The Haiku Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival Raises $70,000 for Haiku’s Keiki

Our theme this year was Malama Ke Aloha, to cherish the love, and we cherish and appreciate all the support in the community of our keiki. ~ Desiree Anderson, Haiku School Principal

The 21st Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival was held on Saturday, April 12 at the Haiku Community Center.  This community festival featured local entertainment, large crafters area,  growers/farmers market, restaurant row, unique silent auction, Keiki Zone, community living tent featuring local businesses and non-profits, a floral design contest, lei making instruction, and other activities.

“It was a glorious day.  We truly appreciate everyone coming out to support our community, businesses, farmers and of course, our keiki,” says Mike Gagne, one of the festival founders.  “Over the past three years we have been working towards a new financial model for the festival that has improved our revenue stream to support our beneficiaries.  This is very exciting.”

“It’s amazing to see all of our committee members coming together each year to make this event happen.  The team just grabbed the bull by the horns this year and did a fantastic job.  They are the best event committee on Maui,” says Karen Notley, Festival Co-Chair and past PTA President.  “Some of the core committee members have been helping for years, including Leanna Troesh-Worrell, Mike Gagne, Sandy Pflug, Suzy Aguirre, Kristina Shugars, Lisa Mosbarger, Amy Duryea, Nikka Golan, Noncy Manning, Tiffany Saia, Megan Ramirez, Tim Wolfe, Sharon Shough, Marsha Bishop, Jodi Ottman, Barbara Potts, Joey Larrimer, Renil Phillips, Kate Griffiths, Doug Brunner, Maurice Bajon, members of the Haiku Living Legacy Project and so many more.  And we are thrilled to have the newer guard joining us, including Lisa Daly, Keala Storm, Susanne Reusch, Carrie Gebb, Jennifer Poppy, JoAnn Funes, Jennifer Ely, Maureen Dean, David Takahama, Alexis Lang, Bronwyn Tatman, Mailani Souza, Jennifer Karaca, Patti Souza, Keith Ranney, Tami Lester, Tully Kramer, Joan Junger, Theresa Haberstroh, Courtney Hayes, Alicia Jacobson, Audrey Ikeda, Tysun Saucier and Jennifer Livingston.  The teachers and staff at the school are awesome supporters as well.”

This year, the event raised more money than before for its beneficiaries – Haiku School PTA, Haiku Boys & Girls Club, and Haiku Community Association.  A record-breaking $70,000 will benefit Haiku’s keiki through these organizations.

“In 2010 and 2011, we noticed a decline in revenue that, if continued, would have jeopardized the enrichment programs that the income provides for Haiku School students and Haiku Boys & Girls Club,” says Jennifer Oberg, Festival Co-Chair for 2013 and 2014.  “In the summer of 2011, Haiku residents Karen Notley, Leanna Troesh-Worrell, Tim Wolfe and I attended a seminar to learn more about fundraising, and through connections there we learned about Toni Rojas, an event planner and consultant.  Our committee met with her and agreed to bring her on as a consultant.  She worked with us for the 2012 and 2013 festivals and our team was able to increase revenue both years.  This year, we decided to carry on by ourselves, taking her good advice and suggestions and implementing them to run the festival.  We worked very hard to keep our expenses down and it was the best year ever financially.  The auction alone made $30,000.  I’m so incredibly proud of our dedicated team. They are absolutely an inspiration for how community work should be done.”

The festival partnered with many companies in the community who stepped forward as sponsors and in-kind donors, who helped make the event a success.

Maui Printing gave over $10,000 worth of in-kind donation printing services to the festival this year and last year, under the guidance of owner Robert Campbell.  “Everyone loves Robert.  Anyone who works in a non-profit on Maui knows that Robert Campbell will try and do his best to help – he really is a superman.  By all means, if you have printing work to be done, give them your business, because they give so much to the community,” says Oberg.

From Left – Robert Campbell, Owner of Maui Printing, Jen Oberg, Maurice Bajon, and Desiree Anderson

Susan Bendon and the Bendon Family Foundation surprised everyone at the event by giving a $10,000 grant donation to the Haiku School PTA to continue a science enrichment program that was started by the Bendon Family at Haiku School in 2011.  “It was the highlight of the entire day, what an amazing surprise!” says Leanna Troesh-Worrell, a past Festival Chair who was part of the original grant-writing team in 2011.

From Left – Leanna Troesh-Worrell, Susan Bendon, Karen Notley, Lisa Daly, Desiree Anderson, Jen Oberg

Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar, under the auspices of Alexander and Baldwin, returned this year as Keiki Zone Sponsor, giving a $2,000 donation to the event.  “HC&S has played a major role in the history of the Haiku area and helps support many opportunities for our youth.  Alexander & Baldwin and HC&S have generously offered yearly grants to the Ho’olaule’a the entire history of the event, and have helped the festival grow into a signature event for the North Shore area,” says Lucienne DeNaie, one of the original festival committee members.

From Left, Vicki Shortell of HC&S, Leanna Troesh-Worrell, Desiree Anderson, Karen Notley

Upcountry Fitness joined the festival again this year and provided a free fitness area for attendees.  “The commitment of Upcountry Fitness to our students over the past few years has been wonderful.  For several years, they provided a free after-school fitness program for our Haiku School students, and the trainers and staff really cared about our kids.  We appreciate their support last year and this year at the festival,” says Desiree Anderson, Haiku School Principal.

The festival had several restaurant and vendors donate 100% of their day’s proceeds to the cause – Mana Foods, Flatbread, Life Foods, Maui Children’s Bookstore and Café, Vanity Salon, and the American Windsurfing Tour.  “We usually offer our vendors a 50/50 split to help them cover their costs, but this year we had more vendors than ever before show an interest in donating 100% to the kids.  The four restaurants who donated 100% brought in over $5000 between them.  That really helped our bottom line and our kids,” says Megan Ramirez, Restaurant Row Co-Chair.

Other companies, individuals, and organizations helped as well with sponsorships, donations, discounts, and loan of equipment, including All Island Print Works, Da Bounce Party Rentals, Ehman Productions, Wailani Artates of Artistry 8, Service Rentals, Steve Robinson, Seabury Hall Development Office, Maui Flower Growers Association, Maui Electric Company, Maui Coffee Association, and Sammy & Kari Hagar and the Hagar Family Foundation.

“We were so glad that Mayor Arakawa and Mrs. Arakawa were able to take time out of their busy schedule to join us,” says Desiree Anderson, Haiku School Principal. “Our theme this year was Malama Ke Aloha, to cherish the love, and we cherish and appreciate all the support in the community of our keiki.  This annual event brings together old friends, creates new friendships, and is a celebration of our past, present and future generations.”

The 2015 Haiku Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the Haiku Community Center.

2014 Instagram Contest Winner Announced!

Happy Aloha Friday!

The Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival was a hit with the community once again, and we are grateful to everyone who came out to volunteer and to just have fun. We held our 2nd Annual Instagram Contest, and after much deliberation our committee selected the winner.

And the winner is…

Instagram Winner @kelsey_keakealani

@kelsey_keakealani :)

#PeaceLoveHaiku and Kelsey be sure to email us (haikuhoolaulea@gmail.com) your mailing address so we can mail you your prize:

Maui Made Lemonade – $20 Gift Certificate!!!

 

Maui Made Lemonade

Join in our “Orbital Celebration” with Astronomer Harriet Witt

Maui Astronomer Harriett Witt is joining us this year with a special celebration of our 21st anniversary at 11:45am in front of the main stage.  Here is what she has to say about it:

We’re honoring the Festival’s 21st anniversary – that’s 21 orbits of our blue-green planet around a golden star called the Sun!

We’ll have a virtual Earth orbiting a virtual Sun – with music, movement and body decor. If you’re in the audience, you’ll be part of this 15-minute celebration that starts at 11:45 in front of the main stage.

Paul Janes-Brown is playing the role of the Sun. The role of the Earth is being played by Malu Leamohalu and his little 5-year-old boy Koa, who will ride atop Malu’s shoulders while holding up an Earth beach ball overhead. We have 12 different people holding each of the 12 month signs, which will be arranged in a circular orbit around the sun.

JANUARY – Judy Halip
FEBRUARY – Joe Bardwell
MARCH – Ba Aye Rajan
APRIL – Sandia Siegel
MAY – Elo Shak
JUNE – Bill Jones
JULY – Peter Kafka
AUGUST – Anita Bardwell
SEPTEMBER – Ember Behrendt
OCTOBER – Charlie Kirchner
NOVEMBER – Lee Cutler
DECEMBER – Nathan Withers

We hope you’ll join us in singing (to the tune of Happy Birthday):

“Happy orbiting to us, happy orbiting to us, happy orbiting dear Earth, happy orbiting to us.”

This event is a production of the Keiki-Kupuna Orbit Project featured at the GIVING BACK booth in the Community Living Tent. It recognizes that a sustainable society is where elders pass on wisdom to youngers – and youngers ask cosmic questions. GIVING BACK is a nationally-awarded Maui non-profit fostering inter-generational relationships through a variety of activities.

It Takes a Village to Make a T-Shirt

Festial T-shirts

 

This year’s festival T-Shirts were created through a joint effort by Graphic Designer Sharon Shough, who created this year’s logo, Paragon Salon Owner Carrie Gebb, who chose the colors and styles for the tees, and Zepher Loesch, President of All Island Print Works, who printed them up!  A special mahalo goes out to Zepher for an in-kind donation of our crew T-shirts!

 

We talked with Graphic Designer Sharon Shough about how she got started designing the logos for the festival in 2006.

First I got involved because my children are/were Haiku School students and helping Haiku School and the Haiku community by doing what I enjoy, has always been very fulfilling.   In the beginning my good friend, Megan Ramirez,  suggested I use some of my drawings in a set of cards to be donated for the silent auction, after that, Maggie Welker, festival chair at the time, asked if I was available to make a t-shirt design and together with Kelly Lau we created the first t-shirt design using the flower and leaves you see in the logo today.
Tell us about your graphic design work.
I have always enjoyed the creative and technical part of graphic design and I’m always experimenting with new ideas and techniques.  I work in graphic design building ads and doing the layout for a newspaper. My  training is geared to printed media. I feel blessed to be able to work in a field that I love.

Four Time Best of Maui Winner and 2012 Mayor Small Business Award nominee, Paragon Salon has been in business for over 16 years on Maui.  We chatted with Carrie Gebb about her business and why she got involved in the festival.

We are a stylish, highly trained and talented full service salon, located in a charming old plantation house on Makawao Avenue in the heart of Makawao Town.  And I love being an involved parent!  Volunteering in the classroom and helping to make our school events a success is very important to me.  Without parent volunteers none of these events that benefit our school and community could happen.

paragon

paragon

 

Haiku Alumni Parent & Maui Family Magazine’s Nicole Shipman, Talks Story

One word that describes the Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival…COMMUNITY.
-Nicole Shipman, Maui Family Magazine

Of all people who know about kids’ activities on Maui – Nicole Shipman of Maui Family Magazine is the Queen of Information!  We were fortunate to chat with her recently about the magazine and what her girls loved about the festival when they were students at Haiku School.

Hi Nicole!  Will you please share a bit about yourself, your family, how long you’ve lived in Maui, and why you started the Maui Family Magazine?

My husband and I both grew up in Hawaii and we have lived on Maui since 1994. We started the Maui Family Magazine because we were frustrated with not knowing what was happening in our community. I was always hearing about this hula class or that gymnastics class after the fact and I wanted to be able to have enrichment for our daughters and have a resource to support parents in making those choices for their family.

What is one of your favorite memories of the Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival?

There are so many memories! I loved seeing my girls run around with their friends, seeing them perform and enjoying all of the ono food! We also were building our house when our daughters were at Haiku School so lots of our plants that are flourishing today we bought at the Haiku Ho’olaule’a. I also bought two beautiful chandeliers that are hanging in our home at the silent auction. They are fun reminders of that time.

HHFF Nicole Shipman1

Hannah’s favorite memories: Getting her face painted, eating shave ice and the dunk tank- she got to dunk her friends!

Ava’s favorite memories: Buying baked goods, sliding down the bouncy castle and performing gymnastics!

 

Why is the festival important to you? Why do you choose to support the festival through Maui Family Magazine?

Community is very important to us and having a place to gather, share food and have fun is essential in creating those bonds that contribute to a thriving community. Haiku was also the first place we moved to on Maui. It was also where we got married and started our family. It is a special place and it feels good to give back!

 

Hannah and Ava, as Haiku alumni, what would you say to current Haiku students about their time in elementary school?

Hannah (Graduating Senior this year): Enjoy your time because it goes by way too fast!

Ava (High School Freshman): Read as much as you can. I had a great teacher in 1st grade (Ms. Young) who taught me to love reading!

HHFF Nicole Shipman2

 

Nicole, how would you describe the festival in one word? 

Community!

 

Mahalo, Nicole, Hannah and Ava, for sharing your memories with us, and for all of your support through Maui Family Magazine. (Here’s a recent article the magazine published about the festival: Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival.

Aloha, and we’ll see you on Saturday, April 12, 2014!

Reminder – charge those smartphones for the Instagram Contest this Saturday as well:
Instagram Contest 2014

Join the Instagram Contest this Saturday! #PeaceLoveHaiku

Instagram Contest 2014

Charge those smartphones for this Saturday’s festival because you will want to capture all of those fun moments and share them with the hashtag #PeaceLoveHaiku.

Connect with us:

Instagram –  @HaikuHoolaulea

Twitter – @HaikuHoolaulea

Facebook - www.facebook.com/haiku.hoolaulea

ENTER OUR ONE DAY CONTEST

1. Take great photos at the festival this Saturday, April 12, 2014.

2. Post them to Instagram and use hashtag #PeaceLoveHaiku.

3. Our team will choose the best photo on Sunday, April 13 and the winner of the Instagram Contest will get their photo posted on our website & all of our social media…(UPDATED: Maui Made Lemonade is our sponsor for the Instagram Contest. So the winner of the contest will also receive a $20 Gift Certificate to this yummy business!!!) So get ready to have fun & capture the festival with your smartphone. See you this Saturday!

Last year’s winner was Instagram user  @theresahaberstroh with this pic:

Haiku Hoolaulea Instagram Contest Winner Theresa Haberstroh

@theresahaberstroh’s winning snapshot

Mahalo again to our Instagram Contest Sponsor: Maui Made Lemonade!!!

Maui Made Lemonade

Keith Ranney Talks Story – Volunteering & Greening

We’ve been programmed to believe that a throw-away society is sustainable, but the truth is, it’s not.  -Keith Ranney, Volunteer Manager

Keith Ranney is the Volunteer Manager for the 21st Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival. He is passionate about helping the community, whether it’s coordinating volunteer efforts or making efforts toward a “zero waste” event. He is a treasure for our Maui community, and if you have the opportunity to volunteer for the festival you will soon find out what a wonderful person he is to serve alongside! Enjoy this recent interview with Keith (then sign up to volunteer). :)

1. Tell us a little more about your role in the festival this year:

As Volunteer Manager I’m responsible for documenting all volunteer needs before the festival according to requests by the event and committee chairs. Those needs are input into a volunteer management database system called Volunteer Impact which is used by several other major organizations on Maui that host large events (Maui Film Festival, SeaburyHall’s Crafts Fair, Pacific Whale Foundation). Secondly, I make sure volunteers register and create a www.MyVolunteerPage.com profile and affiliate themselves with the Haiku community event. Once registered and processed, volunteers can create their own schedule from the list of volunteer activities (shifts). Part of my job is to help people who are new to the system, but once they’ve tried it a few times they end up saving me and the host organization a great deal of time. For the event itself I’m one of the first to arrive in the “wee hours” and then spend the day supporting each committee chair by inquiring about any volunteer needs.

 

2. What are your hopes for the volunteer crew? Any particular areas that need extra coverage? How would one volunteer for this event?

 The Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival has become a community treasure – way bigger than the school itself can manage on it’s own. So I’m hopeful the community will participate. We need parking help, food servers, security, runners ready to drive for supplies as needed, and help with setup on Friday and breakdown after the event. It’s easy to register as a volunteer and self schedule from the Art of Volunteering website: http://artofvolunteering.com/events/HHFF14/

 

3. Can you tell us about the festival efforts to be even “greener” this year? 

 Events provide the opportunity to see how much waste is generated by humans. We’ve been programmed to believe that a throw-away society is sustainable, but the truth is, it’s not. For our future generations we must make greening all events on our precious island “zero waste.” All that’s required is that people take responsibility and bring their own shopping bag, bowl or plate, utensil and refillable water bottle. Patrons can purchase refills. Waste is also the responsibility of the vendors since they choose whether to provide compostable containers. In our third year of greening the Maui Film Festival our Waste Stream Management crew diverted over 1200 lbs of food waste from our finite Maui Land Fill into a backyard composting operation. I’m reaching out to the Maui chapter of the Hawaii Farmer’s Union United to help supply and pick up bokashi buckets and recruiting volunteers to help educate patrons and supervise the separation of trash, recyclables and compostables. (See more green tips here for the festival)

 

4. Why is it important for us to make an effort to be green? How does our waste affect the island, in your opinion?

 The Maui Landfill is expected to reach capacity in 2030. I would like to see events on Maui adopt South Sea Islander practices of using banana stalks for bowls and banana leaves for plates and a network of local farmers receiving tons of soil nourishment from our local events. Our generation is witness to the folly of an economy that focuses primarily on growth with our ecology taking the hit. Wasteful packaging may be great for marketing but we’re choking on plastic. It can be found in nearly every newborn’s umbilical chord and plastic particulate is more plentiful in our oceans than plankton. When our economies become aligned with our ecology, we’ll know that we haven’t thrown future generations under the bus.

 

Mahalo, Keith, for your tireless efforts in making the 21st Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival another memorable one for our community and keiki. May future generations in Maui thank you for leading the way to “zero waste” events as well!

 

Here’s a quick checklist for you to help make the festival a “zero waste” event:

  • Bring your own water bottle.  You can refill your bottle for $1-2.00 at our water stations.  Proceeds will benefits the Haiku Boys and Girls Club.
  • Bring your own shopping bags.  Then shop, shop, shop at our Marketplace full of wonderful Crafters, and our Silent Auction.
  • Pack plates and cutlery in and out.  We will have plates and cutlery available, but be a dear and consider packing in and out your own plates and cutlery, to help our Restaurant Row Vendors and PTA Kau Kau Committee reduce their use of paper products.
  • Bring used books to the festival.  You can donate them on the spot to our Book Swap which benefits Haiku School Library.
  • Bring old phone books to the festival.  Bring them to the Community Center Scrip Booth, and we will recycle them in the “Think Yellow, Go Green” recycling campaign by The Berry Company.
  • Bring your kid’s clothing.  Bring clothing that your child doesn’t need anymore to exchange for clothing they do need at North Shore Church’s Community Exchange, happening in the Haiku Field House.
  • Carpool out to Haiku!
Finally, we’re still in need of volunteers to cover 2-hour shifts before, during & after the event. Will you bebe willing to volunteer? Here’s a quick link to sign-up: It’s easy to register as a volunteer and self schedule from the Art of Volunteering website: http://artofvolunteering.com/events/HHFF14/.
#PeaceLoveHaiku

Keiki Bubble Station Sensation :)

Haiku Hoolaulea Instagram Contest Winner Theresa Haberstroh

@theresahaberstroh’s winning Instagram snapshot 2013

The Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival “Keiki Zone” is always a hit with the community. This year we are fortunate to have Pacific Millworks and the American Windsurfing Tour as 100% donors, hosting a fun  Bubble Station in the Keiki Zone! Lindsay Grier will be running the Bubble Station, so we thought it would be great to hear more about their involvement in the festival this year:

1. Tell us about the Bubble Station that will be in the Keiki Zone.

The bubble station will offer several different ways for kids to create bubbles large and small!

 

2. Why did your family businesses decide to get involved with the Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival?

Pacific Millworks and the American Windsurfing Tour became involved with the festival as relatives of my daughter, who attends kindergarten at Haiku School.  As a teacher at Maui High, I do not have my own business, so I asked them to participate.

 

3. Can you tell us a little about how the businesses got started?

Pacific Millworks was developed by Michael Grier. He had worked in a  few wood shops around Maui and loved working with local woods, so he decided to open his own shop at the Pauwela Cannery. Pacific Millworks is also contributing cutting boards for the silent auction.

The American Windsurfing Tour is owned by Samantha Bittner. She created the tour because she loved windsurfing.

 

4. What do you enjoy most about the festival?

I have always enjoyed the book swap, craft vendors, plant sale, and my daughter Audrey has loved riding the ponies and playing the keiki games.

Thank you, Lindsay, for taking the time to share about the Bubble Station!  You can learn more about Pacific Millworks on their website.  And see where the American Windsurfing Tour is headed next on their website!

And thanks, again, to all of our 100% donors and festival sponsors…you make this festival rock!

Want to see the other activities going on at the festival? Check out the festival MAP to find your favorite spots:

 

Note: We’re still looking for volunteers to fill 2-hour shifts for the festival. Please sign up today! http://artofvolunteering.com/events/HHFF14/ Trouble signing up? Email Volunteer Manager Keith Ranney at keith(at)artofvolunteering(dot)com.

#PeaceLoveHaiku

Festival Boasts Amazing Made in Hawaii Artisans, Crafters and Creators

The 21st Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival is just two short weeks away! If you love unique, handmade items, then be sure to bring your shopping bags because there will be many “Made in Hawaii” artists, crafters and creators at the festival. The Marketplace will be the perfect way to stock up on gifts for birthdays, weddings, Christmas, or even for yourself…there will be something for everyone!

Haiku-Festival-Crafter

Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival “Marketplace” Booths

Aloha Wizard’s Wands & Canes

Art’s Lomi Lomi 2 Da Max

Bamboo Tees Hawaii

Beads Lead to Success

Brittany Bivens

C Moore Glass

Calm Chaos Maui

Celestial Gems

Christi Wallace

Crucial Cut Decals

Curt Stevens

Dana’s Distractions

Exergy 35 Productions

Felicity Feathers

Glee Accessories

Gordean Kakalia

Haiku Creations

Haiku Style

Hana Lima Maui

Hana Steel LLC

Handmade Crafts

Hawaii Hunters LLC

Healing Stones

HIhoops

Himanja Jewelry

Honi Designs Hawaii

Indies Attic

Inspiritos Inc.

Jah Army

JB Creations

Jeff’s Jams and Jellies

Jennifer Day

Jules’ Jewels

KenSuPrecious Jewelry

Koa Mana

Kokonut Keiki Hawaii

Laura Straight

Laurie Furumoto

Little Sparkles Maui

Loot LLC

Lorraines

Mana Girl Jewelry

Mano & Mina

Maui Dad

Maui Epicure LLC

Maui Fruit Jewels

Maui Living

Maui Maid

Maui Mamaki Tea

Maui Mason Jars

Maui’s Ono

Maui Preserved

Maui Up Close

Neeve Star Designs

Paradise Now

Pascaline

Peahi Pottery

Pure Light Graphics

Rock N Wow

Salty Secrets Hawaii

Seahorse Studio

Silk Harmony by BZS

So Ui Designs

Sol Flower Botanicals

Soul of Wood

St. Rita Church

Stani Crystals

Summer Glass Designs

Sun-Dora

Sweet Betty Confections

Te Hotu Mana Creations

The Maui Peace Tree

Tribe Leather Jewelry & Accessories

Triple Aloha

Unicorn Square

Urthealer

Vibrant Vibes

Volo Metal

Wise Herbs Apothecary

Xarraca

*Please note: The Artists and Crafters Booths are SOLD OUT. If you’d like to join us in 2015, Contact Chair Tiffany Saia at haikucrafters@yahoo.com.

Art for the Keiki

I always tell my students there are no mistakes in art!
- Susie Speck, Artist in Residence, Haiku School

Susie-Speck-Haiku

 

Maui is blessed with incredible artists from all over the world! The keiki of Haiku receive the rare gift of art classes through the support raised at the annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival. Susie Speck has been one of the art instructors at Haiku School for four years and before that she spent three years as the “Art for Kids” after-school instructor. We are fortunate to have an artist like Susie to teach our kids such a valuable skill that will surely stay with them throughout their lives.

We recently had a chance to “talk story” with Susie Speck to hear her thoughts on the importance of art education and find out about some of the projects we’ll be seeing at the festival this year. She has been painting murals and furniture for thirty years. She lived in the Chicago suburbs with her children for many years, then moved to Maui in 2004.

1. Susie, what is your favorite aspect of teaching art in the classroom?

I absolutely love when I walk into a classroom and the kids are all excited about me being there. I encourage them to challenge themselves in each project, while taking them step by step through the process. When they see the results they are so proud, and so am I. I sometimes can’t believe how well they do! We talk a lot about the subject whether it’s cultural, local, lights and darks…their own experiences. This way we are really sharing thoughts and ideas. I also try to play music that will inspire the project’s creativity. And when I see that a student went home and drew more of what we learned that day – I am elated! We have so much fun!!!

2. Why do you believe art education is important for students?

The arts show students how to problem solve creatively, follow directions, builds their skill levels and self-confidence and gives them an outlet to express themselves, all of which benefit them in other subjects.  I always tell my students, “There are no mistakes in art, there’s always a way to fix it or turn it into something else.  And that something else is usually better!”

 

yoshi 003-peace-love-haiku
3. What would you like to see happen with the art programs in schools?

I would love to see more class sessions in the schools and all the arts part of the curriculum.  The teachers often tell me how they see an improvement in students work after having a class with me.  We could see much better grades and attention in schools if we had more arts.
haiku art show 2013 004

4. Tell us about some of the class projects you are helping with for the festival’s auction:

This year I am working on two projects for the festival.  With one 5th grade class we are making a mosaic surfboard shower and with a 3rd grade class we are painting a bench with the students doing the drawing and painting.

Mahalo, Susie, for taking time to share your thoughts on art and most of all for sharing your time and talent to give Haiku students the lasting gift of art!

Note: If you’ve been thinking about donating to the Ha’ikū Ho‘olaule‘a & Flower Festival Auction, NOW is the TIME! The auction is the biggest fundraiser at the festival, and the proceeds help Haiku’s Keiki! Help our auction chairs reach their goal of $20,000 in sales! Contact Kristina Shugars at haikuschoolsilentauction@gmail.com TODAY!