PA‘I Foundation’s preserves and perpetuates Hawaiian cultural traditions for future generations. In one of their major annual efforts, the PA‘I Foundation and the Bishop Museum organize and host a month long Native Hawaiian arts market, known as Maoli Arts Month (MAMo). Modeled on the Santa Fe Indian Market, this event serves as a way to celebrate Native Hawaiian contemporary artists.
The Market has established a venue for artists to share, exhibit, and sell their work, that incorporates gallery showings, children’s arts events, a wearable art show, and an awards reception, all taking place throughout downtown Honolulu. This lengthy presence of Native Hawaiian artists during the festival has developed into a deepened relationship with Indian Market and a group of these artists will travel to Santa Fe in the summer in the burgeoning presence of artists from Hawaii.
To speak about Pa’i is to also speak of Vicky Takamine, Executive Director. As a kumu hula, the resident Hulau celebreates its 35thanniversary, that will include festivites in on Oahu and in NYC where a second branch is located. This year, too, as part of their diverse arts management training program, Pa’i is training artists as small arts business trainers, building the initial cohort of necessary Native teachers on the island. Pa’i is also expanding their operational capacity by hiring a new managing director, a development assistant, and three quarter time positions. Most significantly, in partnership with ArtSpace and various island agencies, Pa’i has moved into their new 4000 sq ft space and when renovations are complete, Pa’i will be able to provide new programming, expanding their role beyond the Hulau. With 80 new aritsts studios and space for three residencies, a massage studio, and two hulaus, the facility will serve as the first Native Hawaiian arts and cultural center of its kind on Oahu.
Pa’i provides unique inroads to Native communities in Hawaii. The NACF award for Pa’i Foundation this year will support the MAMo festival in Honolulu in May. Key to this project is the broad based market access critical to the success of Native Hawaiian artists, often hidden from the greater island community.