Our Team

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 Tagad

Chief Operations Officer

Tina is the friendly smile that greets all our guests in our office and hālau. She manages all programs, operations, administrative ,and financial duties for our programming and office management.  Tina also manages all fundraising planning.

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

Michele Tanabe

Administrative Assistant

Michele has been working in elementary education for five years in the classroom and in administration. She graduated with a BA in marketing from the University of Hawai‘i and has worked in the hospitality and sales industry for 11 years. She is the administrative support for the Estria Foundation. 

 

Angela Pastores

Mele Murals Program Coordinator

Angela Pastores is a haumāna (student) at heart and a kumu by intuition. With a love for Hawai’i that first began in lo’i of  Waipi’o valley, her path as a yoga teacher and land steward has lead her to teach in Hawaiian-focused charter schools and outdoor education. Born in Italy and raised as a “military brat,” moving from place to place,  influenced Angela to root down to the ʻāina that felt most like home, Hilo, Hawaii.

She graduated from U.H. Hilo with a B.A. in Anthropology, completed a teacher’s education program through Kaho’iwai and is continuing to learn from Kekuhi in Hālau ʻōhiʻa. She is deeply inspired to continue her kuleana working with youth with The Estria Foundation.

 

 

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 project manages the marketing, web development, and new development projects for the Estria Foundation and is proud to be one of the art and cultural teachers that helped launch Hālau Pāheona at Kaimukī High School.

Luke Pomai DeKneef

Muralist

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 for the Mele Murals program.

Cherisse Yamada

Curriculum Coach

Cherisse 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 three boys, Cherisse has a personal interest in working to strengthen the quality of education in Hawaiʻi.

Lacey Evans

Art Teacher

Lacey has been actively teaching since 2011. She has taught in Pennsylvania and Texas and is now our current Hālau Pāheona art teacher at Kaimukī High School and started our curriculum at Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary in 2018. 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.

Fundraising Cabinet

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.

Will Espero
Mihoko E. Ito
John Koga
Estria Miyashiro
Kristane Gaspar
Liann Ebesugawa

We Need

Your Help

Your tax-deductible financial contributions provide critically needed support of public arts and placemaking programs in Hawai‘i.

We Need Your Help

Provide Hawai‘i schools with qualified arts educators, cultural advisors and professional muralists to guide students through the Mele Murals process.

We Need Your Help

Provide students with essential art supplies.

We Need Your Help

Helps Hawai‘i communities share their cultural heritage through large-scale mural masterpieces.

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