Honolulu, HI – On January 30th, Senator Daniel Inouye introduced legislation in the U.S. Congress to designate the Hawai’i Capital National Heritage Area for the Honolulu/Kapalama ahupua’a which covers Kakak’ako, Downtown, Nuuanu and Kapalama. The bill (S.359) was co-sponsored by Senator Daniel Akaka.
Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. at the entrance of Ali’iolani Hale (by the King Kamehameha Statue), there will be a ceremony to announce this exciting initiative. Senator Inouye will be there to discuss the Congressional legislation and plans for the future of the Hawai’i Capital National Heritage Area.
The designation will bring together the many cultural treasures that define our Capital area into one cohesive district. “I have introduced a bill to establish a Hawaii Capital National Heritage Area to properly recognize it as one of America’s defining historic and cultural landscapes. With such a
prestigious designation will come a small measure of federal funds to support meaningful preservation and promotional activities. It will be the first site in Hawai’i. I cannot imagine a better proposed area, from ‘Iolani Palace, the majestic statue of Kamehameha the Great, to our State Capital and beyond, all rich with Hawai’i’s history and heritage.” said Senator Daniel Inouye.
The effort to apply for National Heritage Area designation has been a unique collaborative effort by the Hawai’i Capital Cultural Coalition (HCCC), an innovative nonprofit partnership of arts and cultural organizations, businesses, government agencies and service organizations.
“In an effort to strengthen and share Hawai’i’s cultural identities and values, our coalition’s goal is to help create a platform in which both the stories of our indigenous Hawaiian ancestors and multicultural society may be honored. We believe the critical components of a healthy, thriving and
creative society are to understand, appreciate and sustain culture, heritage, the arts and nature,” said Mona Abadir, president of the HCCC board of directors. “We are deeply grateful to Senator Daniel Inouye for his leadership on this bill and trust that Congress will recognize its great value to
us and our nation.”
The National Heritage Area designation would be supported through the National Park Service, but locally managed. It is important to note, the NPS has no regulatory authority over the designation.
This designation provides federal resources and funding up to 10 Million dollars over ten years, with a maximum of 1M per year, with matching non-federal funds required. Other National Heritage Areas have shown the funding investment and the promotion of cultural tourism has greatly benefited the designated area.
From mountain to ocean, the ahupua’a defining Hawai’i Capital National Heritage Area has numerous globally recognized museums and historic buildings, a variety art galleries and performing art venues, ethnic markets and restaurants, and diverse nationally recognized businesses and government bodies each offering a variety of services, activities, events and
experiences set in a naturally beautiful, historic heart on the island of ‘Oahu.
The Hawai’i Capital Cultural Coalition, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, seeks to strengthen the rich heritage and cultural treasures of central Honolulu to enhance quality of life and generate economic development for Hawai’i by fostering connections and partnerships that support and promote the area’s arts and cultural institutions; increase access to residents of ollaborative educational programs to preserve Hawai’i’s heritage; enhance the visitor and resident experience and services of the area; and to encourage support of businesses and appropriate cultural tourism.
For more information on the Hawai’i Capital Cultural Coalition, its National Heritage Area initiative and a free on line copy of the feasibility study, or to participate in the coalition – please visit: www.Hawaiicapitalculture.org or email: hcccinfo@Hawai’icapitalculture.org