Artspace Hawaii


Funding Received: 2011
Honolulu, HI
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
June 25, 2012

Artistic impact

PA‘I Foundation, whose mission is to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian cultural tradition for future generations, and Artspace Projects, whose mission is to create, foster and preserve affordable space for artists and arts organizations, are partnering to create a mixed-use arts facility in Honolulu based on feedback from Hawaiian artists.

The project will provide 70+ affordable housing units for artists and their families and, like all Artspace projects, the building will be multi-ethnic, multi-disciplined and multi-generational. The ground floor will provide space for a native Hawaiian cultural center with classroom space, space for teaching and performing Hula, music and other traditional practices, as well as space for artistic and cultural activities and organizations that reflect other traditions.

Artspace Regional Director Cathryn Vandenbrink discusses how the project will affect the community:

VANDENBRINK:  Our work in Hawai'i will result in a permanent home for the PA'I Arts and Culture Center and a permanent creative community in one of Honolulu's fastest growing neighborhoods. Artists need space and as one might imagine affordable space on an island in the Pacific, hugely popular with tourists and visitors, is difficult to find, extremely expensive and almost impossible to keep without substantial financial resources.

Artspace is working closely with the PA'I Foundation to identify the specific needs of artists in Hawai'i. For the past 3 years Artspace has visited the islands, met with artists, arts organizations, politicians, private foundations, government agencies and community members to learn about the diverse cultural richness of the islands. In Hawai'i this early community investigation has resulted in land donated to Artspace by a state agency, support from the Governor's office, the Mayor's office and state and federal legislators. This support coupled with support from national foundations such as the Ford Foundation and ArtPlace have ensured that our work in Hawai'i is thoughtful, focused on community engagement and will result in a project that allows artists to live in a secure, predictable home without threat of market fluctuations forcing them to move.

In many of our buildings artists teach in local schools, community centers and art centers, create music, dance and theater, as well as community benefits such as childcare coops and community gardens. The creative ways in which artists contribute to the culture and health of the community is unique to each community, and the projects result in neighborhoods where citizens have the opportunity to experience, learn, execute and watch creative activities, which in turn create a hub for community engagement and all its benefits.