Maui Public Art Corps presents a unique event dedicated to arts-based storytelling, wildfire resilience resources, and the rich cultural heritage of Maui on Nov. 5.
This event will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on the Great Lawn of the University of Hawaiʻi-Maui College Campus – in front of the stunning Ka’a’ike Building’s Makahiki mural.
Led by arts professor Michael Takemoto, Maui’s Adaptations Dance Theater and Hāna-grown musician Stephen Henderson will collaboratively perform live work inspired and composed by a talk-story with water-woman Aunty Sally Ann Delos Reyes of Lahaina.
Raised in Puʻukoliʻi, Delos Reyes was interviewed by fellow Hawaiian Canoe Club paddler Lopaka White through the Hui Mo‘olelo program of Maui Public Art Corps, County of Maui and Maui Historical Society.
Artists from all over the world submitted proposals to interpret these stories as a work of public art, and a community panel selected this unique team of artists to bring Aunty Sally Ann’s words to life.
Adaptations Dance Theater will perform five contemporary dance vignettes, each lasting three to five minutes and rooted in ‘Ōlelo No‘eau: He lawaiʻa no ke kai pāpaʻu, he pōkole nō ke aho. He lawaiʻa no ke kai hohonu, he loa ke aho, (a fisherman of the shallow sea uses only a short line; a fisherman of the deep has a long line.
Stephen will simultaneously perform a five movement minimalist symphony of live music between three to five minutes minutes per movement inspired by Aunty Sally Ann’s connection with kai and selected stories from her highlighting her connections to wahi pana in central and west Maui.
The theme of the symphony is ‘E Ola Ka Wai’ and will reflect the cycle and journey of water from ocean back to ocean, giving voice to its various forms and environments inspired by her resilience and adaptability.
“The thing that really hit me so hard is Aunty’s connection to water,” says Henderson, “everything from swimming to canoe paddling to her time going to Kahoʻolawe, meeting in the middle of the ocean, and the whole fight we have now for wai, that’s our life blood just like our keiki are the fruits. I am centering each movement around different parts of the wai.”
“It sounds exciting to me,” said Delos Reyes. “It’s going to be something different; I’ve never seen something like this develop before. As long as it inspires people. You know life is just only once, and one of my goals is to live it to the fullest every day.”
Delos Reyes will celebrate her 80th Birthday the week of the event.
Through an additional partnership with the kūpuna of Alu Like’s Kumu Kahi Department, whose mission is to enrich and enhance the lives of Native Hawaiian elders by preserving and restoring their health, sense of dignity, self-respect and cultural identity and promote lifelong learning, Henderson and Adaptations Dance Theater will gain further inspiration during a free interactive workshop on Oct. 30.
Artists will share an audio recording from Aunty Sally Ann’s story and ask kūpuna to envision her words as music and dance. Through improvised dance, music and storytelling, participants will actively help to shape the performance for the one-time-only Nov. 5 event.
Added features of the Nov. 5 Arts and Resilience Event include resource sharing by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement’s Kākoʻo Maui Resource Hub, a pop-in artmaking activity with Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center, shared storytelling on stage, a hands-on mural exercise with University of Hawaiʻi Faculty Michael Takemoto and Marc Antosch, and more.
Community organizations that are interested in sharing resources or activities are encouraged to contact [email protected].
“As Maui Historical Society’s Sissy Lake-Farm and I began to brainstorm with UH Maui College on how to approach a convening that celebrates Lahaina stories, we felt it should be a requirement that wildfire recovery resources were made available during the event,” said Kelly McHugh-White, Maui Public Art Corps chair.
“Our mission is to connect people, place and story through the development of public art projects, with a focus on process. Each and every partner in this event has aligned so beautifully, and we want to continue that momentum by ensuring access and inclusivity. Aunty Sally Ann is a heroic figure, and this moment will be one way to celebrate her joyful stories of Maui, and especially of Lahaina,” McHugh-White continued.
The event is open to the public. Guests must bring their own lawn chair or blankets.
Click here to RSVP.