Garden Island Arts Council

AWARD:  2021 SHIFT – Transformative Change and Indigenous Arts
Sabra Kauka BIO

The Garden Island Arts Council (GIAC) is a non-profit organization comprised of an all-volunteer board of directors who provide a year-round program of activities and events for the benefit of residents and visitors to Kauai. GIAC encourages greater public participation in and appreciation of a wide variety of arts and cultural opportunities, fostering public awareness around the value of creative activities in enriching the lives of its constituencies. GIAC partners with other community organizations and the community at large to establish a home for arts, education and technology where the partners in the facility can effectively carry out their missions to serve the community and help build a strong economic base for its island community.


The Garden Island Arts Council and the National Tropical Botanical Garden are partnering with 2021 SHIFT Awardee Sabra Kuaka (Native Hawaiian) to offer educational workshops for the community. Kauka’s project E Ho`omau (to perpetuate) will focus on the bark pounding art of kapa (used as clothing material) and botanical dyes by designing and creating costumes for twenty women and ten men in a halau (hula school) for their participation in Merrie Monarch, the world’s premiere hula festival, in 2023. The festival provides an international venue to display the collaborative work and the cultural intersections between kapa, ink, and hula. The project will explore environmental protection, cultural preservation, and knowledge transference. Each participant will be given the plants to grow along with the knowledge needed to perpetuate the arts of kapa and inks.

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