When you see POW! and WOW! what comes to mind? Caped community-defending superheroes? If so, then you’re on the right track when considering the non-profit foundation POW! WOW!. Drawing a link to masked crime fighters is not how POW! WOW!’s name originated, though. POW! = the impact that art has on people and WOW! = the reaction people have when seeing art. Together, POW WOW = a Native American term describing a gathering celebrating culture, music, and art. People gathering to create and celebrate art and culture? Sounds like community-promoting superhero work to us, and it makes us want to shout, “POW! WOW!”
Photographs are care of Jasper Wong
Founder Jasper Wong passionately believes that “we can affect real change through art and music.” He enthusiastically champions the idea that public art is capable of “changing the very fabric of the walls, making [communities] more inviting and safe; providing pride in one’s own place; connecting global communities of artists with local ones, [and] building bridges.” Several longitudinal studies tracking children, teenagers, and young adults including this one support the ideas Jasper espouses, demonstrating too that high involvement in the arts increases students’ academic outcomes, career goals, and levels of civic engagement.
In the seven years since its inception, POW! WOW! has morphed into a global network of artists hosting and producing gallery shows, school events, live art installations, lecture series, and concerts all around the world. In 2017 alone, POW! WOW! produced 10 arts festivals across the globe, and this year they are conducting a project in Nepal to support an underserved school. Yet POW! WOW! still manages to descend upon Honolulu every February, bringing together more than 100 local and international artists to create murals and other forms of art.
There is no stream of income to fund the community beautification work POW! WOW! does – their work is entirely donation-financed. If you want to help beautify neighborhoods, educate communities about art and music, connect people through the creation of public art, and celebrate indigenous art and culture, use code GIVE676 at checkout today and we will contribute 10% of your purchase price directly to POW!WOW!