Art Lives Here. 

November 15, 2021

Wailuku Town's creative placemaking program, SMALL TOWN * BIG ART (ST*BA), announces its rescheduled date for the Wailuku Dance Crawl, choreographed and performed by Adaptations Dance Theater.

On Tuesday, November 23, 2021, the contemporary dance company will present the Wailuku Dance Crawl - much in the spirit of a treasure hunt or pub crawl - leading small groups of pre-registered participants through 5 distinct Wailuku Town outdoor locations; encouraging (re)engagement with these spaces and creating the opportunity to make new memories and shared experiences for our community and audience members.

"It is an honor to be a part of this project and program and to see how we can help with the alignment of (Wailuku's) past, present and future," shares Adaptations Dance Theater Executive Director Jen Cox.

Wailuku-grown Adaptations Dance Theater choreographer Ali Pineo worked with the ST*BA team to develop the project; identifying ‘ōlelo from Mary Kawena Pukui's ‘Ōlelo No‘eau: Hawaiian Proverbs and Political Sayings to root the artwork in a sense of place and researching key characteristics that helped to infuse Wailuku history and culture into the choreography. 

“I love how everybody brings something different to the symbolism,” shares Pineo, “The imagery is so, so clear and related, and yet so different. So how do we really infuse this experience with some cultural context and then also specific Wailuku history and feeling and memory?" 

Pineo assigned each of the Wailuku Dance Crawl performers a set of phrases and directives to take with them throughout Wailuku in order to gather inspiration for both choreographed and spontaneous dance, which was workshopped as a group throughout August 2021. The group completed a full dress rehearsal in anticipation of the previously scheduled August 28 event, which was postponed due to the County's voluntary 21-day deferment of non-essential activities.

"We are beyond excited to finally share this unique experience with our community," shares SMALL TOWN * BIG ART's Kelly McHugh-White, "Getting to know each of the Wailuku locales where the dance movements will be performed through this new lens, and through the careful intentions of the performers, has been fascinating. Through their chosen proverb: E kūlia i ka nu‘u: strive to reach the summit, the hard work that these dancers have put in becomes evident, as does the connection to their conversations with Maui Historical Society, which anyone can view on our website. We hope that other artists continue to share their Wailuku interpretations, and I believe that ADT's work will inspire many!" 

For this one-night-only event, Adaptations Dance Theater dancers will perform a 2-3 minute outdoor dance phrase at each of the 5 sites for 3 separate pre-registered groups of 15 people (max), following the most up-to-date County-approved COVID safety protocols. Showtimes are at 4:00, 4:45, and 5:30 PM. 

“I'm excited to see what comes of this because they’re already able to incorporate dance and a pilina, or connectivity, to the sense of place here in Wailuku,” shares Sissy Lake-Farm, Executive Director of Hale Hōʻikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society and SMALL TOWN * BIG ART partner, “And regarding the revitalization of Wailuku and what that looks like, I think what's really important about this piece in particular is that we are trying to re-investigate or re-understand how Wailuku is evolving, and what does dance have to do with it? It's going to be very important as we move forward. We want this (Wailuku) to be the hub of creativity, and so this is a perfect opportunity for us to send out that message, and not just talk about it but show what can be for our future. This project is the first of its kind and we're moving and evolving and it's an exciting time for us! We're sending the right messages and we're in alignment."

Register now at and learn more at @smalltownbigart or @adaptationsdancetheater.
SMALL TOWN * BIG ART's current RFP (request for proposals) seeks artist interpretations of a story of their choosing from its Talk Story collection featuring Lopaka White & Kepā Maly; Anuhea Yagi & Roselle Bailey; Dean Tokishi & Skippy Hau; Kalapana Kollars & Wallette Pellegrino; Hōkūao Pellegrino & Clifford Naeole; and Sissy Lake-Farm & Gordean Bailey. Applicants will select one storytelling excerpt and bring it to life through an animated short, spoken word or musical performance, dance, work of short theater or other artistic medium. Selected artists will then be paired with Wailuku community members to help develop their ideas into a work of public art that allows anyone viewing it to understand this beautiful town just a bit more.

A second opportunity under the current RFP invites sculptors to create a large-scale set of standalone WINGS to inspire potential, inclusion, inspiration and discovery, while also remaining rooted in a Wailuku sense of place. 

Visual points of reference, guidelines, selection criteria and more are available at The deadline to apply is 8:59 PM on Sunday, November 21, 2021 via Call For Entry and Application Management for the Arts (CaFÉ).
Developed through a 2018-2020 Our Town grant by the ​National Endowment for the Arts, SMALL TOWN * BIG ART is a creative placemaking collaboration of County of Maui and Hale Hōʻikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society that aims to develop Wailuku, Hawaiʻi as a public arts district focused on its distinctive sense of place, history and culture.

Engaging the public in both the process and the product, monthly art installations such as plays, murals, sculptures, storytelling events and more are created with community input that align with ‘ōlelo from Mary Kawena Pukui's ‘Ōlelo No‘eau: Hawaiian Proverbs and Political Sayings. Each artwork is spearheaded by professional artists that have submitted project applications exhibiting exceptional quality, style, experience in creating communal or public art and significance to Wailuku. Through many hands and many voices, these creative interpretations represent a revitalized identity for this small town with the BIGGEST heart.
Past ST*BA Art

Wailuku Dance Crawl by Adaptations Dance Theater
StoryCorps DIY by our Talk Story Consortium
E ala! E alu! E kuilima! by Lori Hepner
Mana Wahine by Bailey Onaga, Courtney Chargin, Amanda Joy Bowers, Alex Underwood
Storytelling with Leilehua Yuen
Makai to Mauka by Jaclynn Sabado-Eitel
Hoʻomau by Kirk Kurokawa
The Legacy Series by Avi Molinas
ʻAlalā Renaissance by Michael Takemoto
​Ma kāhi o ka hana he ola malaila by Eric Okdeh 
Birds of a Feather by MAPA 
Chinese Take Out Super Size by Sean Baba
​Hīnaʻi by Jessica Bodner
Pō Meke‘au by E.H.A.
Día de los Muertos by Jackie Goring and Tamara Li
Eli by Emmanuel Jarus
lost & found by Andy Behrle
Mauka to Makai by PangeaSeed, featuring Lauren Brevner | Joey Rose & Alex Underwood | Gregg Kaplan | Kai Kaulukukui | Dulk | Cory Kamehanaokalā Taum | E.H.A. | Mary Iverson | Ben Johnston | Wooden Wave | Gavin Murai | Getso | Cracked Ink | Poi


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