She grew up in Kailua, Oahu, graduated from the Kamehameha Schools in 1999 and then from the University of Washington in 2003. To the benefit of the entire Hawaiian community in the Seattle area, she has decided to make Seattle her home away from Hawaii, at least for now! It is difficult to find one single word that appropriately fits her but FIVE words that describe her perfectly are “Hawaiian......and proud of it!”
I have known her for several years but it has only been in the past few months that I have had the pleasure of knowing her “up close and personal” and I can vouch for the fact that she is “Hawaiian.....and proud of it”! I and several key members of the Seattle/Tacoma area Hawaiian community have been working with her for the past several months on a project that she helped name “Live Aloha....A Hawaiian Cultural Festival” scheduled for Sunday September 7, 2008 at the Seattle Center!.
Meet Angela Kapeka Kamamalukukuiokalani`ena Manke!
For over twenty years, the City of Seattle has celebrated the cultural diversity of its population by sponsoring a series of Cultural Festivals. Over twenty ethnic groups have their respective one-to-three-day festivals every year. Angela started working for SteveSneed, Managing Artistic Director for the Cultural Programs at the Seattle Center in October 2007 and immediately realized that there was not (and never had been) a festival at the Seattle Center dedicated expressly to the Hawaiian population in Seattle.She was able to persuade her boss to consider having a Hawaiian festival and thus the2008 “Live Aloha....A Hawaiian Cultural Festival” was born.
Angela Manke is like a movie director who selects the cast, then directs and coordinates their efforts so that the end product is a successful event. She is very bright and has a sense of “togetherness/maturity” that belies her relative youth. She is detail-oriented and a very hard worker who, most importantly, gets things done! I watched her in a meeting of some of Seattle’s most prestigious Ethnic Leaders/Cultural Event Coordinators and she was one of the key resources for providing information/feedback to the group which she did concisely, completely and with a diplomacy that again belies the fact that she is young and new at her job!
Previously, I had dubbed her in my Holoholo columns as “the singing waitress of Seattle’s Kona Kitchen restaurant” because she is a part-time waitress there, is a great singer and is called on to sing when Hawaiian groups perform there. Her musical talent stretches from singing such traditional Hawaiian “oldies but goodies” as I Ali`i No Oe ala “Amy Hanaiali`i” but she can just as easily switch to her keyboard or ukulele and sing more contemporary songs in the style of Keahiwai or Roots Odyssey. Angela was leader of the young Hawaiian group “Mystic Rising” which played at the Ohana restaurant in Seattle for many years.
Angela’s childhood dream was to be like her dad Jim Manke whose career included being an on-air/radio news personality, Director of Public Affairs for the University of Hawaii and public relations director for Hawaii’s former Governor John Waihee. But while she truly enjoys being center stage with her musical performances, Angela decided after a few classes at the UW that the radio/TV news field was not for her. Instead she has chosen to emulate both her parents and work with a governmental agency. Angela’s mom, Joan Adams Manke, worked for years on the late Congresswoman Patsy Mink’s staff and is currently on Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman’s cabinet as Director for Neighborhood Commissions. Jim Manke was born in Texas but grew up in Wahiawa. He is an Iolani HS alumnus who, in his time, was one of the few haoles in Iolani but was so popular that he was the 1958 Senior Class President.Angela’s brother Eric Manke is at the U of Hawaii studying film-making and does a lot of acting in Honolulu community theaters! Angela’s Hawaiian genealogy goes back on her maternal side to grandmother Elizabeth Duenas Adams and to great grandmother Elizabeth Kapeka Maunakea.
Angela Manke adamantly emphasizes that the September 7, 2008 “Live Aloha....A Hawaiian Cultural Festival” is an event that would not be possible without the devotion of time and talent from outstanding local area Hawaiian community leaders like Leilani Lovell, Aunty Emma Sarono, Ben Baker, Lulu Awa`a, Peter and Keanu Tabali, Fred Whang, Sharmayne Schilling, Kiha Kinney, Russ Hayes, Terry Uemura, Dina Manatad, Boy Chun Fook, Dickie Kinimaka plus all themusicians,dancers and volunteers who will also donate their time and talents at the Festival!
Angela is correct, that all who contribute to the Festival deserve recognition but after all is said and done, we need to recognize that Angela took that initial step which made our first ever Hawaiian Cultural Festival at the Seattle Center possible!
“Mahalo Angela Manke......you da Man !”
Until next time, be kind to each other......me ke Aloha pumehana..............Danny