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O.N.O. Kona event supports Mele Murals

April 17, 2015 - 6:17am

It’s time to get out and support Mele Murals on Saturday during the first of four Our Night Out Kona events slated in 2015.

From 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Brewery Block, located at 74-5617 Pawai Place in the Old Kona Industrial Area, will transform into the O.N.O. Kona night market to benefit Mele Murals, a youth development, arts education, cultural preservation, and community-building project that started in 2013 with the dream of creating a series of large-scale outdoor murals focusing on Hawaiian lyrics that explore moolelo aina (stories of place) and cultural and historical heritage.

The Estria Foundation started Mele Murals to bring communities together through public art. Mele Murals can be seen at Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Keauhou Shopping Center and at Brewery Block. The group’s most recent, and seventh, mural was completed in March at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, said Mahea Akau, project coordinator.

The students next head to Kauai where they will spend two weeks on a mural project at Ana Hola before returning to the Big Island to complete a second mural at Keauhou Shopping Center.

“We’ve got a full calendar ahead,” she said. “O.N.O. really helps us to just continue to do more murals, a way to raise money to continue to buy supplies to upkeep existing murals and continue to do more murals in the communities long after we’re gone.”

During O.N.O. Kona on Saturday, 20 to 30 Mele Murals students will be creating more art and attendees can even get in on the action.

“O.N.O. also gives our Mele Murals students an opportunity to show off because part of their kuleana is to lead a workshop,” she said. “Our students really, really take the lead in creating all different kinds of art activities for the community to participate in.”

The free event is presented by Brewery Block, which is managed by Manini Holdings, and Kona Brewing Co., said Lisa Johnson, director of real estate with Manini Holdings. The evening will open with some mellow Hawaiian music followed by various performers. Nesian Soul will close out the event.

Vendor booth fees, as well as proceeds from the brewing company’s Beer Garden, benefit the nonprofit, she said.

“It all goes to Mele Murals,” said Johnson. Johnson estimated the two prior O.N.O. Kona events, held in August and November, each raised about $5,000 for the program, which will also have its own information booth.

Three more Our Night Out Kona events are slated this year on June 6, Sept. 5 and Nov. 21 at the Brewery Block.

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