Our History

Youth Development • Arts Education • Cultural Preservation • Community Building

The Estria Foundation was founded in September 18th, 2010 by globally renowned mural artist Todd “Estria” Johnson and social media pioneer Jeremy LaTrasse in Oakland, California. Estria and Jeremy had a passion to start a nonprofit organization that would raise the social consciousness on human and environmental issues through public art projects, education, and community events across the globe. The first programs to be funded were the Water Writes mural series and the national art competitions of the Estria Battle.

The art competitions of the Estria Battle travelled nationally to Harlem, Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Oakland. Since 2008, the Estria Battle has been a core component of the Life is Living Festival, with over 2,000 people attending each event. The Estria Battles ended in 2013 with over 6,000 attendees, 20 national artists competing, 5 youth teams competing, a youth art conference, an artist panel, and a print gallery show hosted by the Estria Foundation.

History of The Estria Foundation

The Water Writes projectʻs goal was to complete twelve large scale murals within three years. The main goal was to raise local and international awareness of water crises in each city where each mural was completed with local schools and communities. The Water Writes mural series ended in 2014 with 12 domestic and international cities painted with large scale murals.

In 2014, a big push moved the offices of The Estria Foundation to Honolulu, Hawaii to support more projects and youth in Hawaii.

History of The Estria Foundation

The Mele Murals project was piloted in 2013 and was launched into full production in 2014. From the completion of a Mele Mural at Kaimukī High School on Oahu, the after school program, Hālau Pāheona, was started in January 2016. It is currently integrated into the curriculum at Kaimukī High School to teach students a modern way of learning of Hawaiian culture using the visual arts.

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