The Estria Foundation’s latest project was recently completed in Waimea, on the island of Hawai’i. The youth from Kanu o ka ‘Aina New Century Public Charter School participated in a week of workshops focused on the basics of art, the importance of meditation and the history of mele (song). A community paint party kicked off the second week with more than 350 people of all ages contributing to the first Mele Mural in the state of Hawai’i. From mele selection, to image concept and the planning of a public unveiling, the youth became storytellers for their people. Excursions to culturally significant sites in and around Waimea were taken; input was received from community leaders, cultural practitioners, kupuna and those in performing arts to maintain the integrity of Waimea in the Mele Mural. Three walls spanning over 1,635 sq. ft. on the Kahilu Theatre became the canvases for three mele: “Malana Mai Ka‘u,” “Hole Waimea” and “Na Puu Kaulana o Waimea” – mele the youth felt well represented their home of Waimea. More here: