Happy New Year Family and Friends!
2017 was a year of great success and remarkable growth for the Estria Foundation and the Mele Murals program! Our team sends our sincerest Aloha to all of you – our members, partners, and most of all, our families and friends for all that you have done to help us bring creative arts classes into the lives of Hawaii’s keiki!
For 2018, our team plans to expand the number of instructional days to accommodate an even greater number students, collaborate with more island communities to create Mele Murals across the state, and inspire the love for the arts through our arts integration and public arts programs.    
Please consider supporting the Estria Foundation by joining or renewing as a member, or giving a gift of membership! As a nonprofit community arts organization, members are critical to our continued success. Your membership dues help to restore creative arts classes in Hawaii schools, provide meaningful mentorship opportunities for recent high school graduates, train teachers on modern art techniques that they use to inspire students in their classrooms, and creating senses of place through our Mele Murals public arts program. As a member of the Estria Foundation, you are joining an ohana that is inspiring Hawaii’s next generation of visual storytellers.
Our goal is to grow our membership program by 50 members each month. Joining our ohana could not be easier. Sign up online by clicking on the highlighted Memberships link on our website. The first 100 new members to sign up in 2018 will receive a special personalized 8″x10″ print from Estria!  
Contributions are tax-deductible and directly support Hawaii’s keiki statewide. Please take a moment to review our Benefits of Membership at Estria.Org. Island keiki and youth need your support today!
Royal Order of Kamehameha, Malia Melemai from Hawaii Department of Education, Estria,
Kailihiwa Vaughan-Darval, and the staff & alakai hui (leadership group) from David Kalakaua Middle School Mele Murals unveiling event. Photo by Oliver Koning
We are happy to share, in the past year, the Mele Murals program has served 10 schools and over 2,000 students!
Last month, we finished our final mural of 2017 with haumana (students) from David Kalakaua Middle School. A core alakai hui (leadership group) of 50 students were chosen to lead visiting shifts of their classmates on our Paina Pena (community paint event) days. The entire student body joined together to paint the mural project in unison. Our Mele Murals staff and Kalakaua Middle School alakai taught their classmates paint brush basics as well as the moolelo (cultural stories) that are shown in the imagery of the mural.
The overall message of this mural was to know that our kuleana (responsibility) is to act as the hands of this land and to carry on/ perpetuate the stories of the past that are rooted in Kalihi. The stories of our ancestors and of our cultures live on through each one of us. As children, we are the hope for the future. We need to be inspired, stay inquisitive, and keep dreaming so that we can make positive changes on our communities, families, and world.
Check out the Murals page on Estria.Org to read more about the background and mo‘olelo of our latest Mele Mural!
Color Sketch for Kaimuki High School Band Building by Halau Paheona afterschool class
At Halau Paheona at Kaimuki High School, we strive to educate, inspire and motivate young people to flourish in the arts and culture-based material using hands-on methods and team building conditions for positive youth development. As each class progresses, so do our lessons, starting with basic art activities then advancing on to more detailed exercises and finally moving on to large-scale murals.
Under the direction of Luke Pomai DeKneef, the students of Halau Paheona finishes up a new mural for the Kaimuki High School Band building that faces Date Street this month of January. The concept and visual color sketch is shown in the photo above. Stay tuned for more photos!
We look forward to Spring 2018 with the students of Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School joining our Halau Paheona after school class! Below is a highlight of one of Kuhio Elementaryʻs haumana who comes to our afterschool class and writes about painting last Septemberʻs Mele Murals Jarrett Middle School project.
“My experience of painting the mural was fun because we got to paint which helped me learn the skill of shading and blending. Outlining and filling each section in was fun because we kept improving the mural by adding to it. The last thing that was fun was that we all worked together on it.” – Dihara Chelliah / 5th grade
Donʻt miss our Community Creativity Nights on Wednesday, January 10th and January 17th from 6pm – 8:30pm at Kaimuki High School campus!
If youʻre working on a new painting or just getting started on a new art project, join us for an evening where local artists and community ohana and friends share and work on their latest art projects. Visiting artists must bring their own art supplies. Go to this Facebook link to RSVP.
Mahalo Nui
– The staff of Mele Murals / Estria Foundation

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