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 Publication produced by   King Kekaulike Foundation For Performing Arts  The mission and purpose of the Foundation is to raise  and allocate funds to enable the operation of the  King Kekaulike Performing Arts Center. Through this we may foster the Arts in our community and create a place that brilliant young minds can explore, express, grow and learn.  To support the arts by advertising in HOKU Magazine, for information  about making a donation or any other inquires please email us at kkhspac@gmail.com

Publication produced by
King Kekaulike Foundation For Performing Arts
The mission and purpose of the Foundation is to raise
and allocate funds to enable the operation of the
King Kekaulike Performing Arts Center. Through this we may foster the Arts in our community and create a place that brilliant young minds can explore, express, grow and learn.

To support the arts by advertising in HOKU Magazine, for information
about making a donation or any other inquires please email us at kkhspac@gmail.com

   “We depend on the arts to carry us toward the fullness of our humanity. We believe knowing and practicing them is fundamental to the healthy development of our children’s minds and spirits. That is why, in any civilization, the arts are inseparable from the very meaning of the term ‘education.’ No one can claim to be truly educated who lacks basic knowledge and skills in the arts.” —National Standards for Arts Education

“We depend on the arts to carry us toward the fullness of our humanity. We believe knowing and practicing them is fundamental to the healthy development of our children’s minds and spirits. That is why, in any civilization, the arts are inseparable from the very meaning of the term ‘education.’ No one can claim to be truly educated who lacks basic knowledge and skills in the arts.” —National Standards for Arts Education

History:
King Kekaulike high school opened in 1995.  Part of the original construction plans included an auditorium theater. However, due to high construction costs, the theater was scratched.  In 2005, former principal and staunch supporter of the arts, Susan Scofield, and former Drama teacher, Carolyn Johnson, began a campaign for a Performing Arts Center.  “Arts for all!” was the motto. There were speeches before visiting legislators and the Board of Education, strategizing among the Fine Arts department and parent groups, trips to Oahu to visit other high school theaters. Susan and Carolyn enlisted US House Representative Kyle Yamashita (District 12), who became extremely active in the campaign. Other heavy players in the early part of the campaign were Toby Neal, Maddy Powell, Dana Hartley, Ashley Ventimiglia, Rob Harper-O’Connor, Melanie Seaton Goodin, the PACT team, Drama Mamas, and KKHS teachers and staff. When legislators visited the King Kekaulike High School campus, Susan wanted to showcase the drama program in their limited performance space.  Legislators were led outdoors to see a performance, and then into the acoustically challenged cafetorium to hear Drama club president Corinne Powell’s impassioned plea, which was featured in The Maui News in Fall 2005. It all resulted in a petition drive that gathered close to 5,000 signatures.  Representative Yamashita now had a focused response he could take to the legislature, and in 2008, funding was approved for the surveying! And the push continued. In 2008, Carolyn Johnson retired, and Chris Kepler took the reigns of the Kekaulike Drama program. Over the last 10 years, the King Kekaulike Dramaaticans have produced 25 plays and 10 full-length musicals, with the last five featuring a full student orchestra under the direction of Casey Nagata (KKHS Music/Band teacher). Currently, there are 129 students enrolled in Acting and Play Production classes and 106 in the extracurricular Drama club. And the band plays at well over 100 events a year!

The KKHS Performing Arts Center will serve generations of Maui students.  Current principal, Mark Elliot, is intent on his vision of a technical theatre academy, in which students are immersed and educated in modern theater technology.  The center will also host assemblies, band and music concerts, ceremonies, and, in time, with its cohort of student crew and a facilities manager, be available for private entities to hire.

We thank everyone who has pushed for this exquisite space. And we celebrate a triumph for the arts. Arts For All!!!!

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Curtain set to rise on King Kekaulike theater

“It was “among the happiest I’ve seen a group of young people in my life,” Elliott said.

Some students cried; others jumped for joy.

“It was one of the happiest days I had as an educator, seeing the look on those kids’ faces,” Elliott said. “They have been excited for years.”

“It was (like) Christmas at 5 years old and Santa just showed up.”

“It was like our first maiden voyage in there,” Kepler joked, alluding to the pirate-themed musical set to christen the new theater. “They were filled with glee, gratitude and honor for sure.”

“Lot of chicken-skin moments,” Kepler said.

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