Mayor Roth Recognizes Donkey Mill Art Center

August 23, 2021, 7:41 AM HST
* Updated August 22, 4:49 PM
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Mayor Roth recently visited the Donkey Mill Art Center (DMAC) in Keauhou to tour the historic building, meet the Board of Directors and staff who shared information about the programs, exhibits and future plans for the beloved organization.

Curator Mina Elison and Youth Program Coordinator Gerald Lucena guided Mayor Roth through the current exhibition, Emergence: Young Artist Exhibition, featuring the dynamic artwork of young student artists from ages 6 to 16 who attended programs over the past year.

The importance of the arts and collaboration was a common thread throughout conversation as both the Mayor and the Donkey Mill explore opportunities to create a sustainable and resilient Hawaiʻi. Gerald Lucena shared that art and artmaking for youth is all about exploring relationships to self, family, local and global community, and
nature—the works produced by these young artists revealing these emerging connections. The themes explored in each art class provided young artists with a deepened understanding of Hawaii’s native species, the ‘āina and the ocean, cultures near and far visited by the voyaging canoe, Hōkūle‘a, as well as the knowledge held in moon phases and the cycles of nature. Values demonstrated to keiki echo the focus from the Sustainability Summit and the importance of finding a collective balance to create a thriving, healthy, diverse and resilient island for generations to come.

Mayor Roth also had the opportunity to talk with Board President Jeff Davis and Executive Director, Maja Grajski about the unique mission of the DMAC to serve as a place of convergence for the exploration of arts and culture. To recognize the impact the Donkey Mill Art Center has in the community, he presented them with a certificate of
recognition which reads:

“DONKEY MILL ART CENTER, located in the original Kona Coffee Cooperative Building constructed in 1954, continues to serve as a source of continuity, community resilience, and a lasting connection to the history of Kona’s coffee industry and its independent coffee farmers who brought the Kona Way of Life—symbolizing hard work,
collaboration, and a deep sense of Community.”


“DONKEY MILL ART CENTER continues this legacy today through its mission to serve as a community for the exploration of arts and culture to inform, inspire and strengthen individual and collective well-being.”


“ON BEHALF of the people of the County of Hawai’i, it is a great pleasure to recognize the positive impact of both the Donkey Mill Art Center’s 26 years of community service, offering a safe and supportive environment for people to discover, explore and expand their creative identities, and its historically significant campus.”

With Aloha,

Mitchell D. Roth, Mayor, County of Hawai’i


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