BY STEPHANIE NOJIMA — The 2016 Hawaii Tourism Conference brought together leaders and visionaries in an innovative format of networking and sharing. One such example was the Evening ‘Ohana Time held at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort where each evening of the conference we hosted unique Hawaiian speakers, in a “talk story” style of sharing their passion and the need of passing on the legacy of Hawaii old and new.
On Tuesday evening we were honored to view critically acclaimed film, Sons of Halawa, documenting the story of Pilipo Solatorio who lives on Molokai. He is the last to hold the cultural traditions, music and stories of the sacred Hawaiian valley that has been home to his family for hundreds of years. We were also able to meet Pilipo “Pops” and his family. I laughed, cried and was deeply moved by his story and his love of Hawaii.
On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, ‘Ohana Time was filled with talented artists of various crafts. We were privileged to meet and talk with:
- Mele Kahalepuna Wong of Na Lima Mili Hulu No‘eau (Skilled Hands Touch the Feathers);
- Dale Hope, author of The Aloha Shirt: Spirit of the Islands;
- Nelson Makua, two-time Na Hoku Hanohano winner for best graphic design and who created six years of Merrie Monarch Hula Festival posters with his limited edition “Pele” series;
- Keith Maile, who shared his stories about the diversity of his incredible works. Keith is a Hawaiian master and mentor who perpetuates the knowledge and traditions of teaching and sharing. He has been a long time and active member of the Hawaiian Wood Turners Association and his artwork can be found in local galleries, statewide collections and national exhibitions.
- Artist Shannon McCarthy, whose beautiful work includes materials from Hawaii marine debris found on Oahu. Her art also focuses on conserving the island, sustainability, one’s sense of place and our relationship to our natural surroundings. You can find images of her dynamic work on her Facebook page, “Marine Debris Art by Shannon McCarthy.” And, of course, see her art right here at Voyager 47 Club Lounge!