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Leading cultural performers named in New Beginnings 2016 line up

Source: Settlement Services International


Leading artists from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will showcase their talents at NSW’s leading festival celebrating refugee arts and culture.


Confirmed artists for the expanded 2016 New Beginnings: Refugee Arts & Culture Festival will impress audiences with performances and workshops that draw inspiration from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and more.

New Beginnings this year will feature three separate events across Sydney, including a one-day arts and culture festival on June 18 at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour, where the live music, dance performances and workshops will include:

• Sydney World Music Chamber Orchestra: An 11-piece orchestra with artists from cultural backgrounds that are as diverse as their instruments.
• Heartdancers: A troupe that weaves Aboriginal Australian sounds, dance and stories with yoga for workshops accompanied by musicians from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
• Mythra Ensemble: This group draws influence from Iran, Armenia, Turkey and the Kurdish culture to create music that is a mix of folk and modern in style.
• Lucky African Dance: A dynamic West African performer who leads audiences in high energy dance workshops.
• Yasmin and Fanous: This talented singer and ensemble blend traditional African sounds with improvisation and modern tunes.
• Iraqi Cultural Festival Folkloric Group: Featuring the Terezka Drnzik Dance Ensemble, this singing and dancing spectacular showcases traditional Iraqi Khashaba music.

Presented with the support of Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA), the free Darling Harbour event will include food and market stalls showcasing an array of international cuisines and cultural handicrafts. Everyone is welcome.

SSI Arts & Culture Program Coordinator Carolina Triana said the expanded New Beginnings 2016 line up was a testament to the success of the inaugural 2015 festival, which attracted more than 1000 community members, performers and artists.

“The New Beginnings festival is a celebration of the talents and cultural diversity of people from refugee backgrounds, who bring so much vitality to the arts sector in Australia,” Ms Triana said.

New Beginnings 2016 will also feature an art exhibition from June 17–26 that will include visual art, photography, multimedia, installation works and film screenings.

Presented with the support of Marrickville Council as part of Open Marrickville 2016, the exhibition at Camperdown’s Chrissie Cotter Gallery will conclude with a special closing event on Sunday June 26.

New Beginnings 2016 is produced and presented by Settlement Services International (SSI), a community-based, not-for-profit humanitarian organisation.

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