HTA Awards Funding to Hawaiian Cultural Programs

Posted on Oct 9, 2019 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) announced today it is awarding funding to 43 programs in the Hawaiian Islands through its Kukulu Ola program for the 2020 calendar year, an increase from 28 recipients in 2019. This is in addition to the 95 programs and events HTA is funding through its Community Enrichment program, and 34 programs through its Aloha Aina program, which were announced last month. The money comes from tourism dollars through the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT), which people pay when they stay in legal accommodations throughout the state.


HTA’s Kukulu Ola program funds community-based nonprofit organizations which represent cultural practitioners, craftsmen, musicians and artists committed to perpetuating and strengthening a broader understanding and appreciation of the Hawaiian culture.


One of HTA’s goals is to reinvest in the Hawaiian community. Without it, Hawaii would be like any other island destination in the world. The uniqueness and authenticity of the Hawaiian culture and community are integral to the sustainability of our home.


HTA issued a request for proposals on May 2 with the deadline of July 5 to submit applications. HTA staff held informational briefings about the submission process on all six islands during the month of May.


“It’s imperative that the tourism industry recognizes the importance of perpetuating the Hawaiian culture. The culture here is what makes the Hawaiian Islands unique and underpins the authenticity of the visitor experience. As we support these practitioners in strengthening and perpetuating cultural practices in their communities, it’s important for tourism to do its part to give back,” said Kalani Kaanaana, HTA’s Director of Hawaiian Cultural Affairs.


Note to media: Interviews with Kalani Kaanaana and an awardee are available upon request.

Click here to download a few photos of the Kukulu Ola program awardees.


Full List of HTA 2020 Kukulu Ola Awardees:



  • Aha Kane Foundation for the Advancement of Native Hawaiian Males
  • Hoa Hou
  • Awaiaulu, Inc.
  • Mahuahua Translation Training Project: Phase IV
  • Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences, Inc.
  • Steel Guitar Festivals (Kauai, Maui, Hawaii Island)
  • Hawaii Museums Association
  • Makau Moomeheu: Cultural Competence in Hawaii’s Museums
  • Hula Preservation Society
  • Bringing Hula Kii To Life
  • Polynesian Voyaging Society
  • Preparing for Moananuiakea: Exploring the Pacific


  • Bishop Museum
  • Living Hawaiian Culture: An Expanded Platform for Cultural Practitioners
  • City & County of Honolulu, Department of Parks and Recreation
  • 93rd Annual Lei Day Celebration
  • Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
  • Noeau Series
  • Friends of Ka Leo Hawaii Media
  • Ka Leo: The Voice of Hawaii (KKNE 940AM)
  • Hawaiian Islands Land Trust
  • Maunawila Heiau Preservation & Education Program
  • Hikaalani
  • Pai Puke
  • Hookuaaina
  • Kukuluhou Internship Program
  • Hui Aloha Aina Momona
  • Kapu ka Haloa
  • Kalihi Palama Culture and Arts Society
  • 45th Annual Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition
  • Kauluakalana
  • Pili Mai 2020
  • Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
  • Ka Lahui o Ka Po (Birthing a Nation)
  • Makauila, Inc.
  • Mele Ma Ka Lihiwai
  • Mailikukahi Aina Momona Academy
  • Koolau Aina Momona
  • Muolaulani
  • I Lea Ka Hula 2020: Celebrating Culture, Preserving Traditions
  • PAI Foundation
  • PAI Presents
  • Ulu Ae Learning Center
  • Kapuuola Hula Festival
  • Ulu Ae Kaiaulu Project
  • YOUNG OF HEART WORKSHOP dba Puuhonua Society
  • Kipuka: A Makers’ Space

Hawaii Island

  • Edith K. Kanakaole Foundation
  • Haa – Research and Management of the Health and Wellness of Hula Dancers
  • Hawaii Forest Institute
  • Hoola Ka Makanaa o Kaupulehu
  • Hilo-Hamakua Community Development Corporation
  • Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua
  • Hui Malama i ke Ala Ulili (huiMAU)
  • HoAMa Youth Mentorship Programs
  • Pohaha I Ka Lani
  • Ka Lau o Ke Kahuli
  • University of Hawaii
  • Kukulu Ola: Na Lehua o Mokaulele
  • Volcano Art Center
  • Hula Arts at Kilauea



  • Hui Malama O Kaneiolouma
  • Uhau Humu Pohaku Reconstruction
  • Hui o Laka dba Kokee Natural History Museum
  • Eo e Emalani 2020
  • Na Kahu o Hoai, Inc.
  • Educational and Restoration Internships at Kamaloula Cultural Preserve
  • Maui
    • Hana Arts
    • Hana Legends
    • Hawaiian Kamalii, Inc. dba Hawaiian Canoe Club
    • The Pailolo Challenge 2020
    • Holani Hana, Inc.
    • Kukulu Hale Hawaii
    • Hui O Waa Kaulua
    • 28th Annual Celebration of the Arts
    • Ma Ka Hana Ka Ike
    • Na Mamo O Haloa – The Children of Haloa
    • Maui Nui Botanical Gardens
    • Increasing Capacity for Visitor and Community Activities with Hawaiian Ethnobotany
    • Unda Kava 808, Inc.
    • 2020 Maui Middle School Makahiki Championships!



    • Hula Halau O Molokai
    • Molokai Ka Hula Piko



    • Lanai Culture & Heritage Center

    Mala Noeau

  • About the Hawaii Tourism Authority

    The Hawaii Tourism Authority is the State of Hawaii agency responsible for strategically managing its support of the tourism industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawaii’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure tourism’s sustainability and the benefits it brings to residents and communities statewide.

    For more information about HTA, please visit Follow updates about HTA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (@HawaiiHTA) and its YouTube Channel.


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