About ARTS FIRST Partners


In 1999, the Hawai‘i State Legislature enacted ACT 80, which called for Hawaii’s major stakeholders in arts education to revise the state’s Fine Arts Standards and develop a statewide strategic plan for arts education. In 2001, ACT 306 named the ARTS FIRST Partners and mandated implementation of the Strategic Plan. For a one-page summary of the Partnership’s history, click here: Partnership History.

Hawai‘i Arts Alliance
Hawai‘i Association of Independent Schools
Hawai‘i State Department of Education
Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, College of Arts & Humanities
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, College of Education

Affiliate Partners:

Honolulu Theatre for Youth
Maui Arts & Cultural Center

ARTS FIRST Partners invites entities interested in participating as affiliate partners to contact the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (email: [email protected]).  We seek partners who will contribute resources and expertise toward reaching the AFP strategic plan goals.

As the convening agency of the ARTS FIRST Partners, the SFCA:

  • Compiles and files annual AFP progress reports to the Legislature
  • Convenes quarterly meetings of Partner representatives
  • Facilitates communication among the Partners

ARTS First Partners Goal Implementation 2016-2017

Goal 1. ARTS FIRST advocacy strengthens public support, awareness, and funding of arts education.
The annual Alfred Preis Honor award celebration raises funds and brings attention to arts education.  In 2016, Michael Titterton was honored. Similarly, the annual Maui Teacher Awards Dinner honors classroom teachers who have completed 32-650 hours of professional development in arts education.

Goal 2. ARTS FIRST partners conduct and disseminate research on the scope, impact and pertinent topics of arts education in Hawaii.
UH Manoa College of Education (UHM COE) faculty member Dr. Jamie Simpson Steele published her research in the Journal of Learning Through the Arts, “Noncognitive Factors in an Elementary School-wide Arts Integrated Model.” The school she studied was Pomaikaʻi Elementary School on Maui.

Goal 3. Pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and teaching artists have access to ongoing and high-quality professional learning opportunities.

Pre-service teachers at UHM COE took undergraduate and graduate arts classes offered by the COE, Dept. of Theatre & Dance, and Dept. of Music.

DOE classroom teachers took many workshops and credit courses in arts and arts integration sponsored by the ARTS FIRST Partners.  These courses were offered on Oahu, Hawaii, Kauai and Maui in the summer 2016 and throughout the 16-17 school year.

Teaching artists got professional development at two-day institutes on Maui and Oahu.  This training challenges teaching artists to continually improve their practice.

Goal 4. All Hawaiʻi students have access to high quality formal and informal sequential arts education, which is inclusive of fine arts disciplines and enables proficiency in an art form.

Thousands of Hawaiʻi students participated in one or more of the arts (drama, music, dance, visual arts and literary arts) through the Artists in the Schools grants program, the Art Bento Program, the Turnaround Arts Program, various teacher-artist collaborative residencies and arts field trips.