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West // West Oahu News
Rasa Fournier

Classes Encourage Youths To Examine Ewa Beach Through Art

Spring is around the corner, and nature will be flourishing. Thanks to a new program in Ewa Beach, so will art.

Spaces are available for up to 24 students in the new Art For Ewa Beach Youth program sponsored by Ewa Beach Community Based Development Organization (CBDO).

Separate classes for younger and higher-level students will be held Feb 27 and March 6, 13 and 20. The first is Art Narrative, which will run from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and is geared toward students in grades 4 to 6, while Life in Ewa Beach Photography runs from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and is for students in grades 7 to10.

Classes will be conducted by artisan and educator Leonard Kelemoana Barrow. Art Narrative will teach students elements of design, while looking at art as a form of communication.

“Each pupil will create an initial art narrative concerning life in Ewa Beach, and especially what is important and special to them about the area,” said Ewa Beach CBDO president Christiane Bolosan-Yee. “Students will then write a story about their sketched art piece, starting with ‘I come from a place called Ewa Beach …’ ”

Life in Ewa Beach Photography will teach students elementary photography techniques and the use of photography as art.

“Students will use the techniques they learn to photograph what they think is important, beautiful and culturally relevant in relation to the Ewa Beach community,” explained Bolosan-Yee.

All participating students will take a trip together to Honolulu Museum of Art, and their final projects will be displayed during the month of April at Kapolei Hale.

Ewa Beach CBDO, a nonprofit organization that caters to low-income residents, is able to offer the classes thanks to a grant from Hawaii Community Foundation Ewa Beach Community Fund. The classes are part of Ewa Beach CBDO’s objectives to increase activities for area youths and to establish a gathering place with community events and volunteerism opportunities.

Speaking of volunteerism, volunteers are needed for Art for Ewa Beach Youth, to assist Barrow with his classes.

“To keep the project sustainable and continuing beyond the initial offering, there will be a train-the-trainer aspect to the program,” noted BolosanYee.

“We are looking for two local community members who can assist with the Art Narrative and Photography projects and, in turn, teach the courses to other Ewa Beach youths in the future.”

Classes will be held at Ewa Beach Community Park (91-955 North Road) To register, download the signup form at ewabeachcbdo.org and send it with $25 to Ewa Beach CBDO, 91-884 Fort Weaver Road, Suite A, Ewa Beach, HI 96706. Make checks payable to Ewa Beach CBDO.

Application deadline is Feb. 15.

For more information, call Chantell Smeisser at 694-6282 or email info@ewabeachcbdo.org.

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