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Community invited to 6th Annual WMS-Kahilu Theatre K(arts) grand finale performance

<p>Waimea Middle School students perform in the K(Arts) grand finale in 2011. PHOTO BY RANDY HORNE COURTESY OF WMS</p>

Waimea Middle School students perform in the K(Arts) grand finale in 2011. PHOTO BY RANDY HORNE COURTESY OF WMS

Families and community friends of Kahilu Theatre and Waimea Middle School are invited to the theater’s 6th Annual K(Arts) Grand Finale performance at 5:30 p.m., Wed., April 24, by nearly 100 WMS 6th-8th grade students who enrolled in this free after-school arts program. This family-friendly celebration is free.

To prepare for this performance, WMS students have participated in classes for the past 11 weeks, learning ‘ukulele, hip hop and Tahitian dancing, drama, art and backstage production.

Doors to Kahilu Theatre will open at 5 p.m. and everyone is invited to view art projects students have completed under the guidance of instructor-artist Geoffrey Mundon and Eliza Cahill. Then, at 5:30 p.m., the show begins under the direction and stage-lighting-sound management of students who participated in backstage production classes led by Kristin Lake and Cheyanna Marsh.

K(Arts) instructors include talented Waimea community artists Beth Dunnington and Iva Peele for drama classes, Sala Von der Heyden and Kachina Nishida for Tahitian dance, Michal Carillo and Isaiah Schubert for hip hop, and Noni Kuhns and Bob Teixeira for ‘Ukulele classes. Helping coordinate this popular after-school program are WMS’ Bernie Marsh and Lisa Shattuck for Kahilu Theatre.

K(Arts) is a partnership initiated by Kahilu Theatre with WMS in 2007 to provide after-school enrichment featuring performing and visual arts for adolescents. While the theater took a season-long “intermission” this year, the volunteer board reached out for community support to continue this program and received generous donations from friends of the theater as well as funding from WMS partners, Ho’okako’o Corp. and Kamehameha Schools.

These community supporters recognize the importance of “the arts” in ensuring a well-rounded education at a time when public schools have been forced to eliminate arts education from the school day due to federal academic mandates and shrinking funding. Programs such as K(Arts) support student attendance and academic progress, build self-esteem and confidence, and provide safe activities with role models and mentors during what is considered high risk afternoon hours when many Waimea children are home alone due to family work schedules.

For information, call WMS’ Community Liaison Patti Cook at 937-2833, or visit the school’s website at