About Pa‘i

A little bit about what makes us, us

PAʻI is the acronym for Pua Ali‘i ‘Ilima, the hālau hula (school of Hawaiian dance) founded in 1977 by kumu hula (master teacher of Hawaiian dance), Vicky Holt Takamine. Established in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, PA‘I’s mission is to preserve and perpetuate Native Hawaiian cultural traditions for future generations. We are guided and led by our founder and executive director Vicky Holt Takamine who is recognized as a Native Hawaiian advocate and community organizer around the issues of Native rights and the protection of the natural and cultural resources of Hawai‘i that are so vital to the perpetuation of Native Hawaiian cultural traditions.

PA‘I is anchored by members of Takamine’s hālau hula (traditional dance school), Pua Ali‘i ‘Ilima. While the perception of hula for many is that it is a form of entertainment for tourists or a hobby for individuals all around the world, hula has been instrumental in the preservation and perpetuation of Native Hawaiian language, art and cultural practices. Springing from her vision, PA‘I sees Native Hawaiian artistic practices as a form of resistance, and often uses art for organizing and empowerment. PA‘I is the Hawaiian word for “sudden impact or slap”.

The Pa‘i Mission

To preserve and perpetuate Native Hawaiian arts and cultural traditions for future generations.

The Paʻi Vision

To establish and maintain a sustainable Native Hawaiian arts and culture center in urban Honolulu.

The Pa‘i Mole

The ancestral roots and foundation, of our organization are based on the following principles and values:


the genuine love and respect for our kumu, ‘ohana, community, and lāhui


A profound responsibility and allegiance to Hawaiʻi and our culture


honoring the reciprocal relationships we have to ʻāina (land), wai (water), kūpuna (ancestors) and each other


constant creation and innovation of ideas and ways of knowing

Leadership & Staff

Vicky Holt Takamine

Executive Director, PAʻI Foundation
Kumu Hula, Pua Ali‘i ‘Ilima

Jeffrey Takamine

Artistic Director/ Kumu Hula, Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima

Jay Rojas

Managing Director

Elizabeth Ka‘iulani Takamori

ANA Project Director

Charlene Ku‘ulei Hazelwood

PACC Office Manager

Verna Kuroiwa

Administrative Assistant

Nancy king

Grants Specialist

nicole takamine

Marketing Specialist

Board of Directors

Mark Kawika McKeague

Native Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner
Planner, Group 70 Inc.

Tommylynn Mokihana Benavente

Vice President
Native Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner
Retired Professor, Leeward Community College

Alison Hartle

Native Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner
Instructor, UH Lab School

Lucinda K. ‘Āina Lau

Native Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner
Marketing Director, Hale Koa Hotel

Carol Noelani Lau

Native Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner
Retired Administrator, Comprehensive Family Care Center

Kimberly Crozier Evans

Native Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner
Community Planner, Federal Aviation Administration

Marvin Kaleo Manuel

Native Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner
Deputy for Water Resources Management
State of Hawaiʻi DLNR

aggy kusunoki

Native Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner
Faculty, St. Andrew's Schools