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3 Mele Murals unveiled on Kahilu Theatre exterior walls

From left, Mahea Akau, project coordinator for Mele Murals, Kanoa Castro, Kanu o ka Aina teacher, Estria Miyashiro, co-founder and creative director for the Estria Foundation as well as the lead artist for Mele Murals, and John Prime Hina, founder of 808 Urban and lead artist for Mele Murals, pose for a photo in front of one of the three murals on the exterior of Kahilu Theatre at the unveiling party on Thursday, March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
From left, Mahea Akau, project coordinator for Mele Murals, Kanoa Castro, Kanu o ka Aina teacher, Estria Miyashiro, co-founder and creative director for the Estria Foundation as well as the lead artist for Mele Murals, and John Prime Hina, founder of 808 Urban and lead artist for Mele Murals, pose for a photo in front of one of the three murals on the exterior of Kahilu Theatre at the unveiling party on Thursday, March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Estria Miyashiro sprays the finishing touches on one of the Mele Murals at the unveiling party at Kahilu Theatre on Thursday, March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Estria Miyashiro sprays the finishing touches on one of the Mele Murals at the unveiling party at Kahilu Theatre on Thursday, March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Estria Miyashiro speaks to the crowd that gathered for the unveiling party at Kahilu Theatre on March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Estria Miyashiro speaks to the crowd that gathered for the unveiling party at Kahilu Theatre on March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Pomai Bertelmann, teacher at Kanu o ka Aina, introduces from left, John Prime Hina, Kanoa Castro and Estria Miyashiro at the unveiling ceremony. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Pomai Bertelmann, teacher at Kanu o ka Aina, introduces from left, John Prime Hina, Kanoa Castro and Estria Miyashiro at the unveiling ceremony. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Students from Alo Kehau o Ka Aina perform at the Mele Murals unveiling party at Kahilu Theatre on March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Students from Alo Kehau o Ka Aina perform at the Mele Murals unveiling party at Kahilu Theatre on March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Students place a lei around Kanu o ka Aina teacher Kanoa Castro, who initially contacted the Estria Foundation. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Students place a lei around Kanu o ka Aina teacher Kanoa Castro, who initially contacted the Estria Foundation. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Students examine the new mural on Kahilu Theatre’s exterior wall. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM | NHN)
Students examine the new mural on Kahilu Theatre’s exterior wall. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM | NHN)
The new Mele Murals cover three walls of the exterior of Kahilu Theatre as seen at the unveiling party. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
The new Mele Murals cover three walls of the exterior of Kahilu Theatre as seen at the unveiling party. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Community members examine the new murals during the Mele Murals unveiling party on March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
Community members examine the new murals during the Mele Murals unveiling party on March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
From left, Mahea Akau, Estria Miyashiro, Kanoa Castro and John Prime Hina pose for a photo in front of one of the Mele Murals at the unveiling party on March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)
From left, Mahea Akau, Estria Miyashiro, Kanoa Castro and John Prime Hina pose for a photo in front of one of the Mele Murals at the unveiling party on March 6. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)

“We came as visitors and we leave as family,” said John Prime Hina at the Mele Murals unveiling party on March 6. The three murals painted on the exterior of Kahilu Theatre were based on three Hawaiian meles, “Mele Manaua,” “Hole Waimea” and “Na Pu’u Kaulana o Waimea,” as well as illustrations from Hawaiian molelos, or stories, from Waimea.

Organized by students and faculty of Kanu o ka Aina, the Estria Foundation’s Mele Murals painting project included students from Alo Kehau o ka Aina, Waimea Middle School, Parker School and Hawaii Preparatory Academy, along with members of the community, who had an opportunity to work on painting the murals. Three members from the Estria Foundation came from Oahu to guide the project — Mahea Akau, project coordinator for Mele Murals, Estria Miyashiro, co-founder and creative director for the Estria Foundation as well as the lead artist for Mele Murals, and John Prime Hina, founder of 808 Urban and lead artist for Mele Murals. Kanoa Castro was the Kanu o ka Aina teacher who initially contacted the organization, which resulted in the first neighbor island mural painted as part of the Mele Murals project.

Despite a soaking rain that ended in sunshine, several hundred people attended the unveiling ceremony outside of Kahilu Theatre in front of the murals.