Thursday, April 22, 1999

HTA expected to
OK culture funding

By Russ Lynch


The Hawaii Tourism Authority is expected to approve spending $650,000 to support cultural programs related to tourism, ranging from slack key guitar and paniolo festivals on the Big Island to a Chinatown fair in Honolulu.

The authority will vote Wednesday on the slate of events presented yesterday by its events committee.

Committee member Diane Quitiquit said the group received a list of more than 100 proposals seeking $8 million in HTA funding and she said many of them were impressive and attractive.

The committee said earlier it would select events that come closest to its criteria of producing value, in the form of tax revenues from tourist spending.

The biggest amount of money, $50,000, is scheduled to go to a Maui music festival at Kaanapali Beach. "Boat days" to welcome cruise ships to Hilo and Kona would get $45,000 and similar events in Lahaina, Maui, would get $25,000.

Another $15,000 is set aside to help Kauai welcome HM Bark Endeavour, a replica of the ship Capt. James Cook used to map much of the South Pacific before his historic and fatal voyage to Hawaii with other ships.

The Waianae Cultural Center is scheduled to get $30,000 while $25,000 is proposed for the Iolani Palace galleries.

The funding list also includes $25,000 for the Hawaii Theatre Center to support Hawaiian music.

There could be changes before the list is voted on next week but the 13-member HTA board is being asked to vote on the whole list, not individual items.

As a follow-up to a similar list proposed last week, the HTA yesterday unanimously approved spending just over $1 million this year on sports events aimed at attracting tourists and publicity for Hawaii.

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