WAIMEA VALLEY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Art, music and food drew hundreds of people to Waimea Valley Park Friday night, all to raise funds to keep arts and music classes going at Sunset Beach Elementary School.
The fundraiser included a silent auction featuring paintings, photographs and other art donated by some 200 artists, nearly all of them local. Nearby, attendees could also bid on art created by Sunset Beach elementary students; those were made possible by the annual fundraiser after the budget for art and music were cut.
"My son loves art," said parent Andrea Moore, who helped organize the event. "Every day he comes home from school talking about art. He loves it. So the thought of him not having it and other students is just heartbreaking. And that's why we do this event. That's why it's so important to the community."
"Some of the pieces that are donated are amazing," said another parent, Alexis Barron. "We get some really high retail prices that go for pretty good bids."
The donations included a piece consisting of a stencil of the face of musician Bob Dylan, with his hair and suit jacket created by tape from a cassette. The artist who created it was Annika Bauer, a University of Hawaii student from California. Organizers saw an Instagram of the original piece and asked if she would donate it.
"Hands down I would love to donate it," said Bauer. "I can't even imagine going to a school that doesn't have an art program."
This was the fourth annual event, which has grown bigger every year. It's also become a place where big name artists are more than willing to help.
"I think for the North Shore community, this is a big thing because there's no budget for art in the schools anymore," said painter Hilton Alves, this year's featured artist at the fundraiser. "So we, together, can help them to have art."
Another big name artist, North Shore resident and musician Jack Johnson, shares his music with the kids at the school. He also contributed an onstage performance.
"I was lucky to have parents who were very supportive of the music, and for other kids that don't have that chance at home, it's really nice to get a chance to be turned on to music at school," said Johnson.
Last year's event drew 600 people and raised $34,000. All the money raised goes toward art and music supplies -- and to pay the salary the school's part-time art teacher, Laura Couto.
"I've always wanted to be an art teacher, and there's few and far between jobs," said Couto. "So it took a group of really motivated people to make that happen, so I feel really lucky."