ARTafterDARK has grown exponentially since it launched in 2004. Last month’s event brought in 2,300 people—and it was a rainy night. This monthly warm-up party is guided by an advisory board, and this past Thursday the museum held a print-and-pauhana evening to give a big mahalo to 10 board members who are “graduating.” (Last year, for the first time, the museum introduced a three-year term limit to the ARTafterDARK advisory board).
The museum is indebted to Kevin Fujinaga (three years), Curtis Hokama (four years), Cappi Itagaki (five years), Ken Kawauchi (five years), Melissa Mapes (three years), Lacy Matsumoto (TEN years!), Kyle Mitsumori (three years), Becky Ogata (three years), Lance Rae (three years), and Kevin Tsuji (four years). All of them brought their own visions, experiences, and skills to the museum.
Collectively they planned 72 events that attracted more than 80,000 people and grossed more than $660,000 for the museum. The volunteer hours they put in have led to increased membership, revenue, and visibility for the museum, which in turn helps the museum when applying for grants. What may seem like just party planning has important effects on the museum, and we’re grateful. This crew always kept the museum and art as a priority when coming up with their creative ideas for and execution of the event, turning tight budgets into memorable experiences for guests.
“But the real importance of ARTafterDark is it provides the opportunities for young people like you, who only know the museum from your experience on school tours, to come back and make the museum part of your lives again,” museum director Stephan Jost told the group. “It’s the driving force behind our big growth in membership, and the dramatic drop in the average age of our visitors.”
On Thursday, after mingling and reminiscing over wine and pūpū on the Honolulu Museum of Art School lanai, outgoing and new board members moved to the printing studio where artist and Honolulu Printmakers vice president Dieter Rünge (he’s also frontman for the band Alice Neel) led a woodblock printing session with canvas bags. Rünge had created a woodblock that read “ARTafterDARK” just for the special session. Everyone dove right into inking blocks, pressing them onto their bags, and pounding them with rubber mallets.
“This is so fun!” said Becky—her enthusiasm is infectious, which made her the perfect person to talk about ARTafterDARK: Lethal Beauty, which she co-chaired, on KITV last year. (Thanks again Becky!)
Ken Kawauchi left the new board members with some words of wisdom, reminding them that it’s about doing it for the museum. Kawauchi has already gotten involved in other areas of the museum—he was co-chair of our wine-food-art benefit August Moon this year. Melissa Mapes has joined the board of the Volunteer Friends. But we’ll be happy if they continue to make the museum part of their lives by enjoying the art and programs.
During her record 10-year tenure on the board, Lacy Matsumoto became a DJ, started a business, fell in love, married and had a son. She’s gone from carousing with DJ Roxy Cottontail and spinning tunes as half of Hot Muffins to being a model mommy and public relations exec. “It’s been an honor to be a part of such an impressive event,” says Matsumoto. “The creativity that goes into each event is only one component to the success. It’s the volunteers, staff of Honolulu Museum of Art and attendees that really make each event. I’m really proud to have been a part of the process and am excited to see what will come.”
“In the short time that I worked with the outgoing board members, I could tell how passionate they are and how much they care about ARTafterDARK and the museum,” says ARTafterDARK coordinator Wainani Paikai. “They are an amazing group of people who have taught me so much.”
The museum now looks forward to seeing what’s up the sleeves of the equally talented new ARTafterDARK advisory crop—Derin Derego, Ed Fernandez, Loryn Guiffre, Dana Hamilton, Jed Inductivo, Mari Kam, Kyle Little, Serah Ocampo, Edwin Quan, and John Rankin.