Meet The Staff & Board
Alice Cabael Kaʻahanui asked one thing of her three older children when they were in high school – “Go away for college. Try at least a year. Home will always be here. Hopefully you’ll gain knowledge and experience you can bring back.” This is advice she has put into practice.
Alice was born and raised on Molokai, went away to earn her B. A. in Communications/English, then returned home after working at her alma mater, Chaminade University. She worked for Molokai General Hospital, DOE, and USDA-RD; was one of only three freelance photographers on Molokai at the time; and was actively involved in her school, sports, and faith communities before moving back to Oahu.
Now home for good after 15 years on Oahu, Alice brings back with her valuable experience from Saint Andrew’s Priory (Principal’s Assistant; Teacher; Alumni Relations and Special Events Coordinator) and Kamaka Hawaii, Inc. (Office Administrator for Hawaii’s legendary ukulele crafters).
Returning to Molokai gives Alice the opportunity to apply what she’s learned “away from home” to her capacity as Development Specialist at Kualapu’u School and Executive Director at the MAC. Being home also gives Alice and her husband more time with their aging parents, and their youngest son the Molokai upbringing his older siblings and parents enjoyed.
April Maddela has always had an interest in art, and often spends her spare time drawing and painting. She was a part of the first group of MCC students to take ceramics classes at the Molokai Arts Center, where she learned to throw on the wheel and fell in love with pottery. She later became one of the first people to serve the Molokai Arts Center by being an Americorps volunteer, learning more of the fine points of being a potter and how to run a studio. A year later she became the MAC’s studio manager and keiki art teacher. She loves every minute of being in the studio and looks forward to what will come in the future.
Greg was a film professor at San Diego State University for 20 years, and before that the film curator at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art for 13 years and a contributing editor for the San Diego Reader. A strong believer in community work, he is currently active with I Aloha Molokai, Maui County Food Bank, President of the Board of Directors at Molokai Community Health Center and president of Friends of the Molokai Public Library. His art sensibility has been influenced by the Dadaists, Surrealists, Abstract Expressionists, Light and Space movement, installation art, site specific work, and performance art.
Joyce Haase has served on the MAC board since 2015 and supports providing more opportunities for arts in our community. She is a 6th grade teacher at Kaunakakai School and believes an art enriched education develops well rounded students poised to use creativity in their daily lives. Joyce has experience in the performing arts through involvement in a traveling teen repertory theater group. She has a background in glass art and attended Pratt School of Art in Seattle, WA. She enjoys the MAC mission on Molokai and is the soup cook for the annual MAC Soup-r-Bowl fundraiser event held every March.
With over 40 years experience as a studio potter, Dan is a founding member of Molokai Arts Center and the owner of Bennett Pottery. Dan is a retired school teacher with over 40 years of teaching experience. He continues to lecture part time for Molokai Education Center, Maui College, and University of Hawaii as well as teaching adult pottery classes at Molokai Arts Center. He comes to us with a strong history of community service on the island of Molokai serving on the Nature Conservancy Earth Day Committee, as a judge for the Molokai Keiki surf meets, an announcer at Molokai High School athletic events and a member of Hui No‘eau. Dan is also a member of the Hawaii State Teachers Association.
Stephanie was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. In 2000 she moved to Kona where she met her husband, Apo, and they raised their two children. As a child she always loved working on art projects and creating pieces of art that only a mother could love. Stephanie’s father is a master woodturner and artist, so she often found inspiration thru her fathers passion and love of the arts. After moving to Molokai in 2015 Stephanie soon found she missed spending time on the wheel and started taking pottery classes at MAC with her son, Kalani. Stephanie has a background in Accounting and Human Resource Management and currently works full time at Molokai Community Health Center where she is the HR Director. When she isn’t working or playing with clay you can find Stephanie spending time with her family at her favorite beaches or traveling to Kona to be with their daughter, Lexi and grandson, Elias, as well as their large extended family. Stephanie is excited to join the MAC board so that she can help MAC share art with people, of all ages, and all walks of life – right here on Molokai.
Elizabeth Johnson was born and raised in Canada and after finishing a BS in Zoology at the University of Western Ontario she migrated to Honolulu to pursue her PhD in Horticulture at the University of Hawaii. She moved to Molokai in 1969 and worked with one of the first seed corn companies on Molokai. Following her retirement she began working as an advocate for children with special needs. Ceramic classes with Dan Bennett lead to her serving on the Board for the Molokai Arts Center. She enjoys working with children, animals, growing native plants, hiking, and reading. It is her belief that the arts of all venues should be available to the community and especially the children.
Paula was born and raised on Molokai, but, like many students, left the island for high school and higher education. After living away for 43 years, Paula returned home and now resides in Kalae, in the house where she grew up. Paula obtained a B.A. in Psychology in 1978 from San Diego State University, and in May, 2007 completed a second Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, Art Studio, from the University of New Mexico. Paula works in several photography based mediums: acrylic, encaustic, mixed media collage work and hand pulled printmaking (primarily intaglio and monotypes).
As an artist and an active advocate for the arts, Paula served several terms as an Art Commissioner for the City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico and served as a board member and chair of communications for the Rio Rancho Art Association. She has organized and curated numerous art exhibits and was a volunteer art curator for the Esther Bone Library, bringing in many art related programs and exhibits to the community of Rio Rancho.
Thanks to her mother, as a youth Kanoelani R. (Chong-Kalima)Dudoit has often been exposed to the Arts and Crafts. The fact that she grew up in the islands helped feed her artistic desire within. Constantly being surrounded by inspiration, ideas would flow through her mind like a river to the sea. Art allowed her to thrive, gain confidence and find different ways to express herself in her own unique way.
Through her life journey, she has discovered something disturbing. Most of the schools on Moloka’i , no longer offer Art, as a course nor anything related. Luckily, there are a few Art teacher’s left and she got to know them quite well. Afraid for the future, in about five to ten years, they will all be retiring. Yet, this could offer the perfect opportunity for her.
Thus, in 2014, she enrolled herself as a full-time student at the University of Hawai’i-Maui College. Soon, she will be graduating with an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts and Hawaiian Studies. She also, became an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Moloka’i Arts Center to obtain hands on experience with professionals in the field. From there, she intends to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, in hopes to be on her way to becoming a productive member of the next generation of Art teachers. Not stopping there, she wants to keep climbing the educational ladder to a Master’s degree in Fine Arts as well. Ultimately giving her the complete freedom she has always been seeking. To teach, inspire and lead others of all ages in the community to not be afraid to let go of the natural artist within themselves.
Hawaiian Arts Program Director
Kanoelani Davis is a kama o Hina (child of the goddess Hina), a Native woman of Molokai, whose roots extend back for generations. She is a lifelong cultural practitioner and torchbearer for the survival of many Hawaiian art forms. Her dedication to culture, her activism for cultural awareness and her love for design have been woven together and are also manifested in her Native Hawaiian clothing and accessory design company.
Davis has delved into the practice of Hula for over 37 years, in this she was mentored in many aspects of the Hawaiian Culture from lei making, chanting, weaving, feather work, and wood work. Due to the lack of finding practitioners who were proficient in these art forms, she was forced to learn them and make them readily available for herself and her students, today that lack is disappearing as we are finding more and more young practitioners coming to the forefront.
Kanoelani is a mother of four beautiful daughters and finds herself involved with the Molokai community, mainly to care and preserve natural resources. Her drive comes from being a mother, a practitioner, and looking at leaving a rich cultural and native legacy for the future.