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Danny Kaopuiki's

Kama`aina Profile

April 2008

Seattle Center

Every year, the City of Seattle honors its many and very diverse ethnic communities through festival celebrations at the Seattle Center complex in downtown Seattle. Called the Safeco Insurance Festal (2008), the Festal (characteristic of a holiday or feast) is intended to showcase the richness and diversity of the myriad of cultures that have helped make Seattle one of the best places to live in the world. The twenty plus festivals include events presented by or on behalf of groups representing, among others, the Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French-American, Korean, Hispanic, Turkish, Hmong, Croatian, Filipino and Vietnamese people of Seattle.

Until now, there has never been such a Festival at the Seattle Center expressly honoring the culture of Hawaiians who now call the State of Washington their home! On August 10, 2008 there will finally be a day at the Seattle Center where we all can proudly celebrate and share our Hawaiian culture (through song, dance, exhibits and vendors) with the 10,000-15,000 people who visit the Seattle Center on most Sundays in the summer!

This month, I want to Profile an event (the August 10, 2008 “Live Aloha....A Hawaiian Cultural Festival”) that will have significant impact on perpetuating Aloha and our Hawaiian culture here in our ainahanai (adopted homeland)! Concurrently, I want to recognize members of the Festival planning group who are volunteering their time and talents towards making this a memorable event for everyone!

The Festival planning group includes some of our Pacific NW most active doers! Ben Baker (President of the Moku`aina A Wakinikona Hawaiian Civic Club) will be the Program and Entertainment Coordinator. Sharmayne Schilling (Lokahi Hawaiian Club President) assisted by attorney Fred Whang will be the Vendor Coordinator. Leilani Lovell (Moku`aina Hawaiian Civic Club/Wakinikona Hawaiian Club) will be the Workshop Coordinator. Dina Manatad (Marketing Director for the Silverdale, WABeach Hotel) will be the Marketing Coordinator. Fred Whang and Reidar Smith (National Association of Pacific Americans) will be coordinating the very important Sponsorship and Donations effort. Russ Hayes (Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association/NW Region) will be the Finance Coordinator while Kiha Kinney (President of the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association/NWR) will coordinate the Volunteer program for the event! Among others who are helping in our efforts are local Hawaiian musicians Bernie Simeona, Dickie Kinimaka and Peter Tabali, Aunty Emma Sarono and Lulu Awa`a (Moku`aina Hawaiian Civic Club), and Boy Chun Fook (President Pacific NW Outrigger Canoe Association). Angela Manke and I will be the Event Producers/Lead Administrators.

Our Festival planning group is extremely excited about this rare opportunity for Hawaiians to celebrate and share our culture with the people of Seattle! It is anticipated that if our August 10, 2008 Hawaiian Cultural Festival at the Seattle Center is successful, the event will continue on an annual basis. At this point, our vision for the event this year is that the Festival will start at 11:00 a.m. with an opening Oli followed by a Blessing of the day’s events followed by Hawaiian music and dancing entertainment on the Center House stage running continuously until the Festival ends at 7:00 p.m. that evening. There will be at least sixteen vendors and/or exhibit booths inside on the Center House main floor plus workshops located on the upper floor of the Center House. We are planning to have Hawaiian food vendors located outside the entryways to the Center House and if there is enough interest from you (members of our Wakinikona/Washington State Hawaiian communities), we hope to have enough entertainers and vendors to have a second stage for entertainers plus more vendor booths in the area immediately outside the Center House. We will be requesting that our First Nation Ohana (American Native Tribal members) participate with us in our opening ceremonies.

There has never been a greater opportunity for our State of Washington Hawaiian communities to showcase the various elements of our Hawaiian culture to thousands upon thousands of people in one day! It is an opportunity for many of the “lesser known” artists among us to display/demonstrate their various talents and I am extending an invitation to you to come join us whether it is to sing or dance or sell/exhibit your unique Hawaiian items (jewelry/clothing/quilts/books/et al)! You will need to have pre-approval from our planning committee to be a vendor/exhibitor/or part of the entertainment program. Just contact me (email kaopu831@hotmail.com or phone 206-361-0646) or one of the Event Coordinators and let us know that you’d like to be a part of our very special day!

While our Festival planning group is doing much of the critical planning and coordination work, I want to recognize two people without whom our “Live Aloha... A Hawaiian Cultural Festival 2008” would not have been possible. Steve Sneed (Director of Cultural Programs, Seattle Center Productions) offered us the opportunity to do our Festival on August 10, 2008 but it was Angela Manke ( Kailua, Oahu; KS ’99, Cultural Programs Administrative Specialist for Mr Sneed) who first proposed the possibility of a Hawaiian Day Festival to Mr Sneed!

Mahalo Steve......you da Man! Mahalo nui Angela.....you da Wahine!

Until next time...be kind to each other............me ke Aloha pumehana..........Danny


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