Performing Arts Help Kids Grow
Wednesday - December 16, 2009 Share
By Colleen Nomura, Founder
Carter, 17, declares, “It’s been really fun and exciting.”
Nineteen-year-old Lee Jay exclaims, “I always wanted to try it. I love it!”
And at 16, Wendi admits, “It’s all helped me grow in an incredible way.”
The “it” factor in this case is the performing arts, and these three local teens just can’t get enough! They are among the nearly 100 cast members preparing to strut their stuff in HiStory: of Christmas, a contemporary retelling of the traditional story of Jesus Christ through dance, drama and song.
HiStory: of Christmas is a premiere production of Moments Unforgettable (MU), a nonprofit organization dedicated to reaching and impacting communities through the performing arts. While the vision and foundation of MU have been in development for more than 20 years, it began to actively emerge in early 2009.
It is widely touted that our children are our future, yet children who come from dire social or economic backgrounds are often not provided with the same opportunities as their peers. MU is designed to reach potentially at-risk youth, exposing them to and engaging them in the multiple disciplines of the performing arts, an area that, as a local and international artist for more than two decades, is very close to my heart.
MU is unique in that we not only address the current needs of Hawaii’s youths, but we also have a structure set up to provide them with a solidified future. The working of our organization is a lot like the diagram of a tree. The Performing Arts Academy is the lower portion of the tree, where the arts, integrated with academic and support programs, create a place for underprivileged youth. As the children grow, they will be able to “branch out” into the Entertainment Agency (the top of the tree), which will create and service events throughout the island.
Both entities develop simultaneously, using available local talents and resources to build the partnership from the ground up and the top down.
So this holiday season we invite you to buy a couple of tickets and treat yourself, your friends and your ohana to HiStory:of Christmas. Stay after the show and seek out Wendi, Lee Jay, Carter or any one of their fellow castmates. We think you’ll be inspired by their stories.
Show times are 2 and 6 p.m. Dec. 20 at Royal Hawaiian Theatre. Tickets cost $20 and are available online.
For more information on MU and HiStory: of Christmas, go to www.momentsunforgettable.org.
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