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by Kalamalama staff


According to Peter Biggs, chair-elect of the board of the Hawai‘i Arts Alliance, 130 proposals were submitted on the subjects of affordable housing, youth, children, families, community identity, education, culture and the arts, cultural tourism, health, historic preservation, homelessness, neighborhood safety, neighborhood beautification, recreation, transportation/access, and ideas for enhancing livability in the neighborhood.

Commenting on the number of responses, Hannemann said, “I’m grateful .... That just goes to show that people do share the enthusiasm I have for the future of Chinatown.” Hannemann referred to the Chinatown Summit, held in June at the Hawai‘i Theatre, explaining that “It sometimes takes a year or more before ideas based on [such] meetings are brought to the table and implemented. I’m very excited that ... we are able to keep the momentum going by providing these awards.”

Winning proposals were selected by a committee chaired by Nancy Aleck, executive director of the Hawai‘i People’s Fund, and Louise Li, community service director at Kukui Tower (EAH Housing). The 10 winners each receive $4,000 to develop their one-page ideas into full proposals. They will receive technical assistance from the Hawai‘i Alliance for Community Based Economic Development, which will also connect winners to other financial and community development resources.

Developed locally by Hannemann, the City and County of Honolulu, and the Hawai‘i Arts Alliance, the competition was funded primarily through the Ford Foundation’s “Shifting Sands” initiative, part of a national movement examining the ways in which culture shapes community.

Local matching funds came from American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawai‘i, Central Pacific Bank, First Hawaiian Bank, and Hawai‘i National Bank.

Anthony Chang, an adjunct faculty member at HPU who teaches labor relations for the College of Communication, was the only winner Kalamalama could reach. “I was fortunate to have a concept that caught the imagination of the reviewing panel,” Chang said.

The competition was open to the entire community, including individuals, businesses, and nonprofit groups.

The winning proposals were:

A Night at Aala Park: submitted by Kelfred Chang, to have an Asian ethnic movie night similar to Sunset on the Beach occur multiple times during the year, with Asian cultural groups encouraged to participate, Asian start-up companies to be showcased, and food booths.

Mural Art for Honolulu’s Chinatown: submitted by Helene Brongniart, to beautify and improve Chinatown by using blank walls as canvasses to promote art, education, history, culture, and social justice, encouraging both locals and visitors to tour the area.

Arts and Crafts Fairs in Chinatown: submitted by Hui-Fang Bauer, to capitalize on increasing tourism and cruise ship passengers at nearby Aloha Tower and to attract residents to shop from local vendors and tour the Chinatown area.

Expansion of the New Chinatown-sited Weekly Hawai‘i Chinese News: submitted by Elroy Chun, would provide internships for interested high school and college students to prepare news stories and features on individuals and businesses in the residential/merchant community in Chinatown for this bilingual publication that also reaches older ethnic Chinese.

Chinatown Night Market: submitted by Anthony Chang of the Chinese Culinary Arts Society, to create a night market at Smith-Beretania Neighborhood Park during First Friday; the evening activity would curtail undesirable activity in the downtown area, bridge the Arts and Cultural District with Chinatown, and revitalize the identity of Chinatown.

Chinatown Cultural Showcase: submitted by Sarah Richards of the Hawai‘i Theatre Center, to have a professional producer work with Chinatown residents to showcase their talents and create a multicultural variety show to celebrate the cultures and traditions that coexist in Chinatown.

Historic Preservation Plaques: submitted by JoDee Hunt, to install plaques of museum quality on the corners of buildings of historical or cultural significance to Chinatown, containing a short story about or a description of the historical significance of the building and being an invaluable asset for a self-guided or commercial cultural tour of the Chinatown area.

Aural Futures—A Guided Walking Tour of Alternative Futures: submitted by Jake Dunagan and staff of the Hawai‘i Research Center for Future Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, to make an indepth analysis and description of major Chinatown landmarks, not as they exist now, but as they would (or would not) exist in several distinct alternative futures and to create a Chinatown walking tour of 2036.

Modification, Renovation, and re-creation of the Nuuanu Streamside Pedestrian Mall: submitted by Val Yanagihara, to create a pedestrian bridge connecting Pauahi Street to Aala Park, beautifying Nuuanu Stream into a major tourist and resident attraction with natural sites, historical buildings, gardens, shops, and area restaurants.

Changes in Parking Meter Systems: submitted by Kim Coffee-Isaak and San Shoppell, to promote easy access and convenient affordable parking as an integral part of a thriving neighborhood by implementing meters that accept both coin and electronic card readers and using other cities as models to explore such systems as POM Advanced Parking Meters, NYC prepaid parking cards, and cellular phone-paid parking.



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