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Makai Keahoulu blue ocean and shoreline

Kapena Alapai

Kapena Alapai, the Director, ʻŌlino Pathways–Arts and Culture, for Liliʻuokalani Center, was born and raised in North Kona on Hawaiʻi Island. His ʻohana has deep roots spanning multiple generations in the Puʻuanahulu and Holualoa/Kahaluʻu ʻahupuaʻa.

Kapena brings a wealth of experience in youth arts education, focused on Hawaiian culture. Before joining LT, he was the Co-Director of Arts in Changing America (ArtChangeUS), a national initiative promoting arts and social justice, based at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Additionally, Kapena has held various roles. He served as: Program Coordinator at Studio in a School, a visual arts group that partners with public schools in New York City; Teacher of Hawaiian culture and education at Kamehameha Schools; Hawaiian Language Tutor for the Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center; and Resident Advisor and Group Leader at nonprofit organizations Nā Pua Noʻeau and Break Through Adventures.     

Kapena holds a Master’s Degree in Arts and Cultural Management from the Pratt Institute, as well as a Bachelor’s in Hawaiian Studies from the Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani at the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo.

He is passionate about sharing his time and talents with the community. Kapena is the Board President of the Kahilu Theatre Foundation in Waimea and holds the position of Vice President of the ʻohana-led nonprofit Nā ʻŌiwi o Puʻuanahulu, with a mission to steward 27 acres of ancestral land at ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay. 

When he isn’t inspiring ʻōpio at Liliʻuokalani Center or serving in the community, Kapena enjoys attending film festivals and sharing ‘ono meals with friends and family.