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OHA awards grant to Napili Kai Foundation

By Staff | May 20, 2010

Napili Kai Foundation keiki perform every Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. in the Aloha Pavilion at Napili Kai Beach Resort, 5900 Lower Honoapiilani Road.

WEST MAUI — The Office of Hawaiian Affairs recently named the Napili Kai Foundation a 2010 recipient of the Community Grants Program in its Kauhale category.

The grants program assists nonprofit organizations working to address the needs of the Hawaiian community. 

The award will help extend the foundation’s cultural legacy of Hawaii program to children ages 6-18 and include an extended and modified program for residents of the Hawaiian Homelands in Lahaina’s Villages of Leiali‘i. There are currently 400 Hawaiian residents in Leiali‘i, and their keiki will be invited to participate.

At the conclusion of the workshops, and with the purchase of additional hula implements made possible by the unspecified OHA grant, the Napili Kai Foundation will be able to offer membership in its year-round program to the keiki of Leiali‘i and serve more West Side children. 

For the past 44 years, the nonprofit Napili Kai Foundation has helped to perpetuate the cultural legacy of Hawaii by providing year-round instruction, free of charge, for up to 45 children ages 6-18. The instruction includes the dance, language, history, arts and crafts of Hawaii and Polynesia. 

Keiki receive after school classes once a week by an experienced kumu from one of Hawaii’s most distinguished performing families with an emphasis on understanding the language and meaning of the dances. 

One evening per week, the keiki put on a public performance in a pavilion at Napili Kai Beach Resort. The culturally vibrant presentations are enhanced by the use of authentic musical implements, costumes and live music.  

Once a month, the children receive further instruction in language, history, crafts, cooking and Hawaiian documentary movies. Several times a year, they also participate in community and statewide cultural events.

In addition to year-round instruction, Napili Kai Foundation also offers a number of annual scholarships of up to $3,000 that help NKF graduates continue their college education. 

The foundation’s public performances represent the longest-running keiki hula show in Hawaii. The organization is proud that 99 percent of its graduates go on to higher education.

For more information on the Napili Kai Foundation, contact President Lou Ross at 669-8384 or visit www.napilikaifoundation.com.