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‘Activate Puna’ block party coming to Pahoa on Saturday (May 11)

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(PAHOA, HAWAII, MAY 8, 2019)—The public is invited to the ‘Activate Puna’ block party on Saturday, May 11, from 4-10:p.m. The event features a street closure along Pahoa Village Road between Akeakamai Loop and Kauhale Street. 

Pahoa Village Road between Akeakamai and Kauhale will be closed to vehicular traffic between 12 noon to 11 p.m. 

‘Activate Puna’ is a community revitalization and pono placemaking project that brings people together for enriching experiences. The May 11 event celebrates the community’s unity and strength one year after the Kilauea eruption. The block party features two stages of entertainment, a “Puna Strong” flags exhibit, live floral installations, mural unveils, creative vendors, food pop-ups, and more. The event is open to all, with a suggested donation of $5, and free for keiki 12 and under; all monies raised through these donations will go to organizations in Puna uplift community including Bodacious Women, The Pahoa Schools Foundation, Malama o Puna, Mainstreet Pahoa Association, and Kua O Ka La Charter School. 

Folks are encouraged to bring chairs to sit and enjoy performances by Jennie & Kanoa, Boom Draw, Positive Motion, Uncle’s Awa Band with Ikaika Marzo, Loeka Longakit & the Sound Mind Band, and more. Parking is available at the Pahoa District Park parking lot; carpooling and ride sharing is encouraged. 

At the core of ‘Activate Puna’ is a desire to shine a light on Puna’s people, culture and stories, spur economic activity, build social cohesion, beautify community spaces, and showcase Puna’s identity – strong, resilient, and resourceful. 

Activations are set to take place in Puna throughout 2019. ‘Activate Puna’ kicked off with a mural at the Pahoa Community Aquatic Center. ‘Above and Beneath’ is a 3,000 square-foot public art piece inspired by Puna’s changing landscape captured through the lens of Andrew Hara during the 2018 Kilauea eruption; the artwork is by David ‘MEGGS’ Hooke and pays homage to the island’s celestial elements of earth, wind and fire. 

A large-scale mural is near completion at Pahoa High & Intermediate School. The school’s mural design is by Kailii Kaulukukui, and was inspired by PHIS students’ interpretation of what makes Puna unique, mauka to makai, and what resiliency looks like. PHIS students were given opportunities to paint alongside the artist during the painting process. Murals in the ‘Activate Puna’ series were coordinated by Temple Children. 

A food activation – Taste of Puna – is planned for Fall 2019 to elevate area farmers, tastemakers and the island’s agricultural scene. 

‘Activate Puna’ is driven by Council Member Ashley Kierkiewicz and the Council District 4 team. More than three dozen community members are involved in the planning and execution of the ‘Activate Puna’ series. 

‘Activate Puna’ is made possible by support from County Departments of Research & Development, Public Works, and Parks & Recreation, First Hawaiian Bank, KWXX, Ormat, Honsador Lumber, Hawaii Electric Light Company, Grand Naniloa Resort, Temple Children, Andrew Hara, Hawaii Tracker, Circle of Life Art Studio, The Wave, and Mainstreet Pahoa Association. 

‘Activate Puna’ is a part of a larger effort to Activate Big Island. The idea is to create a model for community engagement and empowerment that can be duplicated in towns around the island.For more information, visit www.hawaiicounty.gov/activatep…

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