This week, Mayor Michael Victorino announced that a group of Maui Kumu Hula and the County of Maui are in early planning stages to establish a cultural center called “Hālau of ʻŌiwi Art,” to be located in Wailuku, Maui.
Hālau of ʻŌiwi Art will be dedicated to the study, practice, celebration and perpetuation of hula and various ‘ōiwi arts connected to hula. The center will be in support of the Huamakahikina Declaration, ratified by an international coalition of Kumu Hula and adopted by resolution by the Maui County Council this fall. It will be the first of its kind and the largest investment by any county or the state to establish a permanent place for hula and associated ʻōiwi arts.
The center’s proposed location will be adjacent to the new four-level parking structure in Wailuku Town, currently under construction, at the corner of Church and Vineyard Streets.
“Our goal for the Hālau of ʻŌiwi Art is to create a center of international significance that will advance the cultural, social, and historical impact of Native Hawaiian ‘Ōiwi art,” explained Kumu Hula Hōkūlani Holt, one of those spearheading this effort. “Through these efforts, our islands’ hālau hula hope to empower all people in Hawai‘i and the world, to keep these traditions alive for future generations.”
Mayor Victorino will be proposing a planning, design and construction budget to the County Council in the fiscal year 2023 budget.
“We are honored to be a part of this historic step toward perpetuating hula in Maui County,” added Mayor Victorino. “Establishing this cultural center helps to ensure that hula, and its associated arts, will thrive for many generations to come. Hula is so much more than music and dance, it sits at the very heart of Hawaiian history and culture. And, we honor our kumu hula for their dedication to their art and the culture of our islands.”
Hālau of ʻŌiwi Art, will help to advance the culture of the Hawaiian people through education, classes, workshops, exhibits, activities and events centered around hula. It is a collaboration between diverse groups of Maui hālau hula, representing the breadth of Maui’s Hula Lineages, with the support of the County of Maui. Preliminary discussions are underway to explore the scope of facility uses and needs, potential funding sources, and considering the role of the center within the emerging Wailuku Arts District, Maui County and beyond.
Learn more by watching E Kupa’a Kākou this Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. https://ekupaakakou.com/