Noelle Kahanu was born, raised, and educated in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Following graduation from the William Richardson School of Law (1992), Noelle served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for 5 years, where she worked on issues affecting Native Americans, including Hawaiians. She worked for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Native Hawaiian Education Council before joining Bishop Museum (1998) where she has served as cultural inventory specialist, project manager, and Director of Community Affairs. Noelle has overseen the annual Native Hawaiian Arts Market, and has developed over 20 exhibitions incorporating the works of more than 100 native artists. She was on the project team which guided the historic renovation of Hawaiian Hal (2009), and was instrumental in the 2010 landmark exhibition, E Ku Ana Ka Paia, an international gathering of the last three Ku temple images in the world. In 2012 she completed “Under a Jarvis Moon,” a documentary on the accomplishments and sacrifices of 134 young men of Hawaii who lived on remote islands in the Pacific in the years preceding World War II.
Vicky Takamine graduated as kumu hula through the ‘ūniki rituals of hula from Maiki Aiu Lake in August, 1975. Vicky established her hālau, Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima in 1977. She is also the founder and kumu hula of Papa Laua’e O Makana, on Kaua’i island. In April, 2010 Vicky officially opened an extension of her hālau in New York City, Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima o Nuioka. Vicky received her BA and MA in Dance Ethnology from the University of Hawai’i. She is a lecturer at the University of Hawai’i, Music Dept. and Leeward Community College. Vicky is recognized as a native Hawaiian leader for role as an advocate for the protection of native Hawaiian rights, social justice issues and the protection of the natural and cultural resources of Hawai’i. She is the co-founder and executive director of PA’I Foundation, an arts organization that is established to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian cultural traditions for future generations. Since 2006, PA’I has partnered with the Bishop Museum to create events and activities that highlight and showcase native Hawaiian art & cultural traditions through a month long program, MAMo: Maoli Arts Month.
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