The first Youth Artist Showcase sponsored by Arts of Kona generated a response from students and parents alike that had them talking about the experience for weeks after the event. Students already involved in the Arts generated a lot of interest to a number of students and the parents of students that were not involved in the arts and inspired them to become involved. During the second Youth Artist Showcase, it was truly heart warming to see the look and awe on the faces of students who came to share their art with the various artistic expressions of their peers; each participant, learning and growing in the process. Arts of Kona made this tremendous transformation possible by providing the vehicle for students to share their art with their peers, friends and ohana in a nurturing neutral place.
I attended the Arts of Kona fundraiser on January 16th.
They presented a wonderful variety of music and arts displayed.
This was especially delightful since it was in the outdoor gardens of a private home. The music presented showed the vast contrast of performers in Kona. There were youth, opera singer, flute and keyboard with ancient and modern Hawaiian, and a variety of lovely music from around the world and centuries.
Helen Beljean is bringing out the talents in our small community.
She was also very inclusive of other musical organizations by introducing them and allowing for announcements.
Just a lovely Sunday afternoon to enjoy music and make new friends.
Thank you, Lydia Weiss, President Kona Music Society
Arts of Kona plays such a valuable role in the local community, especially in these difficult economic times. The events and programs the Arts of Kona sponsors, provides food for the soul for the local residents and helps in making this community a place where we all want to help each other. The Arts of Kona's programs bind the community together and help to create a sense of belonging for many of the residents.
I have been involved in several fund raising events for this non-profit, and have been impressed every time with the focus on details, the joy (especially from the children) of the performers, and the clear focus of each and every event.
In addition, I am a grant writer and have assisted with multiple grant requests from Arts of Kona. It was a pleasure being able to wax eloquent - honestly - about the worthiness of the organization, which any grant writer can tell you is not always the case!
This is one of the most passionate and able group of people I have ever worked with, and they deserve to succeed. On this small island, this type of vision and focus is exceedingly valuable, and I am grateful to be a part of this effort.
Many organizations "talk the talk" with wonderful missions and visions. I saw Arts of Kona "walk the walk" again ysterday, as I have at all their other events. It's a Sunday afternoon, with about 60 people gathered outside in a private home. (NOTE: this was donated for the event by a local physician who supports Arts of Kona, very generous). First, a 13 year old with a becoming-a-tenor voice opened the music with a beautiful chant (an "oli") in Hawaiian, which is our island custom. This was followed by one of the most beautiful hula kahiko (traditional, ancient style dance) I have ever seen, the 15 year-old dancer expressive, graceful, doing a vigorous and demanding performance. Then a flutist and pianist shared their traditions with us: two exquisite Japanese pieces, some French classical music, ending with a czardas where notes seemed to fly faster than hummingbirds' wings. After an intermission, the 13 year old fella became Frank Sinatra and other performers from the 50s and 60s, bringing "the moves, the voice, the style" with great aplomb. "Performing," he told us, "is my passion and thank you for giving me an opportunity." Then a golden snior who had sung in opera showed she still had the verve and the voice in three arias. The grand finale was a trio of 15 year olds from a Hawaiian language immersion school who sang in complex, luscious harmonies, a polished performance where each young person was featured as well as ensemble.
Arts of Kona aspires to give performers in all the arts a place to come together, to share their talents with the public and their peers, to promote all the organziations that individually create an artistic community. With severe budget cuts---we had 17 days of public school furlough last year!---arts are almost non-existent in our schools. Arts of Kona is a 100% volunteer organization; the funds it raises go 100% to making event such as this possible. And it is 100% making a good difference in the Big Island of Hawaii (we are the one with the volcano).
Five stars plus!
As a Board Member of Arts of Kona I have been given an opportunity to be on the ground floor of an exciting adventure. Arts of Kona is a collaborative effort to bring a modern and all-encompassing performing arts center to the Kona area. In working towards that goal we are sponsoring adult artists of all venues to "young artists" of all venues. Watching the young artists blossom, in whatever their skill might be, is so rewarding. Afterall, without them the arts will vanish. AOK has a commitment to these wonderful singers, dancers, potters, painters, photographers and craftsman. It is for them that I work for Arts of Kona to someday bring a venue that will allow them to exhibit with pride. The AOK October "Young Artists' Showcase" has grown each year with the young people and the attendees to experience what these performers have to offer. Let's not let them down and support AOK and our dream of a Performing Arts Center for all mediums of art that shows off what the Kona area has to offer.
The Arts of Kona organization promotes the performing and visual arts in the Kona area on the island of Hawaii. My involvement in the organization is with the student showcase that is held annually. Over 200 students from grades 3-12 participated in the 2010 showcase. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to share their talents with family and friends. The Arts of Kona plays a vital role in keeping art ALIVE in kona. I completely support it's mission and vision for Kona.
Jo Ann Iwane