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HTA awards $620,000 to 25 cultural organizations


The Hawaii Tourism Authority, the state agency for tourism, has announced selection of 25 organizations that will receive funding through its Kukulu Ola – Living Hawaiian Culture Program. 

“Hawaiian culture is what differentiates Hawaii from other destinations around the world,” said Lloyd Unebasami, HTA interim president and chief executive officer. “Even with our current budget constraints, the HTA understands the importance of continuing to support programs that honor and perpetuate Hawaiian Culture for our visitors and residents.”

The programs were chosen by the HTA and its Hawaiian Cultural Program Advisory Council, on criteria designed to address the goal and objectives identified in the Hawaii Tourism Strategic Plan: 2005-2015 for the Hawaiian Culture initiative. 

The objectives include: strengthening the relationship between the visitor industry and the Hawaiian community; nurturing the Hawaiian culture by creating visitor experiences, activities and marketing programs that are respectful and accurate; and supporting Hawaiian programs and cultural practitioners, craftsmen, musicians, and other artists that preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture. 

Free statewide workshops were conducted last year by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement to provide potential applicants with technical assistance and training that explained the objectives of the Kukulu Ola – HTA Living Hawaiian Culture Program, including the application and award process. 

The Hawaii Tourism Authority was created in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with our economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.

Among the Big Island organizations that will benefit are:

* Edith Kanakaole Foundation – Hookui Kaumana: Native Voices Conference. A gathering of kupuna from Hawaii and around the world to address issues of sustainability – culture, language, practices and belief systems of Native Hawaiians and native communities throughout the world.

* Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association – HSCA 2009 Huakai. This event takes place statewide over a span of six months, and all experiences are related to the Hawaiian sailing canoe and free to visitors and
residents. Highlights of the program include stargazing workshops, a rigging and knot clinic, traditional and modern canoe building techniques and tools, and canoe rides.

* Ipu Lani, Inc. – 2009 Ipu Workshop Series. This project will educate the community and visitors about the ipu through a series of
workshops at the Ipu Lani Farm in Captain Cook. It will be open to all visitors, youth groups and residents of Hawaii.

* Ke Kula O Nawahikalaniopuu Mahuilani: A Holistic Performing Arts Program. This project supports a holistic performing arts program at a Hawaiian education laboratory school on Hawaii Island: Ke Kula O Nawahikalaniopuu. Through this program, students will perpetuate Hawaiian himeni (singing), oli (chanting) and hula (dance), all of which are taught through the medium of the Hawaiian language.

* Moku O Keawe Foundation – Moku O Keawe International Festival. This festival is a multi-day competitive and educational celebration of hula and hula arts which will be held at the Waikoloa Beach Resort. The festival highlights are a hula competition between Halau from Hawaii, Japan and Tahiti, cultural arts workshops, and a marketplace showcasing fine arts and artisans.
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