University of Hawaiʻi-Maui College Hosts Unforgettable Arts & Resilience Event in Collaboration with Maui Public Art Corps and Maui Historical Society
Maui Public Art Corps is proud to announce a unique event dedicated to arts-based storytelling, wildfire resilience resources, and the rich cultural heritage of Maui. This exceptional gathering will take place on November 5th, 2023 from 2-4 PM, and is set to captivate and inspire attendees from across the community.
Held on the Great Lawn of the University of Hawaiʻi-Maui College Campus – in front of the stunning Ka’a’ike Building’s Makahiki mural led by arts professor Michael Takemoto, Maui's Adaptations Dance Theater (ADT) and Hāna-grown musician Stephen Henderson will collaboratively perform live work inspired and composed by a talk-story with water-woman Aunty Sally Ann Delos Reyes of Lahaina.
Raised in Pu'ukoli'i, Aunty Sally Ann was interviewed by fellow Hawaiian Canoe Club paddler Lopaka White through the Hui Mo‘olelo program of Maui Public Art Corps, County of Maui and Maui Historical Society. Artists from all over the world submitted proposals to interpret these stories as a work of public art, and a community panel selected this unique team of artists to bring Aunty Sally Ann's words to life.
ADT will perform five contemporary dance vignettes, each lasting 3-5 minutes and rooted in ‘Ōlelo No‘eau: He lawaiʻa no ke kai pāpaʻu, he pōkole nō ke aho. He lawaiʻa no ke kai hohonu, he loa ke aho, (a fisherman of the shallow sea uses only a short line; a fisherman of the deep has a long line). Stephen will simultaneously perform a five movement minimalist symphony of live music between 3-5 minutes per movement inspired by Aunty Sally Ann’s connection with kai and selected stories from her connections to wahi pana in central and west Maui. The theme of the symphony is ‘E Ola Ka Wai’ and will reflect the cycle and journey of water from ocean back to ocean, giving voice to its various forms and environments inspired by her resilience and adaptability.
“The thing that really hit me so hard is Aunty’s connection to water,” says Henderson, “everything from swimming to canoe paddling to her time going to Kahoʻolawe, meeting in the middle of the ocean, and the whole fight we have now for wai, that’s our life blood just like our keiki are the fruits. I am centering each movement around different parts of the wai.”
“It sounds exciting to me!” shares Aunty Sally Ann, “it’s going to be something different; I’ve never seen something like this develop before. As long as it inspires people. You know life is just only once, and one of my goals is to live it to the fullest every day.”
Through an additional partnership with the kūpuna of Alu Like's Kumu Kahi Department, whose mission is to enrich and enhance the lives of Native Hawaiian elders by preserving and restoring their health, sense of dignity, self-respect and cultural identity and promote lifelong learning, Henderson and ADT will gain further inspiration during a free interactive workshop on October 30. Artists will share an audio recording from Aunty Sally Ann's story and ask kūpuna to envision her words as music and dance. Through improvised dance, music and storytelling, participants will actively help to shape the performance for the one-time-only November 5 event.
Added features of the November 5 Arts & Resilience Event include resource sharing by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement’s Kākoʻo Maui Resource Hub, a pop-in artmaking activity with Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center, shared storytelling on stage, a hands-on mural exercise with UH Faculty Michael Takemoto and Marc Antosch, and more. Community organizations that are interested in sharing resources or activities are encouraged to contact email@example.com.
“As Maui Historical Society’s Sissy Lake-Farm and I began to brainstorm with UH Maui College on how to approach a convening that celebrates Lahaina stories, we felt it should be a requirement that wildfire recovery resources were made available during the event,” shares Maui Public Art Corps Chair Kelly McHugh-White, “our mission is to connect people, place and story through the development of public art projects, with a focus on process. Each and every partner in this event has aligned so beautifully, and we want to continue that momentum by ensuring access and inclusivity. Aunty Sally Ann is a heroic figure, and this moment will be one way to celebrate her joyful stories of Maui, and especially of Lahaina.”
Aunty Sally Ann Delos Reyes will celebrate her 80th Birthday the week of the event.
Gather your family and friends, bring your lawn chairs or blankets, and prepare for an afternoon filled with artistic brilliance on the Great Lawn of the Kahului campus. The event is open to all, and we encourage everyone to attend.
Date: November 5th, 2023
Time: 2-4 PM
Location: The Great Lawn: University of Hawaiʻi-Maui College Campus (in front of the stunning Makahiki mural which covers the Great Lawn-facing wall of the Ka’a’ike Building)
Guests must bring their own lawn chair or blankets*
Following a successful pilot program entitled SMALL TOWN * BIG ART, Maui Public Art Corps was established in 2020 in order to scale the positive community response and impacts from Wailuku Town to a countywide initiative. Its mission is to connect people, place and story through the development of exceptional public art. Maui Public Art Corps | FB: @mauipublicart | IG: @mauipublicart
About Maui Historical Society: As caretakers of the land, artifacts, photographs, and documents entrusted to our care, it is our responsibility to ensure that the cultural roots and history that define our Maui community will continue to be here for future generations.
The University of Hawaiʻi Maui College is a public college in Kahului, Hawaiʻi on the island of Maui. One of ten branches of the University of Hawaiʻi system and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, its mission is to inspire students to develop knowledge and skills in pursuit of academic, career, and personal goals in a supportive educational environment that emphasizes community engagement, lifelong learning, sustainable living, Native Hawaiian culture, and global understanding.
Stephen Henderson is an independent producer, singer/songwriter, looper pedal artist and multi-instrumentalist whose roots stem from the small town of Hana, Maui, Hawaii. Raised in a musical family, Stephen had his first taste of the music industry touring with The Jets at a young age, while his father managed them in the 90's. His passion for music was fueled when his family moved from Los Angeles to the small town of Hana, Maui where Stephen was inspired by country legend Kris Kristofferson to begin writing his own music at the age of 12. Since then he has written over 200 songs and holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Music, Science & Technology, emphasizing in Music Cognition and Audio Engineering from Stanford University. He traveled and lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Boulder and New Zealand before settling down with his family in Salt Lake City.
Incorporated in 2013, Adaptations Dance Theater (ADT) is Maui's contemporary dance company that creates groundbreaking work to spark new energy in the local dance community. By producing original works and creating professional performance opportunities on an annual basis, ADT addresses a specific need to create and sustain a home for professional contemporary dancers on Maui so that they may create, collaborate, and grow in their artistry without having to leave their island home to do so. Simultaneously, ADT fosters a space where the general public can regularly experience this performing art, presented by artists trained locally and abroad.