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Two Maui Women Create an Animated Series for Young Children

PC: Leihuanani Kealiʻinohomoku Recording with The Institute of Hawaiian Music (UHMC)

Two Maui women, Geri Emata and Cyndi Mayo-Akeo, have incorporated their musical backgrounds to create educational entertainment for young children.  The first music-single “Slide” from their self-titled debut EP album, The Peek-a-Bows, was released today. 

Their animated series is in the works which will include keiki lessons, Hawaiian words of the day, interviews with experts, and original songs.

Both born into musical upbringings, Emata and Mayo-Akeo have roots as former dancers and vocalists in the Lāhainā theatrical production “ʻUlalena”.  They play two of The Peek-a-Bows characters, Lena and ʻAlani.  

As a children’s edu-tainment group, they have performed throughout the island at various events including The Maui Fair, Maui Arts and Cultural Center’s Motivational Mele series, and even filmed a pilot in 2010 at Maui College in hopes of creating a television series.

“We took a long hiatus after having my first baby in 2011,” said Emata. “During those years, it was difficult to find local educational videos for my young keiki. I felt likeit was time to bring back The Peek-a-Bows.”

Emata and Mayo-Akeo brought together experts from various fields to create a fun and engaging, substantially educational experience for young children. They reached out to cultural advisors, educators, and sought out an animation company to help move their project forward in a new direction. “We love seeing the way children react to The Peek-a-Bows.  This is why we do what we do,” said Mayo-Akeo.

To complete their project of three animated/live-action episodes and with the help of their fiscal sponsor, Lōkahi Pacific, Emata and Mayo-Akeo have launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.  Backers can receive rewards such as a digital download of their EP album before it’s released to the public, stickers, logo T-shirts and hats, a video call from The Peek-a-Bows, get executive producer credit, or even have their child appear in an episode.

“Slide” is available on all streaming platforms with a music video release to follow.

PC: Geri Emata Screengrab from Episode 1: Mālama i ka ʻāina

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2021/05/26/two-maui-women-create-an-animated-series-for-young-children/

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