Maui Arts & Cultural Center Marks Milestone with 250,000th Student

March 3, 2010, 2:15 PM HST · Updated March 3, 2:20 PM
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The Maui Arts & Cultural Center marked a milestone in its Arts in Education program today, recognizing the 250,000th student to participate in the program.  Lihikai Elementary School second grader, Kelia Cortes, 7, was honored with a plaque during a special presentation following a school performance by taiko drum master Kenny Endo in the Castle Theater.

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Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares congratulated Keila who was escorted by her parents Jose and Patricia Cortes of Kahului.  Tavares said, “During these challenging times of tight budgets and Furlough Fridays, it’s great to be able to celebrate success in education. This level of success is not achieved by accident but rather by a shared vision and long term commitment. This partnership between the MACC and the State DOE and the County of Maui is a bright star in a sometimes bleak horizon.”

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the MACC’s partnership with the Department of Education, Maui District as part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Partners in Education.

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Since 1995, the Maui Arts & Cultural Center has arts education to public, parochial, independent and home schools on Maui.  For students in the remote communities of Hana, Lana‘i, and Moloka‘i, the MACC brings performances and arts learning opportunities to them.  The Arts in Education program offers workshops and institutes for teachers that provide professional development opportunities, offering the latest in arts integration theory and classroom practice.  For students, there are special performances for schools in Castle Theater and free visual art exhibitions in the Schaefer International Gallery.  Elementary school kids enjoy “CanDo! Days” at The Center.  These arts immersion field trips provide hands-on learning experiences in drama, dance and visual arts.

“The Partners in Education program is designed around not only the academic needs of students, but also to train teachers in arts integration strategies to use in the classroom,” said Maui County Complex Area Superintendent Bruce Anderson, who presented Kelia with the commemorative plaque. 

“These professional development programs help our teachers bring learning to life through the arts and this is when the students connect emotionally with their academic work,” he said.  

“Our founding chairman, Pundy Yokouchi, promised the Maui Arts & Cultural Center would be a place where Maui’s children would learn about and through the arts,” said Susana Browne, the MACC’s Director of Education. “It is so rewarding to see the legacy of that promise,” she said.

In 2007, the Maui Arts & Cultural Center joined forces with Pomaika‘i School in Kahului to develop the only fully-arts integrated curriculum in Hawai‘i. 

The MACC’s Arts in Education program is made possible through the support of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, County of Maui, Alexander & Baldwin Foundation, and generous contributions from numerous foundations and individuals.                      

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Information Courtesy: Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Teri Freitas Gorman)

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