Colibri’s music and lyrics were developed through workshops with the sixth grade class of ʻĪao Intermediate School, community consultations, and research of Mary Kawena Pukui's ‘Ōlelo No‘eau: Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings in partnership with Sissy Lake-Farm, Executive Director of the Maui Historical Society.
Through additional grants made to Maui Public Art Corps, Colibri’s set also included original songs inspired by Kahoʻolawe. These songs were developed through a 4-day volunteer access in partnership with the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission, as well as consultations with Kaʻonohi Lee, Tanya Lee-Greig and Kylee Mar -- three extraordinary women with unique ties to Kahoʻolawe.
Throughout the five-song set, Colibri invited 15 6th grade students of ʻĪao Intermediate School to sing along to “We are For the Future,” a piece they co-created during an April 17 workshop at the school.
“Tanama was able to share how music has impacted her life and inspired her to learn new languages. Students were drawn immediately to her warm personality and positive message. This was a perfect mesh of student and artist collaboration. Magic happened when the kids sang to her and she sang back with her guitar. We are so thankful and excited.”
She also invited 3 teachers from King Kekaulike to sign along to “Aki Aki,” who were with her on Kahoʻolawe during their April volunteer access to plant native species and remove invasives.
“This experience with Small Town Big Art has been life-changing,” shares Colibri, “I feel like I have grown exponentially as an artist through this process and allowed myself to embrace my gifts. I appreciate everyone that collaborated with me to make these amazing tunes.”
“Tanama is truly a gifted soul who shines such a bright and wonderful light – WOW,” shares Sissy Lake-Farm, “She is simply amazing. So nice that she gets to start this new facet of STBA through mele and song.”
To date the SMALL TOWN * BIG ART initiative has produced murals, animated films, sidewalk exhibitions, contemporary dance performances, experiential installations, an original play, sculptures and a chain link fence installation. This is its first foray into collaborative music and spoken word.
The next SMALL TOWN * BIG ART pop-up performance will be led by accomplished musician and singer-songwriter on ukulele and slack-key guitar, Anthony Pfluke on June 16, 2023. Save the date and visit https://www.mauipublicart.org/pfluke.html for developing details.