PHOTOS & VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Celebrates Kauaʻi Philippine Cultural Center Groundbreaking
Līhuʻe, HI—This afternoon on Kauaʻi, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined hundreds of Garden Isle residents from across the island who gathered to bless the land that will soon be the foundation for the Kauaʻi Philippine Cultural Center—a place for cross-cultural exchanges that will promote and enhance culture, education, and provide social platforms for the island’s multi-ethnic community.
“Hawaiʻi is a unique place where we celebrate a diversity of cultures and traditions. The Kauaʻi Philippine Cultural Center will be a special gathering place that takes this a step further—where future generations will immerse themselves in their family’s rich history and sacrifices, embrace a connection with other families who share similar stories of challenges and triumph, and cultivate pride and appreciation for the contributions of those before us, while forming new traditions of their own,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Mahalo to Lesther Calipjo, the board, governors, and the many organizations, agencies, and individuals who have dedicated so much over the years to bringing this important vision to reality.”
The vision for the cultural center began in 2010, led by Kauaʻi Filipino Chamber of Commerce President Lesther Calipjo. In 2011, corporation with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs resulted in a $30,000 earmark for a feasibility study for the project by the State Legislative Grant in Aid fund. The Kauaʻi Philippine Cultural Center received non-profit organization designation of 501© (3) and began accepting donations in 2012, followed by an additional legislative Grant in Aid award in the amount of $1.5 million for the building. That summer, historic action taken by the Kauaʻi County Administration was unanimously approved by members of the County Council to award the Kauaʻi Philippine Cultural Center a 99-year License Agreement for 3.5 acres for the project. Several community stakeholders representing the business community, Filipino organizations, and other non-profits have since worked together to continue fundraising and ensure the project’s completion.