Youth Development • Arts Education • Cultural Preservation • Community Building
Todd "Estria" Johnson
Co-Founder / Executive Director
Todd “Estria” Johnson has been spray painting for over 30 years, and is recognized around the world as an urban art living legend. As a pioneer in an arts movement that is arguably more influential than the classical renaissance, he is acknowledged as a valued historian, and a community leader who has helped to awaken the social and political consciousness of graffiti writing art.
Originally from Honolulu, Estria was active in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980’s during the “Golden Age Of Graffiti.” His graffiti art background has led him to produce innovative projects as an educator, entrepreneur, and social activist. From the city streets, to executive suites, Estria has worked with numerous non-profit organizations (Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center in San Francisco & Eastside Arts Alliance in Oakland), as well as high profile corporations. In 2007, he co-founded the “Estria Battle,” a nationwide urban art competition that honors and advances creativity in the Hip Hop arts. In 2010, he co-founded the Estria Foundation.
Tina is the friendly smile that greets all our guests in our office and hālau. She handles all administrative and financial duties for our programming and office management. All operational positions for the Mele Murals and Hālau Pāheona programs report to Tina. Tina also supports all fundraising planning for the organization, insuring that all events for our programs, fundraisers, and special events launch on time with no hitches.
Tina has extensive experience in Business Management and Administration, with 15 years of experience in the Insurance Industry and 10 years in the Travel Industry
Mike Bam Tyau
Project Manager / Muralist
Born and raised in Honolulu, Mike “Bam” Tyau currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, but returns often to Hawai‘i to teach mural and Hawaiian cultural classes for the Mele Murals program.
Mike started his career in the videogame industry working for Sega of America as an art director in graphic design. He started a computer animation company and his past computer graphics work affects how he uses technology in his artwork today.
Mike has worked with youth groups at Youth Uprising in Oakland and Serendipity Elementary in Belmont, California. He has lead afterschool interns at the Estria Foundation in Emeryville and is proud to be one of the arts and cultural teachers that helped launch Hālau Pāheona afterschool workshops at Kaimukī High School.
Having volunteered with KUPU, Kanehunamoku Voyaging Academy, and Ho‘oulu ‘Āina, Nicole has great experience in working for community-based organizations that empower the people of Hawaii. She aligns with the Estria Foundationʻs advocation for place-based learning for indigenous people and teaching youth to be our future storytellers.
Nicole graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Pacific Islands Studies from UH Manoa and is currently a graduate student in the PACS (Pacific Islands Studies) program.
Luke Pomai DeKneef
Luke is a self taught artist who is originally from the former sugarcane plantation town of Waipahu. He has created fine art and participated in art competitions for over 18 years and his medium of choice is acrylic painting. Luke enjoys expanding his creativity through different artistic forms such as aerosol & charcoal. His love for nature and the ocean has truly amplified into vibrant tones throughout his work. When he is not painting, Luke is an active waterman, hiker, athlete and also finds the time to do volunteer work in his community. We are excited to have him lead and teach our haumāna in the Fall 2017 semester of Hālau Pāheona.
Cherisse returns as a teacher this fall 2018 at Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School. She has worked in education since 2002 in both public and private school settings. She has worked with the Estria Foundation to design and implement the curriculum for Hālau Pāheona and the Professional Development program for teachers. As a mother of two boys, Cherisse has a personal interest in working to strengthen the quality of education in Hawaiʻi.
Lacey has been actively teaching since 2011. She has taught in Pennsylvania and Texas and is now our current Hālau Pāheona art teacher at Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary. Teaching children art has always been a passion of hers as she wants all children to reach for their full potential. She also wants children to engage in learning by discovering new skills that excite and motivate them. When Lacey is not teaching, she loves going on adventures with her family and her pet corgi. She also enjoys painting pet portraits and crocheting.
Zully is our Hālau Pāheona art teacher at Pālolo Elementary and also assists at Kaimuki High School. She is also currently finishing her BA in Art Education at BYU Hawaii. Zully was born in Chiclayo, Peru and grew up in Provo, Utah and now lives her dream in Laie.
Teaching has been something Zully has enjoyed doing throughout her life it began at the age of 7 when she would play “school” with her cousins just for fun. Being able to use her hands to create something that will help others feel a change is what Zully lives for. Aside from teaching & studying, she enjoys chasing waterfalls, hot Cheetos, and spending time with her family and dogs.
The Fundraising Cabinet is a volunteer group dedicated to supporting and growing The Estria Foundation’s programs and operations. This is a non-voting, non-paid, voluntary support role. If you would like to be be a part of this exciting movement, please leave a message on the CONTACT US page.
Senator Will Espero
Mihoko E. Ito