Hawaii Tourism Authority grants perpetuate culture
By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Robbie Dingeman
For Paepae O He'eia, a Hawai'i Tourism Authority grant of $55,369 will pay to rebuild part of the He'eia fishpond's walls as well as help the organization teach people about the cultural importance of the historic structure.
The organization is one of 20 that will receive a total of more than $830,000 in funding this year through "Kukulu Ola - HTA Living Hawaiian Culture Program."
Paepae O He'eia fiscal manager Mehana Makainai said the money from the Living Hawaiian Culture Program award provides key help in two areas: rebuilding fishpond walls to keep the pond operating, and helping to nurture education and cultural awareness.
She said the two components complement each other. Without repairing the walls of the fishpond, it won't be viable. Education preserves the pond for people to learn and use.
Without the cultural awareness, the functioning fishpond means less.
"It's a little poho, the value is wasted," Makainai said.
Kapahu Living Farm on Maui received $58,340. The goal of the farm — located in the communities of Kipahulu and Hana — is to increase the production of kalo (taro) and other crops through maintenance, restoration and planting of lo'i.
Lyman House Memorial Museum was awarded $29,260 for "The Lei Hulu" a project that perpetuates the art of Hawaiian feather lei-making and honors and supports those who continue the historic practice.
The selections were made in partnership with the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and with guidance from its Hawaiian Cultural Program Advisory Council.
"The Native Hawaiian host culture is what continues to make Hawai'i unique and different from other destinations in the world," said Rex Johnson, HTA president and chief executive officer. He said the programs were selected for their commitment to perpetuating the Hawaiian culture.
The programs were selected on criteria designed to address the goal and objectives of the Hawai'i Tourism Strategic Plan. 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 who preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.
Through the program, one-to-one matching funds are provided to businesses and organizations that honor and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture and community.
The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is a nonprofit that enhances the cultural, economic and community development of Native Hawaiians by supporting community-based organizations that contribute to the well-being of the Hawaiian Islands and its people. The list of awardees and information on projects can be found on the program's dedicated Web site at www.livinghawaiianculture.org.
Reach Robbie Dingeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.