THE place for Arts Information on Kauai, the Garden Island

Check out the latest arts info on the GIAC blog – click here!

E Kanikapila Kakou is our premier Hawaiian music program. Every year from February through April (and sometimes into May) the best Hawaiian musicians come to Kauai for a real old time get together. Check the E Kanikapila Kakou page for the latest schedule, pictures and great reviews of previous performances.

Our ARTS Magazine comes out four times a year. It includes news, reviews and wonderful informative articles about the arts on Kauai. It’s a full color tabloid that comes out in the Kauai Island News and is delivered to every mailbox on Kauai. And if you live on another island or on the mainland, you can read every issue online or download it as an Adobe Acrobat document here.

Kauai Craft Studios runs workshops and the popular Van Go! program that brings the art van to communities and schools all over the island.

Van Go! has been working with schools and students all over the island to create art that will be used in the newly rebuilt Kamalani Pavilion. You can be a part of rebuilding the pavilion by volunteering with GIAC or making a donation.




Of course GIAC also runs art shows… and many, many other exciting events.

Embrace the arts! Join GIAC today!


  • encourages greater public participation in & understanding, enjoyment & appreciation of a wide variety of art & cultural activities
  • creates greater public concern about & awareness of the value of art & culture in enriching the lives of residents & visitors by initiating & promoting quality programs
  • partners with other community organizations & the community at large to establish a “home” for arts, education & technology where the partners in the facility can effectively carry out their missions to serve the community & help build a strong economic base for our island community

The Garden Island Arts Council (GIAC) is a non-profit organization comprised of an all-volunteer board of directors who provide a year-round program of art, cultural activities & events for the benefit of residents of & visitors to Kauai.

Information about the Gardent Island Arts Council

The Garden Island Arts Council is a private, non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization that is supported by its membership, private business, individuals, and funding support from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the County of Kaua‘i and Hawaii Community Foundation – Gwenfread Elaine Allen Fund and Annie Sinclair Knudsen Fund. Also the Cooke Foundation, Ltd. for Van Go through Hawaii Community Foundation, the Atherton Family Foundation for strategic planning through Hawaii Community Foundation, the Hawaii Tourism Authority for EKK through the Kauai County Office of Economic Development, and the Hawaii Community Foundation for Happy Crutches through a Mo’ Bettah Together grant.

Board of Directors

Carol Yotsuda – Executive Director


EDWARD BLANCHET: Ed is an engineer and has lived on Kauai since 2004. He was one of the founders of Santa Barbara Infrared, the world’s largest supplier of test equipment to the infrared industry, and served as its president until his retirement. A native of Louisiana, he brings to the Board a lifetime of appreciation and participation in ethnic music and culture. An active musician and a member of several Kauai performing groups, Ed is a happy participant in as many informal kanikapila events as he can find.

KATHERINE BROCKLEHURST: Katherine worked in high tech, specializing in network security and wireless technology with positions held at Nokia, McAfee, RSA, Tandem Computers, and is currently working in network security. Katherine and husband Jerry moved from San Jose  full time in 2005. Volunteering at EKK since 2006, Katherine feels drawn to the advancement of Hawaiian arts and the mission of GIAC. As board member of the Kaua’i Music Festival since 2006, she helped to produce its annual concerts and songwriter’s conference.

DONA CUNNINGHAM:  Dona is a retired program integration and logistics expert in the aerospace field.

She has an Organizational Management Degree from La Verne University and a Systems Engineering Certificate from Cal Tech.  She has been a sponsor and volunteer at E Kanikapila Kakou Since 2014.  Dona is an avid quilter and contributes to the Kauai Food Bank and the YWCA Women’s Shelter.

HOPE DE MARCO:  Hope has a BFA from Boston University School of Art and studied ceramics with Clayton Bailey at Hayward State University. She worked on the development of the Art Teacher’s certification for the NBPTS and is a recipient of the NBPTS Credentials.  She taught public school art in grades K – 12 for 26 years and retired from a 15-year career as Art Department Chair and Ceramics Teacher at Skyline High School in Oakland, CA.  She has exhibited in stores, galleries and exhibitions on East and West coasts for the past 30 years.  She moved to Kaua’i with her husband to work on their Madadamia Nut Farm, build their home and further her ceramics art.

CHARLIE FAFARD:  Charlie’s career includes commercial and industrial HVAC design, teaching energy conservation classes to practicing engineers at the University of Wisconsin, and over 20 years of international energy conservation work for the World Bank, EBRD and as USAID resident project manager for energy conservation work in India, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Macedonia, Serbia, and Philippines. He actively consults on energy issues in the Midwest and Hawaii. He and his wife Sue moved to Kauai in 2013; they actively volunteer with the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery program and EKK. He plays with the West Kauai Senior Softball team.

MAUREEN FODALE:  Retired as a teacher after 19 years of service for Hawaii DOE on Kauai as a Special Ed, Kindergarten, and State Resource Teacher. She served 20 years in California and Michigan as a Waldorf teacher and administrator. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts and advance degree and course work in Special Education from UC Santa Cruz and University of Hawaii, Manoa. A longtime student of Hawaiian Studies, she was a member of Halau Kanikapahuolohiau, under Kumu Hula Pohaku Nishimitsu and currently studies oli with Kehaulani Kekua; Delta Kappa Gamma-XI Chapter; Hawaiian Studies Kupuna Program; and board of Friends of King Kaumualii.

IRA H. MEYER: After law school, Ira was a participant in the Reginald Heber Smith Community Law Fellowship program, administered by the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan. This program sent young lawyers around the country to do impact litigation and economic development in inner cities. Ira worked with the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County in Oakland, California as a “Reggie”, and then became the Director of the Washtenaw County Legal Aid program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Returning to Berkeley, California, he opened a family law practice. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Alameda County Family Law Association until he retired in 2005. He also taught a paralegal course at San Francisco State University. Ira is currently a Board Member of Malama Mahaulepu, and a volunteer for EKK. He loves to play his ukulele, especially with other people.

S. LYN MCNUTT: Lyn  is the Grants Development Coordinator at Kauai Community College, raising funds for student services, academic instruction, veteran services, Applied Sciences and Hawaiian Studies.  She was a Research Associate Professor at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, affiliated with the School of Fisheries & Ocean Science, has a BA & MA from UCLA in cartography & remote sensing and a minor in 2-D design & animation and has over 35 years of experience in project management, program design & development in national and international agencies, and in raising external funding. She has been a World Music Programmer and DJ for over 25 years at various public and community radio stations, including 10 years at Kauai Community Radio (KKCR-FM) where she hosts a weekly music program.

BEVERLY MONTEL:  Beverly Montel had a 40-year career in the printing and graphics industry. Initially, she worked for a wholesale company in Union City, CA, eventually becoming the advertising manager. After working for a printing company in Fresno for 10 years, Beverly and her husband started their own printing business which, after 25 years, grew into one of Central California’s largest commercial printing establishments. She is retired and has lived in Wailua since 2006. She is an active volunteer for Child & Family Services on Kauai and came to GIAC as a volunteer for E Kanikapila Kakou.

CHERYL SHINTANI: Cheryl Shintani is a retired environmental education teacher who actively participates in educational matters, serving on accreditation teams that evaluate colleges of education and schools all over the US and its territories. She is a NASA Solar System Ambassador, a recipient of the National Milken Outstanding Educators Award, member of the Alpha Delta Kappa Society for women educators, past President of the Kiwanis Club of Kauai, and serves on the boards of Friends of Koloa Public Library, Kalaheo Seniors, Koloa Plantation Days and Yamaguchi Kenjinkai. 

MICHAEL SHINTANI: Michael attended UH Manoa and Honolulu Community College. He moved to Kauai in 1978 and worked as an electronics technician and IT Specialist at PRMF until his retirement in 2016. He did sound and lighting for a Polynesian revue in Waikiki and for several Kauai Community Players productions. On the board of Na Pali Coast Ohana, he volunteers on many of the Nualolo Kai summer work trips. Since 2009, he has been assisting Na Kalai Waa o Kauai with the construction of Namahoe, the Kauai voyaging canoe. He created the near real-time map for the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s World Wide Voyage as Hokulea and Hikianalia circumnavigate the earth. He volunteers at EKK. 

R. EVE SOLOMON:  With an extensive background in graphics, display and puppet theater, Eve has taught commercial art, calligraphy and arts and crafts at Island School and Kauai Crafts Studio. She is a past director of the Kauai Academy of Creative Arts. Her paintings and jewelry are sold at The Art Shop in Lihue.  She has served as a veteran board member for many years with the GIAC and the Kauai Society of Artists.

PETER STERNE:  Peter Sterne is a graduate of USC. He has a BA in Radio-Television and an MA in Telecommunications. He worked at ABC-TV, ending up as Director of Current Comedy and Variety Shows. He went to James Komack & Co and was in charge of “Welcome Back Kotter.” He ended his career at CBS-TV, again holding several different positions, including VP of Current Comedy and Director of Movies and Mini-series. Peter retired to Lake Tahoe where he served on the Board of the Lake Tahoe Summer Music Festival. He and wife, Jan, moved to Kauai permanently in 2006. He is active in Rotary, teaches Qi Gong and volunteers at GIAC.

DIANE WRY UNDERWOOD:  After earning a M.D. degree from the University of Colorado, Diane completed an Ophthalmology residency in Virginia and was a fellow in corneal surgery at Kresge Eye Institute in Michigan.  She served on the board of the Lions’ Eye Bank and as an associate professor, taught residents at the Medical College of Hampton Roads. After 24 years of practice in Norfolk, Virginia, she is retired from medicine. Her family moved to Kauai in 2004 to enjoy and embrace the Hawaiian culture where she is currently pursuing a lifelong interest in the arts, painting with Kauai artists and seeking her own style. A member of KSA and GIAC, she would love to assist in developing a Center for the Arts on Kauai.

CAROL KOUCHI YOTSUDA:  A charter member of the GIAC and its first president, Carol has been an active volunteer in the arts for five-plus decades, bringing enrichment to the lives of the people of Kauai. She started the E Kanikapila Kakou program, the Kauai Crafts Studio, Van Go! and the Kauai Academy of Creative Arts. She has an MFA from the University of Hawaii and is a practicing artist, a retired public school art teacher and art instructor at the Kauai Community College. She serves as GIAC Executive Director.


ANNE E. O’MALLEY, former editor of ARTS, the Garden Island Arts Council newsletter, is a freelance writer and photojournalist who holds an M.S. degree in journalism from Boston University. She served as editor of ForKaua’i and and her work appeared regularly in local publications and is cast in bronze along the Koloa Heritage Trail on Kauai’s South Shore. She wrote the copy for a set of five interpretive panels accompanying an exhibition on rare and endangered plants of Hawai’i at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. and that has become part of its permanent collection. She edited a book on native Hawaiian master weavers that is in the Smithsonian Institution’s collection. 

CARRIE JOHNSON:  Carrie Johnson studied fine art at U.C. Berkeley and at Laney College in Oakland. She has participated in shows and various events in the San Francisco Bay area and on Kaua’i since moving here many years ago. Painting as time permits, Carrie has sold paintings and drawings to private collectors on island and on the mainland.  As GIAC webmaster, she keeps current and attractive.

JODI ASCUENA: Jodi Ascuena was born in Newcastle, England and went to college in Manchester where she got her BA degree in Fashion and Textile Design and MA in Graphic Design, specializing in fashion illustration. After graduating, she became a part-time lecturer at Manchester University and also ran her own clothing company. She married Victor Ascuena in Arizona, took up teaching at Plaza 3 School of Fashion and also Mesa Community College and again started a clothing company and interior design business. Jodi and Victor moved to Kaua’i in 1992 where they make their home in sunny Koloa. Jodi graduated in Hawaiian Studies at Kaua’i Community College in 2011 and continues to attend this school as a student in the area of Hawaiian Language.

CAROLE KAHN:  ‘Born again’ in December 1974 at the age of 26, as I stepped onto the tarmac covering O`ahu’s Hawaiian soil, while a week later luxuriated in the lushness that is Kaua`i, I knew I was about to discover Paradise. Starting as hippie sandal makers and crafting leather goods from the entire side of a cow (ugh, I am now a vegetarian!), stringing puka shells, black coral, hishi, turquoise & much more, we were invited to share the Niihau lei and its beautiful shells and people to the outside world. We opened a shop with Niihau, gold & scrimshaw, followed by one showcasing fine arts and crafts collected from all the Hawaiian islands, then in 1984, Kahn Galleries, eventually showing art on three islands.  Kahn Galleries was retired in 2006. We’ve still not retired! Over the years we’ve volunteered for numerous organizations and events. It’s a given, Kaua`i has given us so much of its beauty and aloha. A favorite for sure is is E Kanikapila Kakou! with its nearly 35 years of Hawaiian music, dance and storytelling, ‘talk story’ style, an incredible ‘what’s happening’ for both locals & tourists to enjoy. I love introducing others to EKK, it’s a joy.

Today, 42 magnificent years later, with hubby Marty, children Lisa, Maya & Sol, 5 grandchildren, Kaua’i has gifted us all with friends and extended family, a life of health, prosperity, laughter and love. From mauka to makai, it is home.

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