Grant Challenges Kaimuki’s Theater Arts

Jessica Goolsby
Wednesday - March 03, 2010
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An anonymous donor has presented Hawaii Arts Alliance with $110,000 to support high school arts education, the bulk of which will go to eight performing arts learning centers in the state - including Kaimuki High School Performing Arts Center.

“We really need these funds, and we’re working on a lot of different things to try to match the grant,” said M.J. Matsushita, learning center coordinator. “We’ve got upcoming performances of our musical, Little Shop of Horrors, and we’re bumping up concessions since the ticket sales themselves can’t go toward the grant. We’ve also got different groups donating pottery, crafts and photography to help us raise money, and for a $100 donation - since our musical makes dentists look ‘bad,’ so to speak - we’re printing dentists’ business cards in our programs in order to help them ‘redeem their profession’ in our Friendly Dentists section.”

(Remaining Horrors shows are this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m., starring students from seven Oahu schools under the direction of Peggy Anne Siegmund. Tickets, at $12 and $5, are on sale at Harry’s Music Store, the theater box office prior to the show, at 733-4913 or from

“It will keep us alive for the rest of this year and hopefully give us a little buffer for the beginning of next year,” she added.“We just really need all the help we can get at this point.”

The gift is a challenge grant where each center must first raise funds to match the initial $5,000 gift in order to receive a second grant installment,or become a $2,000 Arts Angel supporter with HAA. Further, it’s also intended to challenge other donors to support the arts.To meet the challenge, donate directly to a learning centers or become an Arts Angel Supporter.

“Despite the difficult economic climate, it’s good to have donors who see the impact of the arts in creating 21st century learners and citizens and who are stepping up to invest in them now,“said Marilyn Cristofori,CEO of the alliance.

“This generous gift is a sizable donation, but the gap in arts funding continues to widen.We hope this raises the awareness of the importance of arts and culture to our future.”

The high school centers teach performance skills to about 1,000 students a year and countless others who are exposed to the arts in the audience.

To donate to KPAC, mail checks to Kaimuki High School c/o the Performing Arts Center or call the school at 733-4900.

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