Friday, March 7, 2014

Lanikai Update, March 2014

In my second blog post, Skinnier, I spoke about the design process we'd been undertaking for a stage to be built at Lanikai Elementary School in Hawaii.  My friend Kat is essentially producing the project, and a couple of weeks ago, they had a fundraiser for the stage.

Honestly, I'm blown away.  I guess this means they really liked my design, and they really need a stage.  They even publicized the fundraiser in the newspaper!  See the bit under "Gala"?



Do you ever have moments when you discover yourself in a wonderful situation that you never expected?  Every once in a while, I'll wake up in the morning, without a hint of how my day will go, and by the evening I'm on a flight to Berlin, or something equally unexpected.  Finding myself helping Kat get this stage done for their school is just one of those wonderful things that makes me feel happy to be alive.  It's not the same amount of awesome as being married to Cindy, but it's the same quality of awesome.

The school managed to raise around $25,000 for the project.  It's ON, people!

 And if that wasn't exciting enough, it's the school's 50th anniversary!  Just look at their cute graphic!

As for the stage itself, I made a dimensioned layout plan and had a meeting with our volunteer structural engineer by phone.  His team is going to do foundation and framing drawings, which will be submitted for permits to build.  With his plans in hand, I'll plot out some pockets for removable railings, pipe and drape system, and a little plan for how and where to set up lighting truss (as needed).  
At the moment, we're waiting to set the build dates, for which the school has generously offered to fly me (and Cindy, if she's available) out.


And if all that wasn't enough to put a girl over the moon, just have a look at the school's fundraiser appeal.  Honestly.  It's heartening to see a school putting appropriate value on the arts.  They've even started a full-year Hawaiian Studies program for those little kids.  

Lanikai Elementary School Fundraiser appeal:
Last year we initiated a Special Appeal giving program – the solicitation of direct donations to fund a school need that would not get done without the additional monetary support.  Last year, we funded the transition from a part year, May Day focused Hawaiian Studies Program, to a full year, more integrated program.   This year’s special appeal will seek support for an outdoor stage and assembly area – a place where the school can perform, celebrate and inform as a whole community.  Other auction funds are targeted from classroom improvement and educational technology.
“. . . the arts have been an inseparable part of the human journey; indeed, we depend on the arts to carry us toward the fullness of our humanity. We value them for themselves, and because we do, we believe knowing and practicing them is fundamental to the healthy development of our children’s minds and spirits. That is why, in any civilization – ours included – the arts are inseparable from the very meaning of the term ‘education.’ We know from long experience that no one can claim to be truly educated who lacks basic knowledge and skills in the arts.” –National Standards for Arts Education
Parents and alumni know Lanikai School has a history of integrating visual and performing arts into the curriculum. This year monies raised through our Special Appeal will be used to build a stage, a facility Lanikai School has never had.  Presently we hold award ceremonies, assemblies, performances and May Day events on a grass field, sometimes renting a temporary stage. A permanent stage will save the school money and improve the quality of each event and performance.  The auction will also raise money for improvements to our classroom facilities and educational technology.  The only way we can attain these goals is with your help.
“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.” –Lyndon Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts

Can you imagine seeing the kids dancing the hula or playing in a band on that stage under the Banyan Tree?  I can.

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