HEART of Kohala


Heart of Kohala is a Community Arts Planning and Design project that is hosting listening sessions in the community, developing asset mapping tools, and catalyzing arts engagement for all ages and arts abilities. Managed by One Island, we appreciate the support of the National Endowment for the Arts to guide this valuable arts placemaking project.


FALL 2018: Community Listening Session and Visioning at the North Kohala Public Library, October 22nd, 6-8pm

park group 3 wPlease join us in considering public cultural uses for the central greenspace in Hawi that has been purchased by the County.

What are possible / best uses? How can public commons areas enhance community connections and pride of place? What is missing from North Kohala that might be a benefit if created here? Are there public art events or small structures that would enhance community life? Who could such a park space serve? How can all ages be engaged? What would the impacts of a new public park space be?

Public input is welcome and will be included in a forthcoming Cultural Plan document recording public needs and interests in the Cultural Arts.



rick mural 25Community Cultural Arts Celebrations – bringing the community together to embrace the arts and plan for future Arts events and public art installations has been great fun. From the public library to Kamehameha Park, from the street strolls in Hawi, to the Senior Center to the High School JAMboree, we’ve been reaching out to local residents from all walks of life.


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The Launch of Heart of Kohala – October 2nd, 2017, was at the North Kohala Public Library. Over 60 artists brought visual art, woodworking, music, dance, Hawaiian kapa making, glass, furniture making, fiber arts, ceramics, student art, taiko drumming, poetry, short plays, juggling, ukulele demonstrations and more – plus great food!



 About Heart of Kohala

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Great News for the Arts! On June 14th, 2017, following a nationwide competition, the National Endowment for the Arts announced the selection of the HEART of Kohala project, the only NEA project funded this year on an outer island. Sponsored by One Island Sustainable Living and working in conjunction with local arts and writers’ groups, the HEART of Kohala now invites artists in all media and community leaders to join a vital community conversation about the past, present and future of the arts in Kohala.



honu 4VIDEO #1 – Discover Kohala’s Cultural Arts Story in this 5 minute video, music by Makana.





amphitheater 1 lVIDEO #2 – Explore the Goals of the Heart of Kohala in this 5 minute video, music by John Keawe.





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The HEART of Kohala is a Community Planning and Design project that aims to identify existing and potential arts assets in a remote, rural district on the Island of Hawaii. Through a series of small group listening circles, public forums and design sessions, the project will guide the community through an arts identification, future arts infrastructure mapping, and place making design process to enhance the livability of North Kohala.




“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
Thomas Merton



Strengthening Kohala’s Identity as an Arts Community

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The HEART of Kohala is an opportunity to evoke the beauty, mystery and wonder that the arts bring to our lives. Over the next two years, the community will be invited to participate in a series of conversations, history tellings, and future visioning that deepens Kohala’s connection to the arts.


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kamehameha dayAs a multi-cultural community, with a deeply rooted agricultural heritage, it is very important that all cultural groups in Kohala be involved in the planning process. Kohala also has a strong environmental protection and open space protection ethic that has set aside breathtaking lands and vistas for future generations.




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The HEART of Kohala creates a safe and supportive container for Coming Together. Listening to One Another. Envisioning the Future Together.






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The goal of the project is to strengthen ‘place making’ through the design of new public art spaces and events that weave the arts into every day life and celebrate the special character of Kohala and its natural environment.


char6Through this inclusive process the project will give voice to – and provide listening opportunities for – cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.

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Outcomes will be the first arts plan, art infrastructure map, and design model of potential multi-cultural public ‘Art Park’ spaces and open space ‘Arts Walkways’ where permanent and temporary visual and performance arts touch the heart of Kohala.


Discover More about The HEART of Kohala:


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Visions for Art Park / Art Walk Sites (web)

HEART of Kohala in the News:

One Island Newsletter, June 2017

Kohala Mountain News, June 2017, see page 20; Sept 2017 pg 4, Oct 2017 pg 11; Nov 18 pg 9; Jan 2018 pg 20; March 2018 pg 12;



Photo credits: Anna Flint, Malia Welch, Donna Maltz, Marcy Montgomery

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