For 13 years, Lanai Culture and Heritage Center has illuminated the rich history and culture of Lanai for visitors and residents alike. Each person who enters the center walks into curated experience that reflects almost 1,000 years of history on Lanai. Those who take the time to stroll through the museum’s collection leave with a renewed sense of wonder and with a better understanding of the Lanai community.
LCHC’s recent anniversary celebration at the Dole Administration Building drew a crowd of about 150 residents. The gathering incorporated different cultures and included keiki hula, poi pounding, and song and dance from Kosraen and Filipino groups. The talented Ei Nei serenaded the crowd with Hawaiian music, and Na Hoku Hanohano award winner Sean Naauao made a special guest appearance.
Like Lanai, LCHC is always evolving. In honor of its 13-year anniversary, here are 13 facts about LCHC:
- LCHC evolved out of a community desire to create a place where residents and guests could learn about Lanai.
- The center works daily to fulfill a 1987 memorandum of agreement between developers, government agencies, and community groups to promote awareness of and appreciation for the history of Lanai.
- LCHC created a safe archival repository and museum setting to house documents and artifacts, some of which are hundreds of years old.
- The center is home to tens of thousands of artifacts, documents, photographs, oral histories and family collections.
- Local and national funding partnerships have developed to support a wide range of preservation and interpretive opportunities for residents and island guests.
- A rich website was created to share Lanai’s history and archival records with guests around the world.
- In addition to sharing history, the center works to engage community members in stewardship and restoration of cultural and natural resources through programs like E Ike Hou Ia Lanai.
- The first place-based education curriculum, Aina o Lanai, was developed by the center for K-12 students on Lanai and across the state.
- LCHC created A Field Guide to Lanai’s Storied Places, People, Resources, and Events in History, an island resources guide for all Lanai employees. Employees may receive this guide through their employers at orientation.
- In December 2015, LCHC launched the Lanai Guide App on the App Store and Google Play, creating an interactive, GPS-enabled experience for visitors with information about Lanai’s history and storied places. A web-based format of the app was also created in partnership with Pulama Lanai.
- On January 18, 2020, a new web-based multimedia platform was introduced to create an interactive learning experience showcasing Lanai’s bio-cultural landscape. Kuahiwi a Kai (from Mountain to Sea) was created in collaboration with Hamline University.
- Since its opening in 2007, LCHC has hosted more than 120,000 people in various stewardship and cultural programs.
- The center continues to perpetuate its mission of inspiring people to be informed, thoughtful and active stewards of Lanai’s heritage by passing the legacy of Lanai on to future generations.
Happy 13 years to Lanai Culture and Heritage Center! To learn more about LCHC, visit lanaichc.org.
Mahalo nui loa to Diane Preza and Kepa Maly for sharing these facts.