Appleton, WI
Sam Trump – Chicago, IL
Nicholas Raymond – Wisconsin
Micah Schnabel – Bucyrus, OH

Stay tuned next week for the announce of more artists, along with the details of the visual artists who will be taking part in this year’s celebration. For more information visit