The charity, Afterschool Art, formed in August 2004. The 501(c)3 organization was founded on a public health model comprised of three policy linkages: 1) that afternoon can be a dangerous time for youth (especially when boredom is mixed with alcohol and drugs), 2) public schools in Hawaii have not invested sufficiently in quality afterschool programs (especially in the arts), and 3) the number of Hawaii’s youth being raised below the poverty level is rising and will likely continue for some years.

Through volunteer, private and foundation donations the nonprofit aims to raise student’s self-esteem (involving: confidence, competence & connection) through the arts. In addition to art classes, the nonprofit will also focus on decision-making skills & mentoring as components of the model. Where feasible, partnerships will be fostered in the community to support art curricula development and evaluation.  Afterschool Art over the past two years, for example, developed curriculum for a special unit on “Art and Social Justice.”

Afterschool Art  was founded by local artist & writer, Bob Grossmann, Ph.D., after conducting a 2002-03 pilot project with the Honolulu YMCA at Stevenson Intermediate School using professional artists experienced in the areas of drawing & painting, batik, printmaking, and photography; the pilot was funded by the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust.

In addition to classes at Stevenson, students ventured into the community to print some of their photographs at the U.H. Manoa’s Art School, visited the Spalding House (previously the Contemporary Museum), and printed some of their monoprints through support by Honolulu Printmakers at the Honolulu Academy of Arts’ Linekona center. The project culminated with a student show at the Art Board (attended by parents, artists, and community leaders).

Since then, art projects have ventured further into the community with a greater focus on youth-at-risk, which involved partnerships, for instance, with Child & Family Service, Hale Kipa, the Institute for Human Service, Family Promise of Hawaii, and with local charter schools.  These special projects brought needed programming to the youth at emergency shelters, group homes, foster care evening programs, and serving those with autism.

The nonprofit has been blessed to work with the following amazing artists: Solomon Enos, Mary-Ellen Hancock, Vince Hazen, Susan Hogan, Jackie Mild Lau, Prawat Laucharoen (from NYC), April Lee, Tamara Moan, Meleanna Meyer, Laura Morgenstein, Jeff Pagay, Marcia Pasqua, Filipe Tohi (from New Zealand), Liz Train, Elisabeth Nakoa, Amelia de los Rios, Tracy Tayama, Malia Urie, Noreen Watanabe,  and University of Hawaii art students: Eva Enriques, Crystal Tezuka, and Travis Sasaki.

Afterschool Art has been guided by board members: Geri Marullo, Nancy McGuckin, Karen Palmer and Marcia Pasqua (honorary).