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Patrick Makuakane (San Francisco) collaborating with Yerba Buena Arts and Events (San Francisco)

Award: $40,000 Traditional Arts Grant awarded in 2013

To be presented: June 20, 2015

Patrick Makuakane and Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu (Na Lei Hulu) are collaborating with Yerba Buena Arts and Events—producers of the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival (the Festival)—to create a day-long, traditional Native Hawaiian cultural fete. The day will feature the ritual construction of a sacred kuahu—something that has never been seen in the Bay Area before and only rarely built nowadays in Hawai’i. The performance, scheduled for June 20 2015, will mark the 30th anniversary of Na Lei Hulu and the 15th anniversary of the Festival.

Beginning with a sunrise ceremony, Na Lei Hulu will conduct sacred and secular cultural activities all day in various locations throughout Yerba Buena Gardens. A 90-minute hulu performance that afternoon will feature more than 250 dancers on stage and between five and eight newly choreographed dances. All chants, songs, and dances will have a connection to themes of the natural environment—land, sea, and sky. On June 19—the evening before—the collaborators will present a talk story by Lucia Tarallo Jensen, one of Hawaii’s pre-eminent cultural scholars about the spiritual and cultural philosophy of the kuahu at the Museum of the African Diaspora.

Kumu Hulu Patrick Makaukane is a leading practitioner of traditional hula. He earned the title of Kumu Hula in 2003 after intensive study under a traditional master.

Yerba Buena Arts and Events enhances the vitality and quality of life in the outdoor spaces of Yerba Buena Gardens through the curated presentation of world-class, admission-free performing arts, community, and cultural programs reflecting the Bay Area’s ethnic and artistic diversity.