Welina me ke aloha,
The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation expresses sincere appreciation to our friends, artists, supporters, and communities for continually inspiring us and working together to advance Native truth and Indigenous knowledge. Culture enlightens, lifts up, and empowers. Nowhere is that truer than in the creative life of Native artists and communities, whose work brings a valuable perspective to this nation and has broad relevance in these contemporary times.
During 2018, we witnessed artists and truth-bearers shift the consciousness of people, and begin work towards social change. At a minimum, this creates an understanding of Indigenous contributions to our nation. At most, we have seen how it has influenced changes in philanthropy, nonprofit programming, and community engagement.
We have provided support for artists to deepen their practice, mentor apprentices, and work in communities. Artists and organizations were brought together to strengthen relationships and collaborations. We are humbled that NACF has played a part toward increasing the opportunities and additional support from other organizations for NACF artists. Our work has helped “seed” community assets and collective will to address social change relative to cultural knowledge, Native values, land and climate change, identity, and language, to name a few.
As we think about all that is happening in our nation, the Native Hawaiian proverb He `onipa`a ka `oia`i`o (Truth is steadfast and not changeable) comes to mind. I also think of Hawaii’s last monarch, Queen Lili`uokalani. When she was overthrown and imprisoned, she reminded the people to be steadfast in seeking knowledge and strong in the face of adversity. Her motto was Onipa`a – Stand firm. As NACF celebrates its ten-year anniversary in 2019, we recognize that the way forward is to stand firm in our truth and values, and work together to achieve the highest good for our communities and nation.
Me ka mahalo nui (with deep gratitude),
Lulani Arquette (Native Hawaiian)
Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, President/CEO