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WISDOM CIRCLES OCEANIA PROGRAMS
Since the Maui fires began, we have been delivering vital trauma-informed arts programs on Maui in shelters, public schools, and West Side locations, offering essential support to children and families. We experience expressive arts and relevant cultural practices as pathways of healing and reclamation. Through collaborations with local organizations like Maui Mutual Aid, Mauna Medics Healers Hui, public schools and local leadership we’ve served over 300 ʻohana.
Please consider donating to these efforts to sustain our work and enable us to increase the frequency of our support.
Link to Maui Events Page
Story Quilt is a culturally relevant, ‘āina-based youth arts program and explores interconnection through art, environment, and cultural identity. This program serves youth and their ʻohana, and those who could most benefit from a trauma-informed program.
We offer culturally significant place-based practices in an outdoor space to cultivate youth’s awareness of their relationship with their environment and with themselves. Cultural storytelling and personal exploration through the arts has supported participants feelings of understanding and belonging.
Youth get to practice skills theyʻve learned and uplift their voices through sharing their art through workshops and events engaging their ʻohana and greater community.
Through collaboration across our programs we have created deep experiences of story making with our Art Story Quilts. These are expansive nine-foot art quilt collaborations that express collective perspective and deep healing connections around the restoration and protection of our lands and waters.
The Creative Community Workers Program teaches frontline workers therapeutic strategies to cope with stress, balance their emotional and mental well-being, and facilitate expressive spaces for professionals in service agencies to find more inspiration in their work. The program provides opportunities to access the arts and forge deeper connections with other community leaders. During the pandemic, these therapeutic spaces have helped participants find inspiration and connection in a time that has been isolating and overwhelming. Participants have included nonprofit directors, program managers, community educators, social workers, and healthcare workers. We also provide training to youth service providers to utilize expressive arts to support youths’ mental health and social-emotional learning, so they can advocate for more healing strategies from within the systems they work in.
Wisdom Circles Oceania coordinates and is a founding partner of the ʻŌpio Protectors Network, a partnership of mental health, education, and youth development professionals who work together to create restorative frameworks for addressing harm and increasing safety in youth-serving programs across Hawai'i. Wisdom Circles Oceania provides project coordination, a restorative nature-based arts curriculum, and therapeutic spaces for youth to share their feedback. For the past three years, we have been in a key organizing role in gathering a collaboration of organizations, community, and youth leaders to develop this work. Our collective vision is to create a framework for addressing and preventing harm that is survivor-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally relevant to the communities we serve.
Organizational collaborators have included Wisdom Circles Oceania, Hoʻopae Pono Peace Project, Weaving Our Stories, The Pōpolo Project, and Hawai’i Women in Filmmaking, Sierra Club Hawaiʻi, and Oʻahu Water Protectors.
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