SFCA American Rescue Plan Grants

November 23, 2021

Supporting Arts and Culture Sector Recovery in Hawaiʻi 

About the 2021 SFCA American Rescue Plan Grants

The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA), Hawaiʻi’s state government arts agency, has distributed $759,500 to 41 Hawaiʻi arts and culture organizations and 20 individual arts/culture practitioners impacted by COVID-19. These American Rescue Plan funds, provided by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), are designed to support the arts sector as it recovers from the devastating impact of COVID-19. 

Quotes from Grantees

“We want to mahalo the support The Friends of Iolani Palace received from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. This past year and a half have been extremely tough on our organization. The funding we received through the ARP Recovery Grant has helped us to continue to move our organization forward during uncertain times.” Paula Akana, Executive Director, The Friends of the Iolani Palace 

“As a result of the awarded SFCA American Rescue Plan Recovery Grant, our organization was able to continue with programming and provide free community concerts and music education to Title 1 schools.” – Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society 

“The ARP Recover Grant from the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts has provided support for Kāhuli Leo Leʻa’s episodic series, Mele Huliāmahi, a program featuring live performances of mele as a nexus for education, and community building through aloha ʻāina.” – Kāhuli Leo Leʻa

Nonprofit Organization ARP Grants 

Each organization received $15,000.  

The recovery grants for organizations support salaried staff positions, fees for artists and contractual personnel, facilities expenses, costs associated with the health and safety supplies for staff and/or visitors and audiences (PPE & cleaning supplies) and select marketing and promotion costs. 

Of the 41 organizations, 22 are located on Oʻahu, 9 on Hawaiʻi Island, 8 on Maui, and 1 each on Kauaʻi and Lanaʻi. 

Individuals received $7,225 each. Recovery grants for individuals support artist stipend/fees to carry out specific projects and activities. 

Funded projects include a theater project on the life of Prince Jonah Kūhiō by Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl, a visual arts program elevating foster and biological ʻohana connections through art by Julie Matheis, and a documentary on preservationist/photographer Nancy Bannick by Robin Lung. 

The release of these American Rescue Plan funds marks an important step in the economic recovery of the creative sector in Hawaiʻi. 

Grant categories

  • Heritage and Cultural Preservation (10)
  • Presenting and Performing the Arts (25)
  • Community Engagement (2)

Nonprofit organizations receiving grants (by island)

Hawaiʻi Island

  • Aloha Performing Arts Company dba Aloha Theatre
  • Edith K. Kanakaole Foundation
  • Holualoa Foundation for Arts & Culture d.b.a. Donkey Mill Art Center
  • Kahilu Theatre Foundation
  • Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society
  • Kona Dance and Performing Arts
  • Kona Historical Society
  • Pulama Na Liko
  • West Hawaii Dance Theatre


  • Garden Island Arts Council


  • Lanai Academy of Performing Arts Inc.


  • Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum
  • Ebb & Flow Arts
  • Hana Arts
  • Hui Noeau
  • Hui O Wa’a Kaulua
  • Kāhuli Leo Leʻa
  • Maui Academy of Performing Arts
  • Maui Dance Council


  • Alliance for Drama Education
  • Bishop Museum
  • Chamber Music Hawaii
  • Diamond Head Theatre
  • Hawaii Alliance for Arts Education dba Hawaii Arts Alliance
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Hawaii Symphony Orchestra
  • Hawaii Theatre Center
  • Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus
  • Hawaii Youth Symphony Association
  • Honolulu Biennial Foundation
  • Honolulu Theatre for Youth
  • Hula Preservation Society
  • Kumu Kahua Theatre
  • Manoa Heritage Center
  • Moanalua Gardens Foundation, Inc.
  • Monkey Waterfall
  • Nova Arts Foundation Inc.
  • PAʻI Foundation
  • Sounding Joy Music Therapy, Inc.
  • The Friends of Iolani Palace
  • YOUNG OF HEART WORKSHOP dba Pu’uhonua Society

Individual ARP Grants 

Individual Grantees

Grantee Name, “Project Name” (Category or Categories); Islands Served

  • Roberta LW Ahsing, “INSIGHT: Developing Student Voice and Visual Literacy through the Arts” (Dance); Maui and Oʻahu
  • Wailani Artates “Hawaiian Music Album Concept Development and Package Design” (Cultural and Media Arts); Maui and Oʻahu
  • Sean-Joseph Choo “Kamamo House Short Play Showcase” (Theatre); Oʻahu
  • Shannon Hiramoto “Muʻumuʻu Digital Archive” (Visual Arts); Hawaiʻi Island, Kauaʻi, Lanaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu
  • Matthew Jakielski “Hot Glass Hawaii” (Visual Arts); Hawaiʻi Island
  • Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl “E Huliāmahi: The Life of Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole Piʻikoi” (Literary, Media, and Theatre Arts); Hawaiʻi Island, Kauaʻi, Maui, Oʻahu
  • Frances Kuba “Preserving the Legacy of our rich Okinawan culture” (Cultural and Dance); Oʻahu
  • Anne Victoria Leilehua Lanzilotti “Sky Gate” (Music); Oʻahu
  • Maile Loo “Auntie Nona’s Key to the Ki” (Cultural and Dance); Oʻahu
  • Robin Lung “Short Documentary on Preservationist/Photographer Nancy Bannick” (Literary, Media, and Multimedia Arts); Hawaiʻi Island, Kauaʻi, Lanaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu
  • Mark K. Lupenui “PASSING NOTES: The Kohala Ephemera Project” (Cultural, Music, and Visual Arts); Hawaiʻi Island
  • Julie Matheis “Elevating Foster & Biological ʻOhana Connections Through Art” (Visual Arts), Lanaʻi, Maui, and Molokaʻi
  • Jeff Peterson “Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Instructional Method by Jeff Peterson” (Music); Hawaiʻi Island, Kauaʻi, Maui, and Oʻahu
  • Angel Prince “My Empty Body is Full of Stars” (Dance, Multimedia, and Theatre Arts); Hawaiʻi Island
  • Christopher Ritson “Creating a Creator: Biogenerative Art and Sustainable Esthetics” (Media, Multimedia, and Visual Arts); Oʻahu
  • Stefan C Schaefer “Short Film Created with Maui Teens (film title TBD)” (Literary and Media Arts); Maui
  • Margaret Theresa Sutrov “Ulana ʻAina” (Visual Arts); Maui
  • Dalani Tanahy “Supporting New Kapa Makers With Ongoing Classes, Interaction and Materials” (Cultural); Oʻahu
  • Stuart Yamane “The Making of DAC: The Downtown Art Center” (Media Arts); Oʻahu
  • Allison T Yanagi “Kucho Girl on YouTube: Classical and Traditional Okinawan Music and Poetry” (Dance and Music); Hawaiʻi Island, Kauaʻi, Lanaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, and Oʻahu

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