small town

Big Art

ST*BA at a glance

Supporting Artists
An evolving collection of public art is being created with Wailuku community members led by professional artists through monthly collaborative experiences
visit installations
Visual, performing and experiential art installations are paired with public events such as talk story sessions, unveilings, free artist workshops, pop-up paint and play days, and more.
authentic storytelling
Each artist is required to address Wailuku's distinct sense of place, history, and culture in a piece created through community consultations and storytelling.
Supporting Artists
Working with the County of Maui, ST*BA, Maui Historical Society and Maui Visitors Bureau collaborated to create the Hoʻokamaʻāina Mobile App which includes three self-guided walking tours — cultural, historic and public art. 
“This is a fun, positive, community-spirited effort that engages a lot of creatives, government professionals, community leaders, business owners and families in a well-publicized, inviting project to boost a town we all love.”
Terri Erwin
Wailuku resident and business owner
“It’s about bringing Community together and supporting people in creative exploration.” 
Colleen Lisowski
“Programs like ST*BA make me feel better about being alive by creating such positive spaces to connect with other people.”
Ember Brightly
Waiehu Resident

“Small Town * Big Art prioritizes place-based, visual, and performing arts as an instrument for revitalization that celebrates the history, culture, and sense of place of Wailuku.”

Kelly McHugh-White
Chair of Maui Public Art Corp.
Art, in its many forms, is connected to the community. It brings people together, defines physical space, drives economic development, creates a sense of place and encourages dialogue.

In Wailuku, SMALL TOWN * BIG ART (ST*BA) has played an integral role in helping to shape the town’s arts and cultural identity.

ST*BA was developed through an Our Town grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); which is its signature creative placemaking program that supports partnerships of artists, cultural organizations, and municipal government working together to revitalize neighborhoods.

From the start, ST*BA’s goal was to foster Wailuku’s prevailing arts scene through public art projects that spoke to its distinct history, culture and sense of place. Efforts encouraged residents and visitors to ask questions, feel inspired to provide feedback and ultimately share a sense of ownership of each experience. Cumulatively, these participatory experiences empower people to continue to work for positive change within the neighborhood and to engage more deeply in the wide range of arts opportunities that Wailuku has to offer. 

Today, ST*BA is leading an initiative in partnership with governmental, cultural-based nonprofit, and private sector leadership to establish portions of Wailuku as an official “Arts District.”

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