Art Lives Here. 
“The seemingly miraculous transitions between caterpillar, cocoon, and butterfly evoke a wide range of meanings and ideas in cultures around the world. For Imua Family Services, as an organization which strives to help children reach their full potential in life, these transformations represent rebirth, inclusion, creativity, joy, promise and the capacity to experience and enjoy the beauty of life. Through our collaboration with SMALL TOWN * BIG ART and Bobby Zokaites, we hope to provide a visual representation and internal feeling of transformation and the potential to fly!” 
– Dean Wong, Imua Family Services

Last week, we welcomed nationally renowned sculptor Bobby Zokaites to Wailuku for a site visit designed to provide an initial orientation of its history, culture and sense of place. Over the next four months, he will work with community participants to create a large-scale set of butterfly wings as a standalone sculpture that inspires inclusion, inspiration and discovery, to be installed at Imua Family Services’ six-acre Imua Discovery Garden located at the former Yokouchi family estate in Wailuku.

Click HERE for photos and press release + HERE for the developing project page. 

MAHALO to those who participated and continually support these efforts: County of Maui; National Endowment for the Arts; Dean Wong + Brian Nagami, Imua Family Services; Sissy Lake-Farm + Kimo Guequierre, Maui Historical Society; Kapua Pimentel; Tarek Farid; Reece Bonilla; Keanu LauHee; Erin + Cornelius Wade; Hallie Hunt, Adaptations Dance Theater; Lopaka White, Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission; Scott Fisher, Hawaiʻi Land Trust; Kim Thayer; Mauna Kahālāwai
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On Friday, March 11, 2022, artists Cory Taum (O‘ahu) and Adaptations Dance Theater (Maui) will collaboratively unveil their artistic interpretations of a recorded Talk Story between Clifford Naeole, Cultural Advisor at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua and Hōkūao Pellegrino, Sustainability & ʻĀina-Based Learning Designer & Facilitator of Kamehameha Schools Maui. 

Each artist has been working with the ST*BA team and meeting with Community Consultants to further root their pieces in the history, culture and sense of place of Wailuku. A contemporary dance performance will take place at the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary Building courtyard (pictured) immediately following a blessing of Taum's mural piece (sample work above) nearby. Stay tuned for ongoing developments and click HERE for the project page. 
Cory Kamehanaokalā Holt Taum is a Hawaiian artist and active cultural practitioner sourcing his inspiration from the many stories and teachings of his ancestors and their relevance in today's drastically changing Hawaiʻi. With the surfaces he chooses as his canvas, he hopes to encourage the viewer to question the current state of urbanization and its effect on the health of the land and the people of Hawaiʻi. 
Contemporary dance company Adaptations Dance Theater creates groundbreaking work to spark new energy in the local dance community. By producing original works and creating professional performance opportunities on an annual basis, ADT addresses a specific need to create and sustain a home for professional contemporary dancers on Maui so that they may create, collaborate, and grow in their artistry without having to leave their island home to do so. 
MAHALO: Clifford Naeole + Hōkūao Pellegrino; StoryCorps DIY; Akakū Maui Community Media; Leilehua Yuen; Stephanie Ohigashi, International and Regional Partnerships Coordinator for the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College; Sandy Kozaki, Chief Court Administrator at Hawaii State Judiciary; Aunty Wallette Pellegrino; and the 164 individuals who responded to our last eNewsletter!
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1950s + 60s Wailuku Town
We are currently working with a team of animators to bring a collection of Wailuku stories to life. We've been asked to provide Wailuku Town visuals, preferably from the 1950s and 1960s, specifically of the firehouse, library, store fronts and anything that can provide "slice of life" inspiration. If you have photos to share, please email us!
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Where to Next? 
Don't forget to let us know your thoughts on where our next creative placemaking program should take place! Nominate any neighborhood throughout the County of Maui, and please, forward this to others so that they may chime in!
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Want to see our project films? Visit

Developed through a 2018 Our Town grant by the ​National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), SMALL TOWN * BIG ART is a creative placemaking collaboration of County of Maui + Hale Hōʻikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society + Maui Public Art Corps that aims to develop Wailuku, Hawaiʻi as a public arts district focused on its distinctive sense of place, history and culture. Based on the success of this pilot site, a new NEA grant has been awarded to expand this work into three additional neighborhoods by 2024. 

Engaging the public in both the process and the product, ongoing 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 place. Through many hands and many voices, these creative interpretations represent a revitalized identity for this small town with the BIGGEST heart. Learn more. 
Past ST*BA Art

Wailuku Dance Crawl by Adaptations Dance Theater
 StoryCorps DIY with our Talk Story consortium
Storytelling with Leilehua Yuen
​E ala! E alu! E kuilima! by Lori Hepner
Mana Wahine by Bailey Onaga, Courtney Chargin, Amanda Joy Bowers, Alex Underwood
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 | Wooden Wave | Techs


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