This is a growing list of supporters for the Mele Murals project in Hawai‘i. Mele Murals depends on the knowledge and guidance of these amazing people.
Vicky Holt Takamine
Kumu Hula, Pua Ali`i `Ilima
Vicky Holt 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 and Leeward Community College. Vicky is recognized as a native Hawaiian leader and 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 preserves and perpetuates Hawaiian cultural traditions. 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.
Leina`ala Kalama Heine
Kumu Hula, Hâlau Nâ Pualei O Likolehua
Leina’ala Kalama Heine is the Kumu Hula for Halau Na Pualei O Likolehua, which was established in 1976. She is a graduate of Margaret Maiki Souza Aiu Lake’s Papa Uniki Lehua, and also studied with Joseph Kaha`ulelio, Vicky I`i Rodrigues, Ruby Ahakuelo and others. She has participated in the Merrie Monarch as a judge and as a competitor. Aunty Leina`ala was also a featured solo dancer for the Brothers Cazimero.
Her hula halau, Halau Na Pualei O Likolehua is a non-profit organization that maintains and perpetuates the ethics of hula, a valuable link to understanding Hawai`i’s past. Aunty Leina’ala is dedicated to training women in the art of hula and Hawaiian culture by preparing them to become future kumu hula and practitioners, carry on the traditions and skills surrounding hula, maintaining the cultural traditions of mele oli and mele hula and preserving the legends, genealogies and history of the Hawaiian people through dance. By training women to become knowledgeable teachers for future generations, Na Pualei o Likolehua ensures traditional practices will endure through time.
Senator, Hawaii State Senate
Majority Floor Leader, Will Espero, is a Democratic state senator, representing District 19 since 2000. Senator Espero has served in the legislature for 13 years. He is in his 3rd term in the State Senate, and chairs the Public Safety, Government Operations, and Military Affairs Committee. He also is the vice-chair of the Transportation & International Affairs Committee and is a member of the Ways & Means Committee.
Trustee, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Peter Apo is President of The Peter Apo Company, LLC, a cultural tourism consulting firm. Peter has 12 years of service as a legislator in the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives. He was Director of Culture & Arts for the City & County of Honolulu, Special Assistant on Hawaiian Affairs to Governor Ben Cayetano, and City & County of Honolulu’s Director of Waikīkī Development.
He was a Regent of Chaminade University, chaired the board of directors for the Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation, the Pacific Islanders in Communications, and the first Waiʻanae-Nānākuli Neighborhood Board. He served on the board of the Hawaiʻi Visitors & Convention Bureau. He is a founding member of the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association.
Peter has an avocation as a performer-singer-songwriter. His band, Travelers 3, recorded several albums for Elektra and Capitol Records. Peter teamed with Del Beazley to record the award winning Apo & Beazley CD. Since then Peter has produced and recorded 5 CDs. As a songwriter, Peter is perhaps best known as the co-author of The Sovereignty Song, which has been sung by many artists and is found on a Keali’i Reichel CD.
Honolulu City Council, District 6
A 20-year veteran of the Hawaii State Legislature, Senator Fukunaga served on several National Conference of Legislature committees that deal with state and federal issues regarding e-commerce, telecommunications, high technology and information privacy. She has served on the State Legislature’s Hawaii Broadband Task Force and Hawaii Identity Theft Task Force, is a member of the Policy Committee of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization, Co-Convenor for the Hawaii Transit-Oriented Community-based Economic Development Project, and is on the Board of Directors for the Historic Hawaii Foundation and Sexual Assault Treatment Center.
Della Au Bellati
State Representative, District 24, Hawaii House of Representatives
Della Au Belatti is a Democratic Representative, representing District 24 since 2012. She has served in the legislature since 2006. Bellati is the chairperson for the House’s Health Committee, and is a member of the Consumer Protection and Commerce, Housing, Human Services, and Judiciary committees.
General Manager, Hilton Waikiki Beach
Thomas Foti has been a general manager of Renaissance Hotels in New Orleans, Walnut Creek and Times Square. His youthful, person-to-person approach has earned him numerous coveted positions in the hotel industry over the last 25 years.
Eight-time Nā Hokū Hanohano Award Recipient
Raiatea Helm made history in 2006 as Hawai‘i’s first solo female vocalist to ever receive a Grammy Nomination for her sophomore CD “Sweet and Lovely.” She was recently recognized by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation as their “Music Fellow” and by doing so became the first Hawaiian artist ever to receive the nationally acclaimed NACF Award dedicated to native peoples who create art in music, dance, visual arts, film and literature. Only one award is presented each year in each category and artists from all 50 states are considered. Raiatea is a two-time Grammy nominee, two-time Female Vocalist of the Year, and eight-time Nā Hokū Hanohano Award Recipient. Few performers of any age can match that achievement.
Officer, Honolulu Police Department
Ten-year veteran, Anthony “Tony” Kalahui has served various elements in patrol, Weed & Seed Community Policing Team (CPT), and Crime Reduction Unit (CRU). Tony graduated from the Kamehameha Schools in 1996. He received his pilot’s license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona and holds his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Tony’s deep interest in the studies of Hawaiian history, government, music & the arts are taken after his grandmother, Alice. She was a member of The Hawaiian Historical Society, danced & taught hula in Waikiki under Kumu Hula Kent Ghirard, and wrote and composed music with Mary Kawena Puku‘i. Tony’s father, Louie, an avid Hawaiian ki ho‘alu slack-key guitar player, gave inspiration to Eddie Kamae and Pilahi Paki in writing the words to a 1975 island hit song, “Kela Mea Whiffa.”
Tony and his Waikiki CPTeam brought native Hawaiian values and protocol to the district’s largest park beautification mural project, by which law enforcement partnered with residents, non-profit groups, community organizations, and neighboring businesses. They were able to effectively rid the area of crime, restoring a sense of pride, and ownership to residents in Waikiki. Centering on the police department’s philosophy and the embodiment of Hawaiian principles “mahalo, aloha, and pono,” Tony’s personal mission is to continue fulfilling the department’s mission with culture-based community projects in making Honolulu the safest city in the nation.
Sculptor and Curator
John Koga may be Hawaii’s most well known living modernist. His whimsical sculptures are thoughtful extensions of the experimental modes within 20th Century sculptural abstractions established by Noguchi and Henry Moore while being intergalactic. He served for 20 years as chief preparatory at the Contemporary Museum. Prior to that he worked for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.