Maui Arts & Entertainment

Survey asks: What do you want public art to look like in your Maui County district?

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At the blessing of Edwin Ushiro’s “Wailuku Hoʻokele” mural for SMALL TOWN * BIG ART (Photo by Kelly Pauole)

A new survey has been released to Maui County residents by the SMALL TOWN * BIG ART initiative. The collaborative effort is working to develop an arts district that celebrates the distinctive sense of place, history and culture of Wailuku Town. 

Now in its fifth year of programming, the collective pairs professional artists with community consultants to co-create public artworks in alignment with Mary Kawena Pukui’s ‘Ōlelo No‘eau: Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings.

The creative placemaking collaboration involves the work of County of Maui, Hale Hōʻikeʻike at the Bailey House and the Maui Historical Society, as well as Maui Public Art Corps.


The initiative has completed 54 visual, performance and experiential public artworks to date. These art works have encompassed the stories, direct participation, feedback, and active celebration of thousands of participants each year. The project were led by 47 local artists and 10 visiting artists, and were supported through nearly 200 community partnerships.

Organizers say public demand led to the creation of a new 501c3 to expand programming into new neighborhoods beyond Wailuku. Established in 2020 as Maui Public Art Corps, the team has now piloted public art and related community programming with partners in Kahului, Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe.

With more than 350 public art programs nationwide, organizers say benefits have impacted communities economically, culturally, socially and health-wise.


Now, the SMALL TOWN * BIG ART collective is working on a public art master plan that is focused on the County of Maui’s unique cultures, resources, needs and desires; and will join the ranks of 350 public art programs that have been developed nationally, according to Americans for the Arts – a leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in the nation.

Funded through a grant award by the National Endowment for the Arts, the plan will provide a framework for the development and acquisition of public art, participation in the selection process, areas of opportunity, maintenance and conservation, and recommendations for the future.

Residents are invited to share their feedback via a survey listed at the top of the SMALL TOWN * BIG ART website:, also accessible at Hard copies are also available while supplies last. The survey takes approximately 12 minutes to complete.


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