"Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn."
"The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing and arithmetic...Music, dance, painting and theater are keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment."
-William Bennett, Former Secretary of U.S. Department of Education
"Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory."
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
"Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart."
AECG - Who We Are...
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Founded in 1996, Arts Education for Children Group (AECG) is a nonprofit organization that was initially dedicated to providing opportunities for artistic and cultural enrichment for the people of Maui. We are now working to expand our efforts to the benefit of the other islands of Hawaii. AECG is committed to improving the quality of education in our schools by restoring music programs and raising public awareness about the importance of music participation.
AECG has grown from a grassroots, parent-driven effort to enrich their own children’s lives, to a glowing example of a cooperative, community-wide, islandwide, and now state-wide program. Incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1998, AECG’s mission was dedicated to restoring support for music and arts enrichment programs at that time in Maui’s schools. It’s now a program that addresses a critical need for arts education and after-school activities among all of Hawaii’s school aged children and raises public awareness of the positive impact music and arts participation has on students.
The AECG programs have consisted of three basic components: 1) daily afterschool programs; 2) day camps on school holidays; and, 3) summer music and arts enrichment workshops and camps. Through the efforts of an active, hands-on Board of Directors and dedicated professional staff, AECG forged partnerships with the Department of Education, private schools, and youth programs and developed a comprehensive range of arts and music education programs.
AECG progressively expanded the availability of programs and number of children served to meet the growing demand and interest music and art education. 1998 brought the launch of the “Music and Performing Arts Camp” and in 1999, the “Summer Strings Workshop” series. In 2003, AECG partnered with other nonprofit community service organizations to sponsor the Nassau Suffolk Performing Arts 2003 Maui Series, a ten day series of workshops and free concerts involving accomplished musicians from one of New York’s most prestigious performing arts groups with the cooperation of local musicians.
The annual Maui Invitational Band Festival was also created in 2003 to provide opportunities for Maui students and residents to study and play alongside world class professionals. The festival included workshops, clinics, and concerts that created cultural and artistic exchanges. A milestone was reached in 2005 with the creation of the first ever Maui Youth Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Iolani Yamashiro. The Band Festival grew again in 2006 with the participation of well-known and accomplished musicians and clinicians. The Maui Community Band under the direction of Lisa Owen performed with the Nassau Suffolk Performing Arts wind symphony. It also attracted the interest and participation of the famous Los Angeles Music Academy (LAMA), which integrated a Maui-based component into their established summer rhythm camp and concert series.
Jazz and Blues were featured at the 2008 Festival and since then AECG has continued to support its mission through an annual Jazz Maui Festival. Now, our organization is reaching out to some of the other islands via partnerships with neighbor island contributors and schools, and the help of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. In 2015 we will be expanding our fundraising jazz festival to Oahu.
We would like to thank our supporters whose cooperation enables us to expand and produce quality events:
Equity One Realty, The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Sheraton Maui, Whaler’s Village, Makana Aloha Foundation, Sumek,
and Mana’o Radio
AECG Board of Directors 2019
Bryant Neal – Founder / Exec. Director
Mike Buono – President
Chuck Dickar Secretary / Treasurer
Shena Medley – Director
Don Bowen – Director
Bryan Taylor – Director