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Hirono Announces Over $400,000 in Federal Funding for Hawaii Art Organizations

~ NEA grant recipients include Bishop Museum, Maui County, and others ~

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) announced that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is awarding grants totaling $423,000 to Hawaii groups and organizations to promote the arts across the islands. The recipients include the Bishop Museum; Hawaii Women in Filmmaking; Honolulu Biennial Foundation; Honolulu Theatre for Youth; Moanalua Gardens Foundation Inc.; PAI Foundation; Tau Dance Theater; the County of Maui; Hana Arts; Hawaii Forest Institute; Holani Hana Inc.; and Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society.

“Through its many forms, art has the power to connect us by inspiring, engaging, and providing a sense of cultural identity,” said Senator Hirono. “I have consistently championed participation in the arts and I am glad to see this NEA funding coming to Hawaii to help support diverse creative projects throughout our state, making art more accessible in our communities.”

The NEA grants in Hawaii include:

  • Bishop Museum: $40,000 to support an exhibition to promote cultural celebration in art from Hawaii and the Oceanic diaspora;
  • Hawaii Women in Filmmaking: $30,000 to support the production of Reel Wahine of Hawaii, a documentary short film series that celebrates Hawaii women working in the film industry;
  • Honolulu Biennial Foundation: $50,000 to support the Hawaii Triennial 2025, an arts festival including an exhibition and educational programming;
  • Honolulu Theatre for Youth: $60,000 to support the development and production of “The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac”;
  • Moanalua Gardens Foundation, Inc.: $43,000 to support the annual Prince Lot Hula Festival;
  • PAI Foundation: $40,000 to support the design development of a Native Hawaiian cultural arts center in Honolulu;
  • Tau Dance Theater: $15,000 to support capacity-building for Native Hawaiian dance artists engaging with their communities;
  • County of Maui, Hawaii: $30,000 to support Hui Moolelo, a local art agency that pairs intergenerational storytellers to create the foundation for public art projects that celebrate the history, culture and sense of place of distinct Maui neighborhoods;
  • Hana Arts: $30,000 to support the Hana Arts Academy, a multidisciplinary arts education program for youth;
  • Hawaii Forest Institute: $10,000 to support the Woodshow, an annual exhibition featuring the work of Hawai`i's most talented wood artists, including furniture, musical instruments, accessories, and sculpture;
  • Holani Hana, Inc.: $65,000 to support an apprenticeship and training program in traditional Native Hawaiian architecture and building techniques; and
  • Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society: $10,000 to support a free classical concert for K-12 students.

This funding is part of the NEA’s first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2024, funding more than $32 million in grants to support the arts across the country. The categories for these grants include Grants for Arts Projects, Challenge America, Research Grants in the Arts, and Research Labs. In addition to these grants, the NEA has also announced literature fellowships, including Creative Writing Fellowships in prose and fellowships to support translation projects.