Big Island musicians receive fellowships

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Hawaii Island musicians Robi Kahakalau and Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole are among 12 recipients of the national Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s inaugural 2015 Native Hawaiian Artist Fellowships.

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Hawaii Island musicians Robi Kahakalau and Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole are among 12 recipients of the national Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s inaugural 2015 Native Hawaiian Artist Fellowships.

The 12 Native Hawaiian artists chosen for the awards were among more than 150 applicants throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the continental United States who went through a rigorous selection process The fellowships honor exceptional Native Hawaiian artists who have made a significant impact in the fields of visual arts, dance, music and traditional arts.

The fellowship award recipients are:

• Robert Cazimero and Vicky Takamine of Oahu and Kaui Kanakaole of Maui for dance.

• Kahakalau and Kanakaole of the Big Island and Liko Martin of Oahu for music.

• G. Umi Kai, Marques Marzan and Dalani Tanahy of Oahu for traditional arts.

• Bernice Akamine, Abigail Romanchak and Maika‘i Tubbs of Oahu for visual arts.

“NACF is proud to be honoring these 12 talented kanaka maoli,” said Lulani Arquette, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation president/CEO, and a Native Hawaiian. “They exemplify great strength and creative expression in their work that many have been developing for most of their life — the rigor and commitment in their arts and cultural practice is admirable.

”There were many qualified candidates and I wish we could have awarded everyone.”

The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation is grateful for the support of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Leonard and Rose Freeman Family Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation.

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Since 2010, the foundation has supported 136 native artists and organizations in 26 states, including awards to the Hula Preservation Society, the Moku O Keawe Foundation, Kahilu Theatre, the Pa‘i Foundation and the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus.

To learn more, visit www.nativeartsandcultures.org.