A Native Hawaiian non-profit organization that provides music programs to thousands of island keikis recently received national recognition.
Mana Maori was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Lewis Music Awards. They say the money will help fund their music program.
Liʻi Sarsona, community outreach manager and mentor at the nonprofit, said:
Through the Mana Mele project, Mana Maoli serves thousands of students in 20 schools each year. He has produced popular music videos and collaborations such as the “Island Style-ʻOiwiĒ” medley and “Hawaiʻi ’78”. Many feature thousands of Hawaii charter school students.
They run a solar-powered mobile studio and a music and multimedia academy. Teach students the ABCs (academics, business and culture) through music.
“They are learning how to sing and perform songs, but they are also learning the backstory, history and culture,” said Keora Nakanishi, Executive Director of Mana Maori. historical and cultural elements. Mathematics and science also become more important as they move into the technical and production aspects. ”
The nonprofit also established the charter school Hālau Kū Māna and the double-hulled Hawaiian sailing canoe Kānehūnāmoku, which serves as a “water school.”
Nakanishi said that for many students, their program is the only art and music education they receive.
He added that they plan to work on more videos and collaborations and continue to support local musicians and the next generation of artists.
“In so many schools, the arts are the first thing they cut off, and I think music is a great creative outlet,” he said. “A great way to express yourself creatively and emotionally. A great way to tell a story. A great way to raise awareness in your community.”