ArtspaceHawaii

Hawaii’s PA’I Foundation and Artspace collaborate to develop new live/work space for local artists.

PA‘I Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian cultural tradition for future generations, invited Artspace in 2009 to help PA‘I explore the space needs of Hawaiian artists. This original partnership was facilitated and funded by the Ford Foundation.

Under the guidance of PA‘I executive director Vicky Takamine, Artspace met with and learned from many artists and arts organizations on the islands of Hawai‘i and O‘ahu. Native Hawaiian dancers, musicians, visual artists, and cultural practitioners shared with us their work, their desire for increased educational and economic opportunities, and their passion for a cultural center that will provide space for these activities.

During this process, we have focused on the culturally distinct voice and vision of the Native Hawaiian Community. This focus resulted in a shared vision with PA‘I to create a mixed-use project in Honolulu that will serve the broader Hawaiian community, by developing a traditional Hawaiian cultural center with classroom space, space for teaching and performing Hula, music, and other traditional practices, as well as affordable artist housing for Hawaiian artists and their families.

Our most recent visit in July resulted in three potential sites offered through the City of Honolulu, the Hawaiian Community Development Authority, and Kamehameha Schools. Each is located near the planned rail line. We are in the process of analyzing these sites, focusing on the fit with arts and cultural goals while also addressing city/state affordable housing, economic development, and transit-oriented development goals. PA‘I’s engagement activities and financial feasibility will guide the final selection of a site.

We anticipate constructing 70+ units of artist housing featuring high ceilings, large windows, durable surfaces, large doors, and wide hallways to accommodate a variety of creative activities. Each of the residential units will be larger than a typical affordable unit to allow for ample workspace. A roof deck will provide residents with common space and a generous gardening area. In keeping with transit-oriented developments the project will have bicycle storage and a reserved car-share parking space. The building will include a ground-floor community room available to residents of the project and the surrounding community.

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