“To take into care what is precious and sacred to indigenous people and facilitate the passing of indigenous knowledge and cultural values from one generation to another”.

The Lifework and Collective Song of Sam Kaha`i Kaai, Naue Ka Hona (The earth shakes) - E ala mai ia Kihanuilulumoku (Kihanuilulumoku awakens) This exhibit and the ancillary activities were produced by Kua`äina in collaboration with the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC). The exhibit opened for public showing at the MACC’s Schaefer International Gallery from December 1 – 31, 2006. The project included two community forums (at the MACC and the Hana Cultural Center), which featured a panel of notable Hawaiian and Maori cultural practitioners and a `Aha Awa that was attended by leaders from the Ali`i Trusts and other Native Hawaiian organizations and federal, state and county government officials. (Funded by Atherton Family Foundation, Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation, Hawai`i Tourism Authority/Maui County Product Enrichment Program and Papa Ola Lokahi).

Archives . . .

©2010 Kua`aina Associates, Inc.

Past Projects

Graphic & Layout by Rising Design Studio

Web-mistress: China Ching

Neshkinukat – California Native Artist Network. Under a subcontract with American Indian Contemporary Arts, Kua`aina Associates provided the planning, coordination and facilitation of two artists’ gatherings in 2006 - Northern & Southern California. The gatherings were designed to provide participating artists an opportunity to further their professional development through workshops on art and technology, art installation, the business of art, documenting your work and creating your artist profile. The gathering was open to Native artists of all traditional and contemporary art forms including printmakers, painters, sculptors, jewelry makers, silversmiths, writers, bead workers, digital storytellers, photographers, potters, weavers, dancers, musicians, actors, drum makers, singers, composers and poets. In addition to the two artists’ gatherings, Kua`aina Associates designed and created the Neshkinukat’s 2007 Artists’ Directory in both print and web format. The production of the directory included over-site activities of the artists’ profiles and working with two associates – web designer and graphic artist. (Funded by the Ford Foundation)

Sam Kaai with the original ancestor figures he carved for the Hawaiian Voyaging canoe, Hokule`a

Photographer unknown

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Kua`aina Associates, Inc.
Assisting indigenous communities through program development & special projects

The California Indian Conference 25th Anniversary Celebration “Retrospectives and Perspectives”

For the last quarter century the exchange of knowledge and perspectives has been the hallmark of the annual California Indian Conference (CIC). This Anniversary Celebration will highlight 25 years of achievements in CA Indian cultural renewal and retrieval. The conference will be held on October 14 - 16, 2010 at  the University of CA, Irvine (UCI) and be attended by tribal leaders, elders, cultural bearers, museum administrators, California Parks personnel, environmentalists, and educators from elementary to institutions of higher learning, independent scholars, private archaeologists and students of California Indian studies. Kua`aina Associates will be facilitating the coordination  of the conference programs and logistics.

Graphic Design by artist L Frank Manriquez


Fall 2012 to Spring 2013

“I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.” Rosa Parks

Twelve juniors from the Berkeley High School Arts and Humanities Academy (AHA) had the unique opportunity to be mentored by master printmaker, Emmanuel C. Montoya in the creation of a series of color lino-cut prints. These high school artists attended after-school studio instruction and off-campus activities. The objective was to create an opportunity for the students to create “art for the pubic”. Through a partnership with Rose Park’s Elementary School in West Berkley, CA - a low-income and cultural diverse community - the AHA students facilitate a brain storming session with the 5th grade students to formulate ideas for a series of linocut print designs inspired by Rosa Park’s quote. The AHA artists under the direction of Mr. Montoya also conduct a print workshop with the Rose Park 5th grade students to introduce them to the medium of printmaking. This project provided the AHA a real hands-on community participatory public art experience. The series of prints they create become a permanent installation at Rosa Park Elementary School for the West Berkeley community to enjoy and call their own.

Juntos Creamos/Together We Create” is made possible by a grant from the San Francisco Foundation’s Koshland Program www.sff.org

AHA Artists: Breanna Bayba, Brian Casimiro, Johanna Greenspun,

Molly Rosentahal, Olver Barton, Sheril Kumar and Sophie Hartnett

Help Us Carry the Legacy of Excellence in

Indigenous Art & Culture

The Emerging Indigenous Voices: A New Generation of Artists was a artist residency that involved thirteen artists, ages 21 to early 30s from the following indigenous cultures: American Indian: Ojibwe, Navajo, Colville and Seneca; First Nations: Métis; Maori, Native Hawaiian, Tongan, Puerto Rican/Taíno and Chicano. These artists were selected based on their extraordinary skills at expressing their talents through artwork influenced by the hip-hop subculture and/or socio-political commentary art and their commitment to the preservation of their cultures and people.

With a team of faculty of Native artists from an array of cultural backgrounds and artistic genres, Kua`aina designed a program to ensure that these emerging artists gain the mentorship and support for their continued success. Most commendable our project was based on indigenous perspectives of learning. By doing this, each artist had the opportunity to exam and explore through lecture and active learning, indigenous approaches in design, understanding of the concept of indigenous visual sovereignty through an overview of “Contemporary Native Art History” and a comprehension of the language of “art criticism and theory” as a means in knowing how to verbally express their own work. Through professional development workshops, these artists explored entrepreneurship and the arts, how to document their work and collaborate with galleries, how to work with museum collections and utilize research methods. Thereby, ensuring that these emerging artists gain a practical understanding of today’s art world thus equipped with the tools to advance their art through an outreach program unbounded by conventional gallery walls.

Mural Panels by the artists

Orlando Reyes - Mural Instructor


San Francisco - Summer 2013