Ke Po’okela Cultural Foundation

Hawaiian arts and culture

Ke Po’okela Cultural Foundation (KPCF), founded by Kumu Hula Rolanda Valentin-Reese in 1997, is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the perpetuation and preservation of the Hawaiian culture.  KPCF’s Hālau (or School) Hula Nā Meakanu O Laka O Hawai’I is a traditional school of hula with over 100 intergeneration students.  KPCF’s mission is to provide a positive environment that promotes cultural awareness among students and in the community, as well as the personal growth and development of each student, including the training of future teachers.  The hālau provides formal training in the study of hula, as well as traditional Hawaiian chants, music, language, history, values and customs, and arts and crafts.  The dance style of KPCF’s hālau is called hula ku’l, a term associated with the dance style of the late Hula Master Maiki Aiu Lake, known as the “Martha Graham” of hula and the “Mother of the Hawaiian Renaissance.”

KPCF brings visibility to the Hawaiian culture by providing seminars, workshops and concerts, and by participating in community events designed to promote an understanding of, and harmony between, the different cultures that make up our society today.

In 2007, KPCF received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to provide a series of two workshops in Los Angeles and Encitas.  Collaborating with other Southern California hālaus, KPCF brought together traditional master artists from Hawaii and California to share the spiritual essence of hula.  Kumu Frank Kawaikapuaokalani Hewett offered classes in Hawaiian healing principles and ancient hula and chant, Kumu Sonny Ching offered classes in dance and chant, and Kumu Hula Kunewa Mook offered classes in the making and playing of authentic hula implements and instruments.

In 2006, KPCF received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to produce two workshop events in San Diego and Los Angeles in March 2006.  Experts and educators from Hawaii and California provided instruction on language, protocol and ethics, dance, chant, and traditional arts and crafts.  Halaus (Hawaiian cultural schools) from throughout Southern California participated.