HILO, Hawaii--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the heels of further arrests over the advancement of astronomy atop Maunakea, Hawaiʻi’s bi-cultural, world-class informal science center is focusing on bridging the divide that seemingly pits science against culture.
“ʻImiloa is about bringing people, ideals, and different perspectives together to learn from each other,” said Kaʻiu Kimura, executive director of ‘Imiloa. “It’s about being this gathering place where people with different perspectives come together in a uniquely Hawaiian way.”
On Sunday, August 2, ʻImiloa hosted the Aloha Art Festival, which featured a contest for an art installation at the Maunakea Visitor Information Station to represent Maunakea’s native culture, natural environment, and scientific innovation. The art festival was the brainchild of Christian Hualalai Kapono, a native of Hilo, Hawai’i and a graduate student completing a summer internship at the Office of Maunakea Management.
“We’ve got some really incredible art pieces created by the innocent minds of our community. The keiki are so stoked to be creative,” said Kapono. “They’re sharing what they see, what they understand to be happening around them and it’s beautiful because it’s pure and what I was hoping for with ‘Imiloa’s Aloha Art Festival.”
With an art submission, participants received free admission into ʻImiloa’s exhibits and planetarium where families engaged in activities, star talks, educational booths and heard presentations from Native Hawaiian activists and astronomers.
“It is evident from the diverse speakers who participated that we all have different perspectives but we all share something in common: the love for Maunakea,” said Mark Chun, astronomer from the University of Hawai‘i Astronomy Institute. Native Hawaiian Aloha ʻĀina activist, Luana Busby-Neff, echoed these thoughts saying, “The Kapu Aloha and the love that we have for this land will start mirroring itself in our science, in our education, in our language and in who we are as a people. It will show a deep and abiding intelligence that we will draw from. Kapu Aloha at its core is about relationships.”
“To create a better, more cohesive and collective vision for the future of Maunakea, we have to listen and understand one another. It’s all about relationships. We call on our community to join in having mindful, productive conversations about the future. Together we can find a way to bridge our desire to preserve the majesty of Maunakea with the scientific possibilities that only our mountain can provide,” said Ka’iu Kimura, executive director, ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i.
‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is a world-class informal science education center located on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus. ‘Imiloa is a place of life-long learning where the power of Hawaiʻi’s cultural traditions, its legacy of exploration and the wonders of astronomy come together to provide inspiration and hope for generations. The Center’s interactive exhibits, 3D full dome planetarium, native landscape, and programs and events engage children, families and the local community in the wonders of science and technology found in Hawai‘i. For more information, visit the website at www.imiloahawaii.org.