A festival to honor Hawai’i’s last reigning monarch, Queen Lili'uokalani

On September 11, 1976, the Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society, Inc. organized a festival to honor Hawai’i’s last reigning monarch, Queen Lili’uokalani. The day-long event was held at A’ala Park and featured multi-ethnic dance performances, Hawaiian crafts demonstrations, a pageant of Hawai’i’s mo’i wahine, and the first keiki hula competition.

KPC&A’s program coordinator Wendell Silva, along with committee chairman George Naope, envisioned a competition where children could share their achievements in hula while learning about Queen Lili’uokalani, her ‘ohana and Hawai’i’s historical past. The competition was created for youngsters 6 to 12 years of age in “hula ‘auana” only. On the 11th day in September 1976, six groups entered the first Queen Lili’uokalani Keiki Hula Competition.

After two years, the competition moved indoors to the Farrington High School auditorium to provide the dancers with a better venue to showcase their talents. Over the next few years, the competition added the soloists and hula kahiko categories, a separate division for the keiki kane, and the Hawaiian language critique.

The Queen Lili’uokalani Keiki Hula Competition is held annually at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena in July.

Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society, Inc.

The Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society, Inc. is located in the old Oahu Railway & Land Building. Built in 1914, the building was used for offices and document storage.

The Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society, Inc. (KPC&A) is a non-profit community-based organization with a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. The Society was first organized under the Model Cities Program and incorporated in 1972 for the purpose of providing education, training, and services in the area of culture and arts. Although KPC&A’s primary target is the underprivileged population residing in the Kalihi-Palama area, special projects are provided on a statewide basis.

KPC&A offers affordable and accessible ethnic dance classes at various facilities located within the Kalihi-Palama district. KPC&A reaches over 800 youth annually by providing free after-school activities. See classes.

KPC&A sponsors two annual cultural events: The Queen Lili’uokalani Keiki Hula Competition and the Malia Craver Hula Kahiko Competition. Another project was the documentation of 135 hula resources who reveal interesting stories of their hula lineage and philosophies. Their interviews along with photographs were compiled into two large format books titled, “Nana I Na Loea Hula” (Look to the Hula Resources) Volumes I and II. A limited number of Volume II is available for sale at our office.

KPC&A receives funding from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the Hawai’i State Legislature.

Private donations are considered tax deductible.

For more information, call (808) 521-6905 or email info@kpcahawaii.com