The museum’s outreach department is abuzz as our Spring programs get underway!  In 2011, we began our partnership with the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts for the Artists In The Schools Program (AITS), a long-term visual arts residency. The museum sends an art instructor to serve as a resource for a K-12 teacher. For eight to twelve weeks the museum instructor and the school’s teacher work side by side, developing lessons that enrich the students’ typical curriculum with art.

Last week, museum instructor Quala-Lynn Young worked with a sixth grade AITS class from Hālau Kū Māna, the Hawaiian culture-based charter school in Makiki.  The Hālau Kū Māna students are working on family histories, and Young guided students through a series of activities to begin a conversation on personal and cultural identity. Then she led them on a visit to the museum’s Lending Collection.  With more than 10,000 objects from around the world, the Lending Collection was the perfect resource for their projects. Students chose objects that resonated with them aesthetically and culturally.

The students’ selections ultimately were used to create a still-life as a reflection of all the students’ backgrounds.  The class will continue to work with their selected artifacts through creative writing, creating their own “artifacts,” and other art projects.