Kona Historical Society Awarded $800K in GIA Grants

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Kona Historical Society (KHS) has been awarded two grants by the State of Hawai‘i’s Grant-in-Aid (GIA) program for the upcoming fiscal year, including $600,000 to support the construction of an art museum in Kona and $200,000 to fund education and outreach programs.

The long-awaited art museum will be constructed as a 19th-century ranch building featuring a modern gallery space. The building will be located alongside the historic H.N. Greenwell Store Museum in Kealakekua, and enable KHS to feature and display its own collections, as well as loaned exhibits provided by museums throughout the state and nation.

The second award of $200,000 will support a large-scale KHS exhibit inspired by the `Olelo No`eau, “E Hele Me Ka Pūʻolo: Bring Your Gifts Wherever You Go.” The project’s focus emphasizes ethnic contributions in Kona.

“Last year, at a meeting for strategic planning for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts with Hawai‘i Island museum leaders, artists, and cultural professionals, the key need that was identified was gallery space and museum venues on Hawai‘i Island,” said Kona Historical Society Executive Director, Joy Holland. “We’re so thrilled to finally see this dream of the Kona Museum gallery come to fruition.”


Rep. Nicole Lowen of District 6 was the chair of the GIA committee, which approved KHS’s proposal along with some 150 other nonprofit projects serving communities throughout the state. Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair Donavan Dela Cruz and House Finance Committee Chair Sylvia Luke oversaw the committees’ work to approve the GIA awards.

“Kona Historical Society is one of the few organizations that provides opportunities for cultural enrichment in West Hawai‘i,” said Rep. Lowen. “I appreciate the work they do with schools, community groups and visitors to keep the rich history of Kona alive. The gallery project will give West Hawai‘i its first non-commercial, permanent space for this kind of exhibition, and I was very pleased to be able to help Kona Historical Society to secure this grant.”


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