Ululani Special Feature

Lāhui Rising Series

This educational series is designed to create a safe, respectful and enriching learning space for all audiences to hear and honor various perspectives on matters of Hawaiian interest.

Ka Hoʻoilina

Kaiwa at Dusk
Ka‘iwakīloumoku At Dusk
Hale Mana
Hale Mana - Ceremony
Hale Aha
A Hawaiian Community Event Held At Hale ‘Aha
Hale Aina
Hale ‘Aina - Imu and Laulau Preparation
Hale Hana Noeau
Hale Hana No‘eau - Ancestral Arts Instruction


The Hawaiian Cultural Center was the vision of former Kamehameha Schools Trustee and revered kupuna, Myron “Pinky” Thompson.  He understood the importance of revitalizing Hawaiian culture and the catalytic affect it would have on Hawaiians’ self-concept, psyche, health, educational achievement and overall sense of well being.  “Pinky” envisioned a place where Hawaiians could gather to live and learn the ways of our people;  where we could express hospitality to visitors, conduct traditional ceremonies, and raise the next generation of Hawaiians to lead our people towards a vibrant future.

In January of 1994, the Board of Trustees of Kamehameha Schools gave conceptual approval for the construction of a cultural center at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. Some 300 people were involved in the initial planning process which included students, staff, alumni and members of the Hawaiian community.  In the years that followed, the cultural center project had become one of many casualties of the political turmoil that surrounded the Schools leadership at the time, and was unfortunately halted.

Two years later in July of 2000, under new executive leadership, the cultural center proposal was resurrected and efforts were made to re-engage the community.  Over the course of the following two years, participation had doubled raising the total number of participants in the planning to over 600 people.  After many years of struggle and perseverance by staff, the Board of Trustees finally approved the construction of the cultural center in the fall of 2006. 

On June 11, 2008, Kamehameha Day, after a year and a half of preparation, some 400 people from the Kamehameha and larger Hawaiian communities assembled at the designated site of the cultural center for a Ho‘owehe, a blessing and groundbreaking ceremony.  The morning began with all five members of the board of trustees, the CEO, the Kapālama headmaster and others leaders partaking of ceremonial ‘awa to affirm their commitment to construct the Center.  The observance ended in the late morning with the Schools leadership turning the soil with special ‘ō’ō, and a blessing from the Schools’ kahu.

Cultural Center construction was ready to commence in January of 2009. However, due to the global economic downturn, Kamehameha Schools made the wise decision to implement a plan to maintain its financial equilibrium which called for a delay in all capital projects. Hence, the construction of the Center was halted for the time being.  Notwithstanding, the commitment to construct the Center was firm, and we waited patiently until construction plans continued within the next few years.

In the column to your right is a series of renderings of the soon-to-be-built Ka‘iwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center.  The facility was designed by Maurice Kondo, Principal, and Scott Harada, of INK Architects, Inc.  The art work was created by architect, Bill Chang.  The cultural center will be built in the general vicinity of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Memorial Chapel parking lot on the Kapālama campus of Kamehameha Schools.