Culture 2020 Commission delegation to Aotearoa members: Michael Pili Pang, Misty Kela‘i, Kahōkū Lindsey-Asing, Jacob Aki along with Maori TV Anchorman Piripi Taylor (center) and fellow Hawaiian Ikaika Bantolina (right end). - Photo: Courtesy of Honey Maltin-Wisot
Photo: Culture 2020 Commision delegation
Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture 2020 Commission delegation to Aotearoa members: Michael Pili Pang, Misty Kelaʻi, Kahōkū Lindsey-Asing, Jacob Aki along with Maori TV Anchorman Piripi Taylor (center) and fellow Hawaiian Ikaika Bantolina (right end). – Photo: Courtesy of Honey Maltin-Wisot

Converging of cultures

A small contingent of the Hawaiʻi State Commission on the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FestPac 2020) traveled to Aotearoa during the Kapa Haka national competition Te Matatini to share information about the upcoming festival hosted here in Honolulu June 11-27, 2020. 27 countries will bring thousands of delegates to Oʻahu‘s shores to celebrate our amazing Pacific island cultures. During the 15 days of the festival, countries will present world-class performances, arts demonstrations, and their goods to share with our local community. Go to to keep updated on the latest news on this exciting festival!

Story-telling, books, ideas and music

Photo: Book & Music Festival
This free, family-friendly event will have locally published music and books at discounted prices, cooking demos, celebrity entertainment, kids’ workshops, a used book swap, and food. – Photo: Courtesy Hawaiʻi Book & Music Festival

The 14th annual Hawaiʻi Book & Music Festival will offer two days of readings presentations and book-signings by local, national and internationally published authors, including music and hula performances by award-winning Hawaiʻi artists and hula halau.

With multiple pavilions and stages this year’s festival will feature 150 events that will display Hawaiʻi’s multicultural heritage through its literary and musical arts. This free family-friendly event welcomes all. Festival-goers can also look forward to an arrange of multi ethnic food as they take in a weekend of books, ideas, and music. This event promotes high quality programming and the promotion of literacy in a way that is fun and accessible to book and music lovers of all ages.

For more information, visit

$60 million in disaster relief for Hawai‘i Island’s Kilauea destruction

Photo: Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift zone
Helicopter overflight of Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift zone on May 19, 2018. – Photo: U.S. Geological Survey

On February 8, 2019, the House Public Safety, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee and three other House committees passed HB 1180 which provides $60 million in disaster relief for Hawai‘i Island following the destruction casted last year by the Kilauea eruption.

Of the $60 million, $20 million is to be set aside in a state grant and $40 million is designated for a state loan with an expected payback from the federal government. The spending of funds are subject to the Hawaiʻi County Council approval. The state has already provided $22 million in emergency funds for Hawaiʻi Island disaster relief totaling the package at $82 million.

The bill has support from the House, Senate lawmakers and leadership, the Hawaiʻi County Council, and the Ige Administration and now moves to the House of FInance Committee where Chair Sylvia J. Luke has said she would expedite it.

The eruption back in May started on the third and eventually destroyed 716 homes and covered nearly 14 square miles in the Puna region of Hawaiʻi Island.

Deadline to apply to summer Conservation Leadership Program soon

Photo: Nā Hua Ho‘ohuli i ka Pono Summer Program participant
Participants gain a broad understanding of conservation work on Maui through hands on learning with experts in the field.- Photo: Courtesy Nā Hua Hoʻohuli i ka Pono

The Nā Hua Hoʻohuli i ka Pono Summer Program deadline is approaching! The program offers participants the opportunity to learn valuable skills in environmental ethics to prepare them for their future career protecting Maui‘s natural resources.

There will be five positions this Summer 2019 term with the following agencies: Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, Maui Invasive Species Committee, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project, and The Nature Conservancy. This eight-week program will run from June 10th to August 2, 2019. Members will work 40 hours per week and earn a bi-weekly living allowance of $800 before taxes.

Upon their term completion, members are also eligible to earn a $1,252 AmeriCorps award toward education expenses. Summer participants will also attend the Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference on O‘ahu, all expenses paid, in July 2019.

For more information and to obtain a application packet, visit or contact the Program Manager at or call at (808) 727-2184.

Accepting Applications for Carpentry Program

Photo: Carpenter
Hawaiian Carpentry Program designed to help Hawaiians jump start their career in carpentry. – Photo: Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement

The Hawaiian Trades Academy Carpentry Program is now open for enrollment. The 11-week program is designed to prepare and situate Native Hawaiians in the trade industry by providing students with training and certifications for an array of vocational jobs. Classes will be available in Waimānalo, Papakōlea and Kapolei with a $50 fee for all participants required on the first day of class. The fee will be refunded on the last day of class if the attendance requirement is met. The carpentry program is sponsored by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) in partnership with the Kapili Like Program and Aloha United Way. To register visit or call 808-529-1632.

‘Aha Pūnana Leo Accepting Applications for Preschool Program

ʻAha Pūnana Leo is welcoming ʻohana with three- and four-year olds to apply for its Pūnana Leo Preschool Hawaiian medium programs. Keiki will learn to speak Hawaiian within three to four months. The Pūnana Leo emphasizes the transmission of the Hawaiian language in a family-based cultural environment. Visit to learn more about the internationally recognized Pūnana Leo preschool programs located statewide. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2019.