Hawaii Rotary District 5000 Foundation’s Maui Fires Relief Fund Provides $50,000 Grant to Maui’s ArtCentered

Submitted by Joanne Laird, Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset

Following the Maui Wildfires Relief workshop sponsored by the three West Maui Rotary Clubs on February 24, 2024, the ArtCentered initiative emerged as one of the 80 projects seeking funding. ArtCentered, a program dedicated to providing art-centered services to keiki and families affected by the wildfires, received a grant of $50,000 from the Rotary District 5000 Maui Wildfires Relief Fund, thanks to a proposal submitted by the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset.

The primary objective of ArtCentered is to offer consistent and compassionate art therapy services to fire survivors and the community at large. The positive impact of art on mental health has been evident at their locations, including Honokowai Beach Park and Royal Lahaina Resort. Operating 5 days a week, ArtCentered serves 10 to 20 individuals on weekdays and 30 to 50 on weekends, aiming to provide ongoing support to those in need.

Founder Paul Petersen had been funding ArtCentered independently, but with the support from Rotary, the program can now continue for 24 weeks. Petersen expressed gratitude for Rotary’s contribution, emphasizing the importance of providing a creative outlet for the community to heal and express themselves. Looking ahead, ArtCentered envisions securing a permanent facility in Lahaina town to serve as a creative hub for the community.

The funding provided by Rotary reflects a spirit of unity among Rotarians, who have come together to aid the Lahaina community in their recovery journey. ArtCentered remains committed to using art as a tool for healing and growth, fostering a positive outlook for those facing challenges.


#1: Keiki creating a “masterpiece” at ArtCentered at Honokowai Beach Park.

#2: Keiki and ArtCentered instructor at Honokowai Beach Park.

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