Karen Watanabe

Honoring the Memory
of Mrs. Watanabe Every Day

 

CEO Message

 

Trained in portraiture, the artist uses a scaffold to get close to the wall.A talented Honolulu-based artist who’s known for creating large-scale outdoor murals was tapped to help PBS Hawai‘i honor a beloved donor, the late math teacher Karen Watanabe.

 

In retirement, Mrs. Watanabe enjoyed playing the stock market. We’re so grateful that she left our organization nearly $700,000.

 

Since we have open-concept offices, traditional wall space is scarce. We chose to pay our respects in a prominent, favorite route to our building’s second floor.

 

Right: Trained in portraiture, the artist uses a scaffold to get close to the wall.

 

The reaction of Kamea Hadar, Co-Lead Director of the nonprofit arts group POW! WOW! Worldwide: “No problem. Cool!” The artist, who painted a 15-story outdoor mural in the Pearl Harbor area, might also have meant literally cool, as this area is roofed and air-conditioned. He’s accustomed to dealing with hot sun and changing light.

 

Kamea, trained in traditional portraiture, learned to make buildings his canvas. He was raised in Israel and Hawai‘i and has painted in street venues all over the world.

Like us, he found the face of Mrs. Watanabe to be very kind and relatable.

 

Artist Kamea Hadar of POW! WOW! Worldwide

“Because the work is seen from afar and also from very close, I wanted to treat her portrait and the portraits of others in the piece like an oil painting on canvas.”
Artist Kamea Hadar

“Because the work is seen from afar, but also very close, I wanted to treat her portrait and other ones in the piece like an oil painting on canvas,” he told me.

 

Staffers and visitors watched, fascinated, as he coaxed light and life into the mural over the course of almost three weeks.

 

PBS Hawaiʻi mural by Kamea Hadar: Honoring the Memory of Mrs. Watanabe Every Day

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO“What I want them to feel is all the beautiful things that are done in this building, that come out of this building – educating children … and just the kind of energy that revolves around it,” Kamea said.

 

We thank him for his art, paying tribute to the teacher whose bequest continues her life’s work through educational nonprofit PBS Hawai‘i.

 

Have you considered including PBS Hawai‘i in your will or trust? I’d like to invite you to give me or our Advancement Department a call at 808.462.5000.

 

Aloha Nui,

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Can-Do Teachers

Can-Do Teachers: Teachers at PBS Hawaii - Terrance T.C. Ching Campus

 

Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS HawaiiA Hawaiian proverb tells us:

To prepare for 1 year, plant kalo.
To prepare for 10 years, plant koa.
To prepare for 100 years, teach the children.

Here at PBS Hawai‘i, count us in for the third option!

 

Our programming for all ages is designed to nourish minds, and Hawai‘i teachers are very much a part of this educational television/multimedia center.

 

About 80 digital media teachers from all over the state – private, public and charter school educators – recently met for a workshop in our cheerful new building. These professionals are teaching and learning at the same time, preparing their students for the future in a fast-changing world.

 

The teaching connection at PBS Hawai‘i is baked in. Our very first general manager was a teacher at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Robert M. Reed, who established this organization in the 1960s to show the value of television as a teaching aid.

 

Several chapters of the Hawai‘i Alpha Delta Kappa organization of women educators have long served as volunteers here, overseeing young keiki and students at our events and handling paperwork. ADK members and tireless retired teachers Jean Kiyabu and Julie Shimonishi have served on our Board of Directors.

 

Another Board member is the extraordinary Candy Suiso of Wai‘anae High School, who many years ago set the stage for PBS Hawai‘i’s HIKI NŌ statewide student news network, by sharing digital media with her students. They became engaged learners and continue to be a potent force in creative youth media, locally and nationally.

 

Thanks to generous funding from former San Francisco educator Joyce Stupski and her Stupski Family Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, we are able to provide the schools’ HIKI NŌ teachers with storytelling mentors and training in journalism and video production.

 

It was a retired public elementary school teacher, Honolulu’s Karen Watanabe, who actually completed our building campaign by leaving us a large gift when she passed away at age 89. She loved math and liked to play the markets.

 

Leeward O‘ahu’s Teacher of the Year, the innovative Luane Higuchi of Wai‘anae Intermediate, has written a letter urging islanders to invest in children through PBS Hawai‘i.

 

We’re most grateful and very proud to stand alongside Hawai‘i’s teachers in planting a “can-do” spirit and learning and workforce skills, in preparing children for the future.

 

A hui hou – until next time…
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