Hui No‘eau recognizes an ‘angel’ with award

Anne-Marie Forsythe

Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center presented its Angel Award to Anne-Marie Forsythe during its Art Affair on Feb. 23. The event recognizes champions in the community for their extraordinary contributions with an the Angel Award. Past recipients have included George Allan, Bob Flint, Joe and Bev Gannon and Darrell Orwig.

Forsythe’s leadership and passion for arts education have been instrumental in creating a creative community focal point since she began her work at the Hui 13 years ago. She joined the team as the Hui’s registrar and quickly transitioned into program management, where she has served as the programs manager, senior programs manager, programs director and now deputy director. From cultivating hundreds of new visiting artists from around the world to coordinating single groups of 100 1st-graders on a field trip, Forsythe has made arts experiences possible for thousands of Maui residents and visitors of all ages at the historic Kaluanui estate.

Forsythe’s roots at Hui No’eau and her strong connection to Kaluanui and the arts were planted long before she began working at the Hui. “Fran Cameron — the daughter of Ethel Baldwin and one of the founders of the Hui — was my hanai grandmother,” said Forsythe. “Auntie Fran had the most beautiful garden and we used to have tea and draw together amongst the trees and flowers. I also took ceramics classes at the Hui when I was a young girl.”

Much of Forsythe’s efforts have been geared toward ensuring that Maui’s keiki have access to the visual arts — and especially underserved children, who would be unable to benefit from participation in the arts if not for the Hui’s programs.

“Youth field trips are my favorite days at the Hui,” Forsythe said. “Seeing the joy on a child’s face when they open new art supplies for the very first time or when they beam with pride at the artwork they’ve created — these moments are magical for me. I remember one of the first large field trips we did for nearly 100 1st-graders. After their art class, the kids played on the hill in front of the Hui filled with pure happiness to experience the beautiful grounds of the Hui after a day of art.”