2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

Produced and presented by Multicultural Arts Victoria, Emerge Festival commemorates United Nations World Refugee Day and celebrates Refugee Week in Victoria.

Emerge Festival 2012: June 1st - July 31st

View larger poster

Melbourne's rich cultural heritage comes alive with this colourful annual music and arts festival presenting amazing new refugee and emerging artists who have recently settled in Australia.

Launching with a massive one-day cultural celebration at Fitzroy Town Hall on Sunday 17 June, Emerge Festival will captivate Melbourne and Dandenong throughout June and July with a series of amazing performances and unique cultural experiences encompassing music, dance, visual arts, film, exotic foods, ancient crafts and ceremonies happening all over the city.

Festival Program

Emerge Program Booklet

Media Release - Event Profiles

Emerge Event Profiles (Media Release)

Emerge Festival Events and Dates

Friday June 1st - Thursday June 28th Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery Reerguuraa - An exhibition by the Somali Cultural Association
Tuesday June 5th - Saturday June 16th fortyfivedownstairs Heartlands Refugee Fine Art Prize @ fortyfivedownstairs
Wednesday June 13th, 6.30-9.00pm fortyfivedownstairs Hope in Settlement - A Creative Refugee Week Performance
Sunday June 17th, 12-5pm Fitzroy Town Hall Emerge Main Event
Sunday June 17th, 12-2pm   Refugee Week Rally
Thursday June 21st, 7pm Melbourne Recital Centre, Salon Visible Music - Laneway Funk featuring Bitsat Seyoum
Saturday June 23rd - Saturday July 31st, 10am-4pm Brunswick & Coburg Town Halls Artist and Musician Development Workshops
Saturday June 30th, 6.30pm ACMI Ubuzima Bushasha Burundi Film Project Launch and Independence Day Celebrations
July 1st, 2.30pm-3.30pm Habour Esplanade North, Docklands Nkumba Rumba, celebrating Congolese Independence Day
Tuesday July 3rd, Wednesday July 4th & Thursday July 5th Treasury Theatre Emerge Film Festival
Thursday July 5th - Saturday July 28th Walker St Gallery, Dandenong Heartlands Refugee Fine Art Prize @ Walker St Gallery, Dandenong
Saturday July 21st Drum Theatre, Dandenong Emerge @ Drum Theatre

Dance to rhythms from Sudan to Tibet whilst inhaling the aromas of an Ethiopian coffee ceremony and exotic foods from around the globe at the festival Main Event.

Join us for the inaugural Emerge Film Festival showcasing talented filmmakers from emerging communities.

Experience Somali culture, fauna and fauna in Reerguuraa Exhibition featuring the works of famed Somali visual artists Adam Ganei.

Dance and discover the rhythmic connections between African and Latin America in Nkumba Rumba! Just a few of this year's festival highlights!

Media Enquiries

Media Enquiries: Jess Fairfax, Project Officer, Multicultural Arts Victoria, Phone (03) 9188 3681 Email: projects@multiculturalarts.com.au.


Presented by Multicultural Arts Victoria, Emerge Festival commemorates United Nations World Refugee Day and celebrates Refugee Week in Victoria.

Refugees are survivors who have been forced to leave their whole lives behind due to persecution and they have survived because they have had courage, ingenuity and creativity.

The only festival of its kind, Emerge unearths the incredible talents these people have brought to Australia and provides an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to share and celebrate rich and undiscovered cultures all the way from Africa to the Far East, from the traditional to the contemporary.

Established in 2004 by Multicultural Arts Victoria, the Emerge Festival promotes diversity, social inclusion, respect and the breaking down of racism. Over its nine years the festival has steadily grown to attract audiences of 8,000+ with an annual program of inspiring and entertaining events all over Melbourne.

From June 1 to July 31 Emerge Festival will be a chance for people from all cultures to make music together, sing, dance, learn about each other, showcase and be proud of their culture, hear each other's stories and make long-lasting cross-cultural connections and friendships.

Produced and presented by Multicultural Arts Victoria

Principal Sponsors

City of Yarra, Victorian Multicultural Commission, City of Melbourne, Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, Parks Victoria, Besen Family Foundation, Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, City of Port Phillip, VicHealth, AMES, Melbourne Recital Centre, Sidney Myer Fund, City of Greater Dandenong, The Drum Theatre






Partners & supporters

Somali Cultural Association, Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery, fortyfivedownstairs, Walker Street Gallery, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, Playback Theatre, Tokolonga Dance & Music, Moreland City Council, 3008 Docklands Magazine, Youthworx Productions, Refugee Advocacy Network, Mental Illness Fellowship of Victoria PBS FM, Metro Printing, Keke Design





    Refugee Advocacy Network


                  keke Design