History of Mana Mele

Since 2001, a primarily volunteer-driven ʻMaoli Musicʻ program grew to over 200 artists – underground to well-renowned – initially referred to as the ‘Mana Maoli Collective’ (MMC). They donated their time and talent to Mana Maoli concerts and CDʻs to raise awareness and support for Hawaiian charter schools, and visited these schools to do small group workshops and schoolwide assemblies. The MMC includes Hawaiiʻs favorite and most respected artists across many genres, such as Aunty Genoa Keawe, John Cruz, Jack Johnson, Paula Fuga, Amy Hanaialiʻi Gilliom, Liko Martin, Ooklah the Moc, Natural Vibrations, Anuhea, Rebel Souljahz, The Green and many more.

In 2010, the Maoli Music program and the MMC grew to also provide year-long afterschool classes teaching ʻABCʻsʻ – Academics, Business and Culture – through music. In that same year, as well as in 2011, an all-star group of vocalists, musicians and hula dancers represented the MMC and Hawaiʻi at large scale festivals and concerts, school and community workshops, and media appearances in 3-week cultural exchanges to Aotearoa (New Zealand).

In 2013, after over a dozen years of dreaming and visioning, planning and discussion, and fundraising, Mana Maoli secured enough matching fund resources to apply for, and receive, a federal ANA grant that allowed for the beginnings of the most exciting aspect of Maoli Music’s strategic plan – the Mana Mele Project!

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