January 1999

The Nathan Cummings Foundation


January 1999

Hawai'i Alliance for Arts Education
Honolulu, HI

'Ohana Arts: Hula Ki'i for Family and Community

The Hawai'i Alliance for Arts Education (HAAE) is the state's only non-government gathering for artists and arts organizations of all disciplines. It is comprised of 60 organizations and 250 individual members. HAAE's mission recognizes the educational potential of all the arts, and advocates for the finest instruction as essential to the learning experience of all Hawai'i's children. Founded in 1980, HAAE has offered numerous family and community programs, forged partnerships with state and private agencies, offered teacher institutes, and developed model programs for arts education.

As Hawai'i moved into a modern world, many of its native cultural values and community bonds were lost. One of the most important community events that has disappeared is Hula Ki'i, a cultural tradition which incorporated drawing, painting, carving, sculpture, fabric (tapa) design, drama and theater, storytelling, chant, ukulele, and dance movement. HAAE recently piloted 'Ohana Arts: Hula Ki'i, a series of workshops which has revived intergenerational family gatherings, assisted these families in better understanding their children's talents, and the significant contributions of art and culture to a child's education. 'Ohana Arts is designed to: 1) build community awareness of the arts essential role in a complete education; 2) increase family participation in student-centered activities; 3) expose workshop participant to a variety of both traditional and contemporary art concepts; and 4) empower the community to understand learning strategies and disciplines of the arts that need to be supported in the schools and throughout life. The Nathan Cummings Foundation grant is to support the expansion of this program to sites over all the islands.