Folk & Traditional Arts Grants

3 examples of `ie`ie weaving

`Ie`Ie Weaving, An Apprenticeship Project


The first Apprenticeship/Mentoring Grant was funded in 1985 to support advanced learning of cultural arts and practices relevant to Hawai`i. In 2012 the first Culture Learning Grant was funded to support inter-generational cultural learning. Cultural communities that have benefitted from the Folk & Traditional Arts Grants include Burmese, Cantonese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, Okinawan, Tokelauan.

Funding for these grants is on a state biennium schedule. The next cycle will be Fiscal Biennium (two years) 2018/2019 (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019). Grant application information and materials will be available on our website by January 3, 2017. Applicants must reside in the state of Hawaii and grants projects that are funded must take place in the state of Hawaii. All required materials must be mailed by the postmark deadline in order for applications to be considered for funding. Applicants must successfully complete the first year of the funded grant in order to receive the second year’s grant. Successful completion for each of the two years also includes a written final report and a public presentation representative of the grant project. Prospective applicants are highly encouraged to contact staff to discuss the proposed application prior to its submittal.

Folk & Traditional Arts Grant do not fund:

  • Contemporary arts such as contemporary visual or performing arts, filmmaking, popular arts, fusion practices.
  • Occupational “folklife” or “folkways” such as massage therapy, healing and medicinal practices, cooking, farming and fishing are not eligible, unless the application focuses on an aesthetic aspect (for example the traditional making of tools/implements or traditional festive ceremonies related to the occupation).
  • Festivals, community events, concerts, competitions
  • School programs, projects or residencies (see Artists-in-the-Schools arts residency grants)
  • Arts and culture grants to organizations (see Biennium Grants)
  • Conferences, symposia, lectures, workshops and classes, continuing education courses, and similar activities.
  • Out-of-state collaborations

Cost items that the HSFCA does not fund:

  • Building, renovation, maintenance of facilities, or other capital expenditures
  • Activities completed prior to the project period
  • Fellowships, scholarships, theses, dissertations, tuition
  • Fund raising
  • Grant writing, grant management fees or indirect cost rates
  • Commissions for visual artists to execute professional works of art
  • Costs for food and/or refreshments
  • Perquisites (non-salary compensation or other employee benefits)
  • Equipment purchases and/or long-term equipment rentals
  • Enduring assets such as musical instruments, musical scores, books, costumes, and props
  • Foreign travel
  • Subgrants or regrants
  • Interest payments, insurance, or similar finance cost; audits
  • Utilities and communications costs (e.g. water, electricity, telephone)
  • Un-itemized miscellaneous
  • Maintenance or repair costs
  • Technology-related expenses, including but not limited to computer hardware or software, Internet, website, or E-mail, or contracted assistance to design or maintain such services


Apprenticeship Grant

A group of Burmese performers doing thangyat, a traditional music form

Burmese Thangyat (Burmese Festival Song), An Apprenticeship Project

The purpose of the Apprenticeship Grant is to help masterful teachers of a traditional art in the state of Hawaii preserve their legacy by subsidizing the teaching fee. The apprenticeship project is an intensive, sustained learning program of at least 80 instructional hours per year. Apprenticeship grant applicants must be skilled in a folk or traditional art of Hawai`i. An apprenticeship team consists of a masterful and accomplished traditional teaching artist (teacher) and an experienced student (apprentice). An apprentice must be at least 16 years old. Apprentices who are 16 to 18 years old must receive approval from a parent or guardian to participate in the program. The teacher is recognized as an established and mature practitioner of his/her folk or traditional art form/cultural practice in his/her own cultural community, and is able to demonstrate mastery and artistic excellence through supporting materials. The apprentice must have proven experience in the folk or traditional art to be studied, and be able to demonstrate commitment to actively sharing the knowledge learned.


Culture Learning Grant

A group of students in a Tokelau language and culture class

Tokelau Language and Culture Class, A Culture Learning Project

The purpose of the Culture Learning Grant is to support the perpetuation of Hawai‘i’s folk and traditional arts through inter-generational cultural learning. The applicant must be a nonprofit organization, designated as exempt from federal income tax by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and have at least one year’s experience with the type of project proposed. Cultural arts in Hawaii with low participation in SFCA programs are a priority.

Grant funds can be used to pay for the following:

  • Teaching fees.
  • Travel expenses (in-state only).
  • Project and teaching supplies and materials.
  • Classroom space.
  • Project administration (limited to 10% of grant request).


For more information about the Folk & Traditional Arts Grants, contact Denise Miyahana, Arts Program Specialist, via email at or call (808) 586-0771. It is strongly recommended that applicants discuss their proposed grant project before submitting their application.

Related Resources

Administration for Native Americans (ANA)
American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
American Folklore Society
First Nations Development Institute
First Peoples Fund
Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Kukulu Ola: Living Hawaiian Culture Program
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Network for Folk Arts in Education
Native Arts & Culture Foundation
Office of Hawaiian Affairs/Community Grants
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage