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A Special Interest Group Prospectus | Developing an ʻŌiwi Arts Task Force

Updated: Feb 6

By Nate Gong

The ʻŌiwi Arts Special Interest Group (SIG) is a collective of kumu with administrative and Hālau Kupukupu support. Our objectives are to define ʻŌiwi Arts for KSH Kula Waena, identify how content, constructs, and curricula within the KSH ecosystem align with arts-centered pedagogy, and investigate future implementation.

While art, art-making, and creativity have always been essential to a thriving lāhui, it is often peripheralized in Western educational settings resulting in an undervaluing of its transformative and radical implications. Through identifying gaps in arts-integrated programming, gathering ‘ike and resources, establishing community and haumāna advisory groups, and engaging in arts-based action research projects, the SIG seeks to further enable transformative ‘Ōiwi art-making experiences for our hāumana throughout their entire kula experience and establish a vibrant ʻŌiwi arts hub and pathway at KSH. 

The SIG, chaired by Nate Gong, with members Auliʻi Nahulu, Kaʻiulani Lum-Ho, and Nader Shehata, and support from Aolani Kailihou and Denise Uehara from Hālau Kupukupu, is engaged in discussions and research throughout the 2023-2024 school year that emphasize the importance of arts in haumāna centered learning. Research questions that guide the SIG include: 

  • What is ‘Ōiwi art? In what ways is it connected to E Ola! And ʻŌELTX? 

  • What does ‘Ōiwi art-making look like at KSH? What can it look like? 

  • How does ʻŌiwi Art make haumāna matter? 

  • How does ʻŌiwi art-making contribute to a thriving lāhui?

While currently housed in Kula Waena, we anticipate the SIG to move into Alaukawai, the dual-innovation stream as a K-12 Task Force in the 2024 - 2025 school year. While the research is currently kumu driven, we are seeking to form an ʻŌiwi Creatives community and haumāna advisory board to ensure the work is responsive to a wide array of stakeholders. Get ready to embark on a journey of innovation and creativity with us!


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