On Saturday, July 16, the groundbreaking Hawaiian artist Patrick Makuakane and his hula halau, Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, are presenting The Ola Project, an interdisciplinary event developed in partnership with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Ola means life in Hawaiian and the event centers around the building of a kuahu — a traditional Hawaiian shrine — that will serve as the focal point for the day’s activities, which incorporate chants, music, and dance as well as construction of the shrine on site at dawn.
The free performance, from 1-2:30 p.m., will feature hundreds of performers from Nai Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu’s company and school.
The previous evening, July 15, 7-8 p.m., the Festival is presenting a talk-story about the spiritual and cultural philosophy of the kuahu by Lucia Tarallo Jensen, one of Hawai’i’s pre-eminent cultural scholars. This conversation will take place at Downtown High School in San Francisco.