Weʻre proud to have finished our third annual Professional Development workshop for Hawai‘i DOE teachers this summer! For four days in July, over 20 teachers joined our “Mele Murals – Integrating Creativity, Collaboration & Critical Thinking” course. The participants, made up of teachers, educators, and Oahu art community advisors, learned how to integrate the components of Na Hopena Aʻo (HĀ) and art into their core curriculum and programming.

After a practice of meditation and how it can be applied to our teachersʻ curriculum, we painted this 1 day Mele Murals project at Aliamanu Middle School, where our team completed a huge project last November 2018. For inspiration we went to Mo’o Analua Valley and meditated at a site of a great pohaku (Hawaiian rock/stone) near the entrance to the trail. One vision we got was a light rising up from each pohaku. Two days later, our cofounder, Uncle Estria went to Pohaku Manaua and learns that many pohaku are awakening because now is the time they are needed. The belief is that pohaku are living entities, just like trees, plants, and everything living on this earth.

The second visual art exercise was to split our workshop into two teams and each team of teachers collaboratively painted two similar templates of a Hawaiian pueo (owl), but in two different styles reflecting how each group bonded and integrated their concepts.

Weʻd like to give a warm mahalo all Hawai‘i DOE teachers and participants of our 2019 Professional Development workshop this summer. If you are a teacher or educator, donʻt worrry! We will be offering this course again next year! For more information, email info@estria.org, to get on our reservation list. Photos above taken by Sara Mizban and Lei Ah Sing.

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