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Hawai‘i Arts Alliance Offering Youth Art Classes This Summer

Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

A special notice for parents, the Hawai'i Arts Alliance is starting traditional arts classes at the Downtown Arts Center. The first summer session runs June 1 to July 17 with different types of workshops for separate age groups.

Teri Skillman, CEO of the Hawai'i Arts Alliance, is kicking off a Traditional Arts series with summer offerings for young people.

Students can try bamboo dances and songs, play gongs, and learn other traditional performing arts of the Philippines. In other classes, kids can draw and make things in clay. Another class will teach making musical instruments from recycled materials.

"You cut the holes in like your boba straws and you can make a flute. You can make an ad hoc ensemble and do a cover of a song with recycled instruments. That will be on Fridays at 3:30," Skillman said.

Classes for the various age groups are once a week for an hour and cost $60 for the six-week session. 

Skillman is pursuing grants for these and future offerings. Balinese traditional arts including gamelan are in the wings.

Skillman said she welcomes input.

"Any suggestions would always be appreciated. Especially looking for communities to say we want to be represented. Here's what we can offer, here are the master teachers we would like to have teaching this. Communities need to see themselves in our offerings."

There are master practitioners of arts from net making to calligraphy and martial arts living in this community, according to Skillman, and many are kupuna.

"If we don't offer spaces for them to teach and help continue these traditions, then we're going to lose them," she added.

Skillman said their knowledge must be tapped now, and the Hawai'i Arts Alliance can help make that happen.

Currently classes are for kids in the first to eighth grades. Opportunities will expand over the summer.

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