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Michele Heidel

Arts Kuleana: The Hawai‘i Capital Cultural District and its Impact on Local   Arts Organizations

        The recent creation of the Hawai‘i Capital Cultural District in Honolulu is a cultural tourism effort to increase awareness of the arts and culture in Hawai‘i. The HCCD’s plan is to preserve and honor Hawai‘i’s culture while marketing it to both local and global audiences. The success of the HCCD relies on sufficient communication between stakeholders, a clear mission and vision for the district, and clearly defined roles for all parties involved. However, the relationship between the arts community and the HCCD may falter if the HCCD is unclear in expressing its needs, goals, and expectations to the participating arts organizations. This thesis is an analysis of the progress of the HCCD in regards to its relationship with the arts organizations within the district as well as an analysis of the HCCD’s current plans to align the arts organizations with the HCCD’s mission.  This thesis attempts to define the roles of local arts organizations in the HCCD and how leaders in the arts community view these roles.


        Michele Heidel received a BA and MA in fiber art from Eastern Illinois University.  Prior to completing the MAAA program, she worked in various administrative capacities for The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; the Hawai'i State Art Museum, Honolulu; Arts for Learning,Chicago; and The Philosophy in the Schools Project, Honolulu.  Currently she is an instructor at the Rochester Art Center in Rochester, Minnesota, and sits on the grant review panel of the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.


Thesis Advisor: Michael Dorf, Adjunct Professor, Arts Administration; Partner, Adducci, Dorf, Lehner, Mitchell & Blankenship, P.C.

Thesis Reader: Anne Smoke




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