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Kūkulu Ola Program

Contracts for Services to Hawaii Nonprofits and Government
Agencies for Projects That Promote and Preserve the State's Culture

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/05/19 4:30 PM HST


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Contracts for services generally starting at $25,000 to Hawaii nonprofit organizations and government agencies for projects that promote the state's culture and heritage. Funding is intended to support programs that demonstrate collaboration and community support; exhibit depth and breadth of experience in performing similar work; help to honor and preserve the Hawaiian culture; and have an adequate plan for sustainability into the future.

In addition, funded programs must implement one or more of the goals outlined in HTA’s Five-Year Strategic Plan The four goals of the HTA five-year strategic plan are:
1. Improve the integrity of the destination
2. Ensure stable economic benefits
3. Elevate Hawai‘i’s value perception
4. Strengthen HTA’s reputation

Past Kūkulu Ola projects have included: efforts to educate the community about the Hawaiian culture, history, and its people; support for Native Hawaiian art and artisans; efforts to revive and preserve the Hawaiian language; lessons on Hawaiian values related to the ‘āina (land) through propagation of Native Hawaiian plants; curriculum development for fresh water conservation; Art exhibitions that represent ‘ike Hawai‘i through traditional and/or contemporary mediums; development of a Native Hawaiian artisan directory; Hawaiian cultural events that highlight host culture values; protection and preservation of heiau (cultural sites); and cultural workshops on various subjects including ‘ulana hala (hala weaving), lei hulu (feather lei making), kūkulu hale (house building), kūkulu pa pōhaku (rock wall building), mālama ‘āina (conservation), hula (dance), oli (chanting), kapa (cloth), hoe wa‘a (canoe paddling), and ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language).

Hawaiian Culture is emphasized in all of the work done at HTA, which strives to honor and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture and community by:
1. Strengthening the relationship between the Hawaiian community and the visitor industry.
2. Striving to mālama (nurture) the Hawaiian culture by creating visitor experiences, activities and marketing programs that are respectful and accurate.
3. Supporting Hawaiian programs and cultural practitioners, craftsmen, musicians and other artists to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian culture where appropriate.

The HTA would like to encourage applicants to consider incorporating and implementing “green” practices into programs and/or projects. For more information, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 185888

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants can apply for amounts of up to $250,000, with awards generally within the $25,000 to $100,000 range.

Term of Contract:

Project Term: Project occurring during Calendar Year 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Nonprofits and Government Agencies may apply:
- Entity Type: Applicant must be a licensed 501(c)(3) or government agency. Applications will not be accepted from for-profit businesses for this RFP. For-profit businesses that apply under a fiscal sponsor for the purpose of achieving non-profit status will be rejected.
- Exception: A 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor may apply on behalf of the sponsored organization if that organization can show that they themselves have a pending application for 501(c)(3) status. This exception will be allowed for one year only—applicants who take advantage of this exception this year will not be allowed to apply the exception in any future year. A copy of the organization’s signed and submitted Application for Recognition of Exemption (IRS Form 1023) must be uploaded with your proposal to qualify.

Multiple proposals from an organization for different and separate projects will be accepted and considered independently of each other. HTA solicits proposals for a variety of programs (community enrichment programs, Hawaiian culture, etc.). An applicant may not apply for funding from more than one (1) of those programs for the same project or event. In addition, a project or event may not receive funding from more than one (1) HTA program in the same year.

The following activities are not eligible for funding:
a. No more than 20% of the award may be used on Administrative costs.
b. Business or organizational start-up plans;
c. Fundraising events;
d. Real Property;
e. Merchandising (HTA funds to purchase goods (e.g. T-shirts)), even if for resale;
f. Litigation efforts;
g. Endowments;
h. Major capital improvements including capital campaigns, construction or renovations (minor capital improvements required to implement programs are allowable on a case-by-case basis;
i. Projects receiving prior year HTA funding , but not limited to, the Community Enrichment Program, Kūkulu Ola Program, SIGI, and the Signature Events program; shall not be eligible if not in good standing.
j. Reimbursement for pre-award expenditures or costs before January 1, 2020.

Pre-proposal Conference:

HTA management will be visiting the neighbor islands to conduct informational briefings and to answer questions about this RFP:


- Hilo: Monday, May 13 / 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Grand Naniloa Hotel, Private Dining Room
93 Banyan Dr, Hilo, HI 96720

- Waikoloa: Tuesday, May 14 / 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Hilton Waikoloa Village, Kings 2
69-245 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa, HI 96738


Thursday, May 16 / 9:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
Hawai‘i Convention Center, ‘Emalani Theatre Rm. 320
1801 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815


Friday, May 17 / 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort
2440 Ho‘onani Rd., Kōloa, HI 96756


Tuesday, May 21 / 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Kūlana ‘Ōiwi Hālau
DHHL / OHA Conference Room
600 Maunaloa Highway, Kaunakakai, HI 96748


Wednesday, May 22 / 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Lāna‘i Heritage Center Room #126
730 Lanai Ave, Lanai City, HI 96763


Thursday, May 23 / 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Morgado Hall
1 Cameron Way, Kahului, HI 96732

Pre-Application Information:

Deadline for receipt of proposals is July 5, 2019, 4:30 PM HST.

Procurement Timeline:
- Distribution of RFP: Thursday, May 2, 2019
- Orientation / HTA RFP Informational Briefings: May 13-24 2019
- Deadline to submit written questions to HTA: Friday, May 24, 2019
- RFP Addendum – Responses to Written Questions Issued: Week of June 3, 2019
- Deadline for Protest of Content to RFP: Within 5 calendar days of issuance of Addendum with answers to questions
- Deadline for written proposal submissions (by 4:30 pm HST): Friday, July 5, 2019
- Notice of Selection or Non-selection: Week of August 12, 2019
- Deadline to Protest Award or Non-Award: Within 5 business days of notice of non-award
- Mandatory Kūkulu Ola 2020 Contractor Meeting: TBD

Applicants may submit written questions by the date specified in the timeline. The HTA will share answers via an Addendum to this RFP. Please provide questions as an unprotected Word document, not as a PDF or picture. Deadline to submit written questions to HTA is Friday, May 24, 2019.

Kūkulu Ola Program versus Community Enrichment Program (CEP):
Kūkulu Ola projects can sometimes be events-based and so there can be come confusion regarding which RFP to apply for. HTA has made the following distinctions regarding the designation of different events:
- Kūkulu Ola: Hula, surfing, canoe-paddling, or Hawaiian steel guitar events.
- CEP: ‘Ukulele or slack key guitar events.

Each county has been assigned a tourism specialist whose job it is to help applicants with their applications. These specialists are not members of HTA staff, and are not evaluators, and so may be contacted without threat of disqualification. Please contact the specialist in your county only.

The matching funds requirement that has appeared in previous Kūkulu Ola RFPs/contracts has been eliminated. It is not required to show matching funds. However, evidence of sustainability and outside support, in the form of financial contributions, will be a factor in the RFP scoring. Please be sure to disclose any such support in your budget narrative. The more money the applicant is asking for, the more outside support and funding the evaluators will expect to see.

Applicants awarded funds through this RFP must agree to attend HTA mandated training workshops/seminars on HTA’s contract management and payment process, public relations, and other relevant topics.

Awardee must present a Certificate of Vendor Compliance (CVC) before they can be contracted with the State. Failure to get a CVC in a timely manner will result in the award being rescinded. See:

This is not a grant. Awardees will be signing a contract. A contract is a legally binding document that requires proof of services prior to payment. Contractor will be put on a payment schedule and each payment will have associated deliverables tied to it. Contractor will be required to submit an invoice along with any related deliverables in order to receive payment. The signed and notarized contract will be due by November 30, 2019.

Video Tutorial - Applying With eCivis Portal:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

Ronald D. Rodriguez, Contracts Specialist / Procurement Officer
Evita Cabrera, Contract Specialist

Submit questions to:
Phone: (808) 973-9449

For technical problems with the eCivis system, please email

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
1801 Kalākaua Avenue
Hawai‘i Convention Center, First Level
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96815

County contacts:

County of Kaua‘i
Nalani Brun, (808) 241-4952

City & County of Honolulu
Sharleen Oshiro, (808) 768-3893

County of Maui
Ipo Mossman, (808) 270-7992

County of Hawai‘i
Frecia Cevallos, (808) 961-8505

Funding or Pin Number:

HTA RFP NO. 20-02

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Hawaii

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