Art Bento Program

Hawaiʻi State Art Museum’s education program, for Oʻahu public and charter school students grades 2 – 6.

About the Art Bento Program

The Art Bento Program at the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum (HiSAM) is a museum education program of the Hawai‘i State Art Museum serving Oʻahu Department of Education elementary students, Grades 2 – 6, and their teachers. This four-part inquiry-based program actively engages students and teachers through activities connected to current arts standards and ELA Common Core Standards.

This unique multi-disciplinary educational opportunity emphasizes arts and visual literacy and is led by qualified teaching artists from the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) Artistic Teaching Partners (ATP) roster. There is no cost to schools to participate in the program and funds for bus transportation are also provided.

View the Art Bento Program Presentation PDF.

Learn More About the Program

Art Bento video by the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education.

Mixed Plate to Go! story by Hawaii Public Radio

Listen to a story about Art Bento by Hawai‘i Public Radio Arts and Culture Reporter Noe Tanigawa: Art Bento: Mixed Plate to Go!

More About the Art Bento Program

The Art Bento Program uses the Hawai’i State Museum (HiSAM) as an active learning laboratory for students in grades 2-6 Oʻahu public and public charter schools. The museum is operated by the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts as a part of the SFCA’s Art in Public Places Program.

The program theme is “Responding to Art.” Works of art on display in the museum galleries are used as a catalyst for inquiry-based student learning in literacy, visual and performing arts. These artworks are part of the SFCA’s Art in Public Places Collection.

Program activities begin in the classroom with a professional development session for teachers. A teaching artist from the SFCA’s Artistic Teaching Partners (ATP) Roster leads the session. Using reproductions, the ATP models techniques and strategies to elicit student responses to artworks currently on view in the museum. The learning experience continues with a pre-visit to the classroom with the ATP again facilitating a question and response conversation with students and beginning a standards-based lesson.

Next is the museum visit, during which students participate in an inquiry-based guided tour in the HiSAM galleries and experience viewing original artworks. They also engage in an arts lesson with their Teaching Artist and explore art concepts through hands-on activities.

Art Bento culminates in a post-visit lesson in the classroom. Students reflect on the museum experience, review concepts and vocabulary, exhibit or perform products created, and reflect on the artwork they have made.

Art Bento is a compact and cohesive educational experience linking classroom learning with the museum and the wider world. Each segment reinforces the last, and together they help students and teachers to realize a sense of connection and essential understandings through the arts.

Application Materials

School Year 2023-2024 Application: 2023 Art Bento Application (PDF). Applications are due Friday, April 21, 2023, 4:00 pm Hawaiʻi Standard Time.


For further information, contact Arts Program Specialist/Hawaiʻi State Art Museum Educator Shirley Lam