July 2020 

Aloha Kona Dance Families and Supporters,

This year has seen the pandemic temporarily close our doors and our hearts breaking at the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain and others. It has caused us to reflect deeply on how we can better our organization and community. 

Our Mission remains the same: Kona Dance Strives to provide high quality education and instruction in dance and performing arts to the local youth and the Big Island community. Our Vision remains the same: Every Big Island family  is empowered through dance and performing arts opportunities. And, now more than ever we commit to honoring Our Core Values: Respect, Integrity, Positivity, Diversity, Community 

We pledge to educate ourselves, listen more, do better, and speak up in the face of any attacks on humanity and to foster a space where everyone is seen and heard. We aim to serve the entire dance community of the Big Island of Hawai’i and will continue to work and grow our reach to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), communities we may not have reached prior. We are more committed than ever to making Kona Dance a space where artists and scholars of color can perform their truths, and to representing, hearing, and elevating their voices.. As educators, makers, and allies, we commit to address the inequalities that result from systemic and institutional racism and accept our responsibility to continue building initiatives that address this.  We look forward to engaging the Kona Dance community in dialogue about how all our programming can participate in this crucial turning point for American society.

We also have to announce another misfortune that struck Kona Dance during the COVID-19 shutdown. Studio A’s dance floor sustained severe water damage rendering it unusable. It was a devastating blow but has allowed for the opportunity to completely repair the floor. Due to this, we have had to continue to keep our doors closed to complete the repairs. With this extra time we decided to complete the construction of Studio B’s ceiling. This has been a much needed construction to allow for safe enclosement of Studio B as well as offering much needed storage and office space.

Additionally, we want to communicate our efforts to become more sustainable. During these quiet months we have reflected on how we can better serve the organization. Thus, we have begun shifting our management structure that will consist of a Managing Director, Program Director, and a Studio Operations Manager. These administrators will have the opportunity to help re-shape Kona Dance and will allow our organization to begin the process of coming out of a board operated organization to a staff operated organization with the Board of Directors overseeing its legal, financial and ethical decisions. 

Increasing our efforts in serving our community,  we have committed to changing the structure of our programs and are planning to offer recreational tracks, class series, and a track for students seeking a higher level of dance & performing arts education.

We were able to secure a loan through the Small Business Administration to begin the work of stabilizing our organization with our staff. We continue to fundraise by launching our Summer Campaign to fund the Studio repairs needed. We are committing deeper efforts to fund our organization by selecting individuals to  guide us in our grant seeking efforts to support our youth programs that will assist our families in these trying times and to ensure longevity in our beloved dance studio.

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to better serving our community. 

Board of Directors of Kona Dance & Performing Arts

Dana Mattos (P), Delania Branham (VP/S), Laurie Mattos (T/AS),

Jeff Branham (D), Marie Snyder (D), Heidi Noche (D)

Kona Dance and Performing Arts

81-973 Halekii St,

Kealakekua, HI 96750

808-657-4473

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