About the Artistic Teaching Partner

Artist Statement

Slam poetry is a cutting-edge phenomenon inspiring students across the nation (from at-risk students to academic achievers). As a modern day form of performance poetry, it has succeeded where traditional methods have failed by making poetry accessible and relevant to students, and by giving them a voice to express their frustrations, identities, and dreams. In the classroom, slam poetry workshops can help fulfill numerous Hawaiʻi Content and Performance Standards in the Language Arts (written & oral), Fine Arts (drama & theatre), and Career Planning areas.

As a Native Hawaiian who was born and raised here, it is my mission to raise the level of expression and critical thinking in Hawaiʻi, and I have found great fulfillment in sharing an art form that inspires our next generation.

Artist Biography

Described as the state’s “unofficial slam poet laureate,” Kealoha is the first poet in Hawaii’s history to perform at a governor’s inauguration. As Hawaiʻi’s only SlamMaster, he has conducted workshops at over 200 schools & libraries, was selected as a master artist for a National Endowment for the Arts program, and has toured throughout the United States, Europe, & South America. He has represented Hawaiʻi at 7 National Poetry Slams, placing in the top ten of the nations best poets in 2007 and receiving the honor of “National Slam Legend” in 2010. He is the founder of HawaiiSlam, Youth Speaks Hawaii, and First Thursdays, the largest registered slam poetry competition in the world. Kealoha graduated with honors from MIT with a degree in Nuclear Physics and a minor in writing.


Children in a classroom raising their hands

About the Artistic Teaching Partner Roster

The Artistic Teaching Partners (ATP) Roster is an adjudicated directory of Hawai‘i professional teaching artists qualified to conduct in-depth residencies in educational settings. Each artist or arts organization has a page in the directory with contact information, a short bio, and an artist statement. The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts draws from this roster for arts education programs including Art Bento at the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum and Artists in the Schools.