In June of 2020, the MAC staff and Board of Directors met in order to update the Strategic Plan. One of the goals outlined in this plan was to offer professional development and training to our staff.

MAC Instructors Kanoe Dudoit, Misty Mollena, and April Maddela attended the 3-day Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s 2021 Summer Institute in June. Themed, “Lifting up the Human Spirit: Arts Education for Classroom and Community Educators in 2021,” the series of seminars and activities explored “how the arts function as a transformative tool for healing and education in a world facing the multiple pandemics of COVID-19 and social injustices.”

The first day looked at “Incorporating Indigenous Perspectives in Teaching & Learning.” Puanani Burgess and Kaʻōnohiokalā Kalama-Macomber shared tools to build culturally relevant education and inspired break out groups to share literary works that touched each individual’s sense of self.

Dr. Chris Emdin and Spoken Word Artist Victoria Richardson moved participants to tears and laughter while inspiring educators on “Radically Changing Educaton through Culturally Relevant Education & the Arts.”

On day three, Terisa Siagatonu and Dr. Christina “V” Villarreal explored the impact of intergenerational trauma on our bodies, minds, and hearts. Part of their session on “Social & Emotional Learning and Trauma-Informed Teaching for Liberation” was introducing participants to healing centered approaches and practices.

The third day ended with Youth Panelists from Oahu sharing their art and inspirations. Up and coming teen artists Allison Silva, Nadia Levine, Kauanoe Rillon, Ifit Hoppe-Cruz, and Christian Cristobal along with moderator Ivee Cruz shared their hopes, dreams, and perspectives through their visual and literary works. The entire conference culminated with the youth giving art educators tips on engaging students and young artists.

The MAC encourages professional development for its young staff so that they can continue servicing our island with arts education.