Art Bento Program @ HiSAM - Now Accepting Applications for School Year 2020-21

posted January 10, 2020

Hawai`i Arts Alliance provides program support for the Art Bento Program @ HiSAM.


The SY2020-21 Art Bento Program @ HiSAM is a museum education program of the Hawai`i State Art Museum serving Oahu Department of Education elementary students, Grades 2 – 6, and their teachers. This four-part inquiry-based program actively engages students and teachers through activities connected to current arts standards and ELA Common Core Standards. This unique multi-disciplinary educational opportunity emphasizes arts and visual literacy and is led by qualified teaching artists from the HSFCA’s Artistic Teaching Partners (ATP) roster. There is no cost to schools to participate in the program and funds for bus transportation are also provided. 


Click here to learn the specifics about this dynamic program. Listen to a story about the Art Bento Program by Hawai‘i Public Radio Arts and Culture Reporter Noe Tanigawa - Art Bento: Mixed Plate to Go! Learn more by viewing this short video from the Hawai`i DOE Video Production Branch. 

The Art Bento Program uses the Hawai`i State Museum (HiSAM) as an active learning laboratory for students in grades 2-6 Oahu public and public charter schools.The program theme is “Responding to Art.” Works of art on display in the museum galleries are used as a catalyst for inquiry-based student learning in literacy, visual and performing arts. These artworks are part of the HSFCA’s Art in Public Places Collection.


Program activities begin in the classroom with a professional development session for teachers. A teaching artist from the HSFCA’s Artistic Teaching Partners (ATP) Roster leads the session. Using reproductions, the ATP models techniques and strategies to elicit student responses to artworks currently on view in the museum. The learning experience continues with a pre-visit to the classroom with the ATP again facilitating a question and response conversation with students and beginning a standards-based lesson.Next is the museum visit, during which students participate in an inquiry-based guided tour in the HiSAM galleries and experience viewing original artworks. They also engage in an arts lesson with their Teaching Artist, and explore art concepts through hands-on activities in the “I Love Art Gallery.”Art Bento culminates in a post-visit lesson in the classroom. Students reflect on the museum experience, review concepts and vocabulary, exhibit or perform products created, and reflect on the artwork they have made.Art Bento is a compact and cohesive educational experience linking classroom learning with the museum and the wider world. Each segment reinforces the last, and together they help students and teachers to realize a sense of connection and essential understandings through the arts.


Comments from teachers on participating in the Art Bento Program:

Allowing the kids to view and observe art really opens so many doors of opportunities to learn. It also enriches the child as a whole and allows kids to express themselves freely.


The students really look forward to these opportunities in class. They love the open-endedness that the arts encourage.


Just the fact my students and I were encouraged to use the actual art pieces to develop our discussions. It is wonderful to know that children can ENJOY art pieces made by real artists!


Given the opportunities to be exposed to the real artwork, to explore the beautiful museum, to express who they are through art. I am so grateful that all the museum staff/teaching artists are so warm and the fact that they treat our students with great amount of respect. Thank you!


Students benefited from the discussions we've been having about art. Often times they think when we have an art lesson, they will be making art. However, students had just as much fun "reading," analyzing, and talking about art. They loved to share their interpretations, stories, and feelings about all the various pieces that were provided using the ODIE process.


I enjoyed how the students can tie the program into ELA.  The students got to have discussions in small groups without feeling critiqued.


The most worthwhile aspect of the Art Bento program was the museum visit because my students were exposed to a variety of artwork and they shared valuable conversations about the pieces they saw. During the visit they also got to explore by being artists themselves. The museum visit as a whole was such a tremendous learning experience for all.

ARTS FIRST Institute 2019 - In Sight: Observing, Describing, Connecting & Creating (insightfully) through the Arts

How are students’ creative, analytical, and interpretative skills developed when reading artwork as text?  Hone inquiry skills...deepen responding to visual text through creative movement...and expand connections to the Common Core and current arts standards.


Presenters Jamie Simpson Steele, PhD, and Lynn Young introduced open-ended questioning, structures for engaged discussion, and dance strategies so that participants would become more adept and confident visual readers and insightful thinkers.


Dates:  June 5, 6, 7, 2019; [Portfolio Sharing: December 7, 2019, 9 am - 12 pm]

Time:   8:00 am - 4:00 pm each day

Place: UH West Oahu College, Hawai`i State Art Museum

Institute contact: Lei Ahsing @ 533-2787,

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