Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pacific Talent Academy of the Arts

Hi there!

The media focuses so much on all of the bad stuff that happens in the world, so there a lot of positive things that are going on out there that we never get to hear about. One of these would be the Pacific Talent Academy of the Arts, which is based out of Torrance, California.

This is neat organization, with a wonderful mission statement: “ The Pacific Talent Academy of the Arts is a multidisciplinary arts organization whose mission is to present, perpetuate and progress the cultural heritage of the Pacific Islands through quality arts education programs designed to kindle youths’ imagination, mentor their creativeness and develop their sense of possibility.”

There are no worthier goals than celebrating cultural history and developing the arts through our youth, and this group has both of these things covered.

The Pacific Talent Academy of the Arts is the sister organization of Fireknife of Samoa, and was founded in remembrance of Paramount Chief Uluao "Freddie" Letuli, the Father of the Fireknife Dance. Chief Letuli was an accomplished knife dancer that performed in Hawaii and Los Angeles, and later added fire to his routine after seeing a gypsy’s fire-eating act. He first performed the fire knife dance in 1946 at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and through the 1960s he performed with his many different dance troupes throughout the United States and Europe, showcasing his talents and his love for the island of Samoa.

In keeping with Chief Letuli’s spirit, this group works to preserve and perpetuate the performing arts of Polynesia by organizing free workshops, performing at community and cultural events. They target low income, at risk, under-served Polynesian, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders and educate them through history and the arts, including, dance, music, cuisine, visual arts and film.

Your best opportunity to see what they are doing is at their annual “Weekend in Polynesia” event, which will take place on September 6 and 7, 2014 in Long Beach, California. The highlights of this event include a Tahitian Ito dance completion as well as fire knife championships. But there will also be crafts, activities for kids, hula lessons, language and craft workshops, musical performers and a worship service. This is a great family event, and admission is free of charge.

Anyway, I hope you find all of this as exciting as I do, and as this is a 501C3 non-profit organization, and I am sure they would appreciate any donations that would help them fulfill their mission. For more information on Pacific Talent Academy of the Arts, check out their website at


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