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Offering the Hamakua community and the world an opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture and wisdom of Hawaii.
Offering the Hamakua community and the world an opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture and wisdom of Hawaii.
113 backers pledged $21,461 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$21,461

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UPDATE! We did it! 

But donʻt let that stop you! What if we exceed our goal? Well, first, a big ‘ole high five to you all, because hello. You did this! Each and every one of our contributors have pushed us closer and closer to realizing the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua!

Any donations above and beyond our original amount will be used — of course — to make HCCOH even better! For example:

  • $2,000 extra dollars will get us a PA System for community performances, guest artists, and lectures. 
  • With an extra $1,000 we can purchase a large tent (or two) for keeping the rain off during outdoors presentations. 
  • $1500 dollars will allow us to invest in a good camera and projector for recording and sharing events. 
  • And while amounts will vary by artist, extra funds can also go toward bringing Hawaiian cultural practitioners and/or musicians to the center and thus the community. Who would YOU like to see at HCCOH?
We have to say again: MAHALO! Without each and every one of you, we would not be here! This community and our online ‘ohana really pulled together to say that, yes, we do want a cultural center in Honoka’a. Whew!

Enrich the lands and people of Hamakua through ancient Hawaiian wisdom.

The Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua will be a multi-cultural, multi-generational community center situated in the heart of Honoka’a on the Island of Hawaii. 

It will be a space to come and deepen your connection with Hawaiian culture through community classes in arts, hula, language, history, agriculture, philosophy, and more. The center will host special events, guest speakers, community service projects, and cultural exchange programs, creating a foundation for future generations. Beyond our community, it will be a a place where visitors can learn about the history and culture of Hawaii in an authentic setting.

The historic Ujiki building features a wide-open space with vintage wooden floors smoothed over ages – perfect for bare hula feet. Here, community members will gather to dance, to learn traditional Hawaiian practices, or simply to talk story with community elders.

We intend to bring new life to this building by creating the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua to serve the community and visitors from around the world.

But here’s the thing. We need your help to make this vision a reality.

Our Vision: 

Create the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua, a multi-cultural, multi-generational center that will bring a multitude of projects and classes together under one roof.

The center will be home to:

Well-Established Programs from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono:

  • The Hula Me Ka Honua community hula group. 
  • The Manao Pono series, ten-week courses bringing culture, history, and environmental lessons to the community through traditional Hawaiian practices. 
  • Lokahi Honua cultural exchange projects.

New Community Classes:

  • ‘Ukulele. Hawaiian quilting. ‘Ohe kapala. ‘Olelo Hawaii. Our community is home to some very talented artisans and educators. The Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua will become a venue for these artisans to share their skills with the community via lessons, classes, or presentations. Artisans and educators from throughout the state will be invited to share their skills and knowledge.
  • Community educators will offer classes about balanced and nutritious diets to empower local families to incorporate healthy habits and informed food choices.
  • Wa‘a Hamakua will offer classes on traditional sailing practices and canoe building. 

Mini Museum:

  • Featuring historic memorabilia from the Hamakua Heritage collection, the center will be open to the public.
  • Visitors to the area will have another place to tour in Honoka‘a, one where they’ll gain a deeper understanding of the Hawaiian culture and maybe even get to try their hand at some Hawaiian handicrafts.

Community Outreach:

  • Casual talk story sessions with local kupuna (elders) to bring the community together and bridge generations.
  • Community gardens to improve our food security.
  • Organization of events such as the Aha Pule Aina Holo Makahiki run will have a home base for planning and organization.

Who We Are

Lanakila Manguail, a Hawaiian cultural practitioner and Honoka‘a native, has been educating the community, young and old alike, for nearly a decade. From classroom to community garden, the goal is the same: return vitality to our community and care for the land.

Fueled by Lanakila's passion for Hawaiian culture and his interest in environmental stewardship, community members have rallied together to work with him in creating the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua

E Ola Mau I Ka Pono, a long-standing community program run by Lanakila Mangauil, will manage the site and coordinate education opportunities and ongoing classes. 

The Nitty Gritty:

Our purpose in launching the center with a Kickstarter project is twofold. 

1. A facility like this is long overdue. Achieving funding through conventional avenues would slow the project down immensely. 

2. A grassroots funding effort appeals to us. We want our community, our island to feel a part of this center right from the start. This center will be built by the community, for the community.

In order to commit to leasing the Ujiki building to create the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua, we feel the need to have enough capital to cover a year’s worth of expenses. This gives us time to solidly establish ongoing streams of income to cover our monthly expenses.

Our Kickstarter goal of $20,000 covers the following expenses for one year:

  • Rent -- $13,000-$15,000
  • Insurance -- $1,000
  • Electricity -- $3,600

What if we exceed our goal? Well, blessings upon you all, that’s for sure! Any excess funding we achieve will give us the ability to do a number of things:

  • Breathe easier about continuing rent payments.
  • Offer scholarships to community members.
  • Expand efforts to educate visitors to the island.

The Future:

Once established, the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua will have the opportunity to offer after school programming to bring local keiki into the fold. This may include working hand-in-hand with the Hamakua Youth Center, a free after-school program serving at-risk children.

With the help of local cultural practitioners, we plan to create a Hawaiian artisan store, where crafters can pick up kits for simple projects or supplies like prepared lauhala for weaving. 

As our vision includes encouraging healthy living, there is potential to add a basic/simple ai pono (healthy) cafe where townspeople or visitors can stop for a quick, healthy snack or a meal made from locally sourced ingredients.

Non-Profit:

Your donation is tax-deductible thanks to the Laupahoehoe Train Museum (LTM), which is acting as fiscal agent for HCCOH, under the LTM's 501(c)-3 non-profit status.

Thank You:

E Ola Mau I Ka Pono translates to “live progressing righteously.” With the help of our community, both locally and around the world, we strive toward a more righteous and pono way of living. Your contribution will help us do that. Mahalo nui loa.

  • Image #1 - Ka Wai Ola Kane class working in the lo‘i (taro patch)
  • Image #2 - Ka Wai Ola Kane ho‘ike
  • Image #3 - Ka Wai Ola Kane class huaka‘i (field trip) to Waipi‘o Valley
  • Image #4 - Me Ka Honua hula hui
  • Image #5 - ‘Ohe kapala 
  • Image #6 - Launching Lono during the Aha Pule ‘Aina Holo (Makahiki run)
  • Image #7 - Final ho‘ike for summer program in conjunction with the Hamakua Youth Center

Risks and challenges

The owner of the Ujiki building has been patient with us as we work to secure funding for this project. There is always the risk that he will decide to rent the facility out to someone else rather than wait for us. In this case, we would be forced to find another location. While we have a few in mind as backup, none are as centrally located as the Ujiki building.

With full funding of this Kickstarter, the risks and challenges for the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua really come into play after our first year. If we do not have sufficient class enrollment or active community support, the center may not be able to sustain itself.

Knowing this, our priority upon opening the center will be to start generating income that will help us continue our work within the community long past our first year.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Mahalo to you!

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    Personal mahalo card
    +2 postcards from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono -- send them to your loved ones!

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    Personal mahalo card
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    Personal mahalo card
    +5 postcards from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono -- send them to your loved ones!
    +One 8"x11" picture from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono

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    Personal mahalo card
    +5 postcards from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono -- send them to your loved ones!
    +One 8"x11" picture from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One copy of Lanakila Mangauil's forthcoming CD!

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    +One 11"×17" poster from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono

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    Personal mahalo card
    +10 postcards from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono -- send them to your loved ones!
    +One 8"×11" picture from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One 11"×17" poster from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
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    Skype ‘ukulele lessons with one of our instructors, Brad Bordessa. While he can't guarantee to rocket you to stardom, he can help you make sense of those four strings.

    Four 45-minute sessions, once per week. Time/date will depend upon Brad's availability.

    More about Brad here: http://liveukulele.com

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    Personal mahalo card
    +20 postcards from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono -- send them to your loved ones!
    +One 8"x10" picture from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One 11"×17" poster from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One copy of Lanakila Mangauil's forthcoming CD!

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    Personal mahalo card
    +20 postcards from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono -- send them to your loved ones!
    +One 8"x10" picture from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One 11"×17" poster from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua T-shirt

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    Personal mahalo card
    +20 postcards from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono -- send them to your loved ones!
    +One 8"x10" picture from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One 11"×17" poster from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua T-shirt
    +Attend a half-day workshop with local artisans and instructors. Learn traditional skills such as ulana (weaving), kapala (printing), and Hawaiian quilting. Date and instructors TBA.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Personal mahalo card
    +20 postcards from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono -- send them to your loved ones!
    +Two 8"x10" picture from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One 11"×17" poster from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua T-shirt
    +One Handcrafted Hawaiian nose flute designed and crafted by Lanakila Mangauil

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    Personal mahalo card
    +20 postcards from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono -- send them to your loved ones!
    +Two 8"x10" picture from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One 11"×17" poster from E Ola Mau I Ka Pono
    +One Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua T-shirt
    +One Handcrafted Hawaiian nose flute designed and crafted by Lanakila Mangauil
    +All backers who pledge $1,000 or more will be invited to join us at a VIP gala to be held this summer.

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Funding period

- (60 days)