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Escondido-based Hawaiian culture school awarded grant

Class members at the Halau Hula O Ka’eo Hawaiian Arts and Culture School.

The California Arts Council this week announced its plan to award $16,000 to Halau Hula O Kaʻeo as part of its Cultural Pathways program. 

The Cultural Pathways program is rooted in the California Arts Council’s commitment to serving the needs of an increasingly demographically complex California, and the belief that a healthy arts ecosystem reflects contributions from all of California’s diverse populations. 

The program provides two years of operating support and a host of technical assistance and professional development activities to small, new and refugee communities, and tribal or indigenous groups. 

Halau Hula O Ka’eo is a Hawaiian Arts and Culture School based in Escondido, under the direction of Executive Director and Kumu Hula Kaʻeo Haupu. The Hālau (school) strives to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture by reaching out to the many Hawaiians and Hawaiians at heart living in San Diego County.

“Kulia I Ka Nuʻu!”

“Strive For The Summit”

Halau Hula O Kaʻeo is one of 56 grantees chosen for the Cultural Pathways program. The award was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council. 

“California’s cultural diversity is its greatest creative asset,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council chair. “We are proud to support the work of Halau Hula O Kaʻeo in celebration of that unique and cherished identity.”

To view a complete listing of all Cultural Pathways grantees, visit

Halau Hula O Kaʻeo’s mission, activities, programs, staff, and board members are deeply rooted in the Hawaiian culture. The goal of programs and activities is to encourage a strong sense of native Hawaiian identity through cultural classes, workshops, and events held throughout the year. The school’s hula, mele, and oli (chant) classes are taught in the ancient style of native practices with traditional instruments and dance implements. Students are taught the protocols of each native practice and are educated in the importance of cultural preservation. 

Workshops highlight renowned artists from Hawaii who perpetuate the culture through crafts such as kakau (indigenous tattooing) and kui lei (lei making). Its weekly language class is taught by an elder in the community.

The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity.

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