PA’I Foundation aims to perpetuate and preserve Native Hawaiian arts and traditions

Foundation opens new arts gallery in Kaka'ako

Sponsored by Central Pacific Bank

PA’I Foundation was established in 2001 as the nonprofit organization of Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima, a halau hula (school of Hawaiian dance) founded in 1977 by kumu hula (master teacher of Hawaiian dance) Victoria Holt Takamine. Takamine is recognized as a Native Hawaiian advocate and community organizer around the issues of Native rights and the protection of the natural and cultural resources of Hawaii that are so vital to the perpetuation of Native Hawaiian cultural traditions.

“I studied hula with Aunty Maiki from the age of 12 until I ʻuniki in 1975 as Kumu Hula from her Papa ʻIlima class,” Takamine explains. “In 1977, I established Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima, my hālau hula. The name was given to my hālau by Aunty Maiki… it means the Royal ʻIlima Blossom, referencing my aliʻi lineage and graduation from her Papa ʻIlima.”

The PA’I Foundation’s mission is to preserve and perpetuate Native Hawaiian arts and cultural traditions for future generations. In pursuit of its mission, PA’I operates the PA’I Arts & Culture Center (PACC) currently located in Kapalama. A new 6,000 square foot PA’I Arts Gallery & Performing Arts Center is opening as part of the ‘Ola Ka ‘Ilima Artspace affordable artist development project in Kaka’ako.

In 2001, recognizing the need for support for Native Hawaiian artists, cultural traditions and education for the general public around issues facing Native Hawaiians, Takamine started PAʻI Foundation. The geographic reach of PA’I Foundation programming is primarily Hawaii, but PA’I cultural programming also reaches audiences in the continental United States as well as internationally.

Some of the organization’s programs include:

– Hula classes and cultural workshops

– The annual MAMo: Maoli Arts Movement with arts markets and MAMo Wearable Art Show on Oʻahu and Maui

– Intercultural Leadership Institute: Professional development programs for artists and arts organizations in partnership with First Peoples Fund (Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota), National Association of Latino Arts & Culture (San Antonio, Texas), Alternate Roots (Appalachia) and Sipp Culture (Mississippi) to provide a leadership development training program

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