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January 22, 2011

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January 22, 2011

I am a retired high school math teacher with no experience in theater at any level although I do love to attend the theater. In 2004 I saw a play which included an actor that I found exceptional. The play was the Life Design of Jenny Chow and the actor was Seema Sueko. In the playbill there was a note about the actor starting a new performing arts company called Mo`olelo and if interested we could respond to an e-address that had been listed. I could hardly pronounce the name of the company but I e-mailed the artist an "got involved" in a new phase of my life. Seema is a work horse, non stop advocate of the arts, especially the performing arts. She was and still is determined that Mo`olelo will become a company that will out last those who have started it.

I have caught the "virus". It is almost impossible to be around this lady and not feel the energy that goes into her work. I have been the box office manager of some of the productions; I have help set the lights on other productions; I have helped strike the sets after most all productions and I have been on the board of trustees for almost 6 years. It has been a lot of work but I have said this many times. "I get more out of working with Mo`olelo than I give". It is amazing what one can "receive" from working for and with a group of people that has a mission which is renewed with each production. I am now the president of the board of trustees of Mo`olelo but due to board limits will go off the board at the end of this year. That will not keep me from supporting this company both with time and money for as long as it exists...and that will be for a long time to come. I have and will continue to work as a volunteer for this company because the energy of the board and others who volunteer for Mo`olelo feeds my will to continue. I truely believe that this small but growing company has a big future in the regional theaters of southern California and beyond. You would too if you knew our executive artistic director, Seem Sueko.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been fortunate to see the board change and grow from 5 members to 9 at this time with the intent of growing to 12 by the end of 2011. We have had some drop from the board but they remain in support of the mission of the company and all of them do something in their area of expertize to contribute to the on going success of Mo`olelo. As I have said before working with Mo`olelo and it's board and volunteers is very contagious.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Mo`olelo's biggest problem is staff. I receive a monthly hourly time sheet from our one-person-staff, Seema. It is incredible the hours she works. Our growth limitations is based on the time one person can commit to the many facets of our program. We need more full time staff that is committed to the program. We are working on this problem.

August 7, 2009

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August 7, 2009

Mo`olelo is a Hawaiian word that means tale, legend, or story. As it's name implies this performing arts company goes well beyond performing. The productions are always linked to a social issue that inevitably gets rave reviews. Our board of trustees, by design, is composed of a diverse group ethnically, professionally and by age. Our artistic director, the heart and soul of Mo`olelo is our inspiration. Her ability to select and often perform in such dynamic productions in the past five years has made Mo`olelo a common name in San Diego and beyond in the art community. I might add that we are just getting started. This is a company that is on the move up and even a bad economy is not going away. In the past two years we have added a "green theater" theme to our agenda. As a result we have been approached by other art companies concerned with how the theater can be more environmentally conscious. Visiting or living in San Diego without seeing a Mo`olelo production is a real loss. See for yourself. Mo`olelo is special.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Groups who partner with Mo`olelo in relevant productions are inspired. i.e. Veterans-production-A Piece of My Heart; Brain Injury Foundation-production-Night Skies; Adoptees/those who adopted or gave up for adoption-production-Adoption Project Triad

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There is no quality that I could add to what is organization is doing. We are only limited by resources. I would probably try to "clone" our artistic director. We could certainly use more like her.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The people I have met are life long friends. As the oldest in the group it is encouraging to see the younger people working with the older ones with such acceptance. We all have something to offer toward our common goal. All of us believe in Mo`olelo

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I believe I have already answered this question. The staff and volunteers is what this organization is. They are Mo`olelo and they are why Mo`olelo is so terrific.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Mo`olelo needs a home. We have to rent theater space for our productions. As a result we move around (gypsy company). It would be nice to have a home. But actually 10 million bucks could also hire a large staff for more frequent productions.

Ways to make it better...

We had more money. Obviously that would allow more productions and hiring more to help our one permanent staff memeber

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Fundraising in this economy is a challenge. I believe we are holding our own so to speak but it is a challenge.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Mo`olelo is here to stay. There is a committment to those involved. We have the right people who know how to plan, critique fiscal matters and select relevant productions that inspire patrons to support a worthy cause.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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