Kitchen Fire Temporarily Closes Restaurants in Volcano House

Both restaurants in Volcano House are closed for at least two days while officials investigate the cause of a kitchen fire that sent a hotel employee to the hospital Tuesday morning.
Volcano House Lodge, Volcano, HI
Both The Rim restaurant and Uncle George’s Lounge will be temporarily closed as National Park Service investigators determine the cause of the small blaze, said Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC General Manager David Macilwraith. They plan to reopen both restaurants Thursday. The Volcano House hotel remains open, he said.

Park rangers, Hawai‘i County medics and engine 19 responded quickly to the fire alarm and calls to park dispatch, around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. A 42-year-old hotel employee suffered burns to his upper arms, and was transported by county medics to the hospital.

New Volcano House History Walk Offered

Park rangers at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are interpreting the history of the famous Volcano House, one step at a time. A new, one-hour, ranger-guided walk takes visitors on a fun, anecdote-filled journey through the various incarnations of the Volcano House, which “officially” began in 1846 as a grass house on the rim of Kīlauea Caldera.

New & Old. Park Ranger Travis Delimont stands outside the 1877 Volcano House (now the Volcano Art Center), which was relocated to this location in 1921 as part of a major renovation of the Victorian-inspired Volcano House. NPS Photo Art by Jay Robinson.

New & Old. Park Ranger Travis Delimont stands outside the 1877 Volcano House (now the Volcano Art Center), which was relocated to this location in 1921 as part of a major renovation of the Victorian-inspired Volcano House. NPS Photo Art by Jay Robinson.

Visitors can participate in the new trek starting Fri., Sept. 6, during a public open house of the iconic hotel, which celebrates the grand opening of the property following a multi-million dollar renovation. Dubbed the “History of Volcano House,” the guided walk will be offered at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. The walk and open house are free, but park entrance fees apply.

Park Ranger Travis Delimont, who developed the program as a way for visitors to understand and appreciate the fascinating past – and present – of the hotel, includes a stop at a hālau near the Kahua Hula – similar to the 1846 structure. Then it’s a short walk to the 1877 Volcano House that today serves as the Volcano Art Center. Along the way, visitors learn about the colorful characters and stories that punctuate the history of this historic hotel.  The program ends at the “new” 1941 Volcano House, where guests can once again spend the night on one of the world’s most active volcanoes, dine with views of erupting Halema‘uma‘u Crater, and enjoy a hot beverage in front of its famous fireplace, or outdoors on newly constructed crater-view decks.

“The Volcano House hotel has always captivated people. Its rich and eclectic history has contributed to the personality of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park today. There are many interesting stories and characters along the way, and we want to share them with everyone,” said Park Ranger Travis Delimont.

Can’t make the festivities next Friday? This walk is offered at various times throughout the week. Check the bulletin board outside Kīlauea Visitor Center after 9 a.m. for daily hikes and programs.

The 33-room hotel is owned by the National Park Service, and is managed under contract by Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC.

Man Survives 115 Foot Fall Down Cliff in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Park rangers on Tuesday rescued a man who had been stranded overnight after climbing over a barrier and falling 115 feet down a sheer cliff behind Volcano House in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Search and Rescue Ranger John Broward stands at the location behind Volcano House where the man fell 115 feet onto Halemaumau Trail below.

Search and Rescue Ranger John Broward stands at the location behind Volcano House where the man fell 115 feet onto Halemaumau Trail below.

At approximately 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, a hiker told park rangers at Kīlauea Visitor Center that she heard someone crying for help from the dense vegetation along Halema‘uma‘u Trail, which lies directly below the hotel. Although she thought it was a prank, she reported the cries anyway.

Rangers were able to locate the man, and the park’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Coordinator John Broward was lowered by helicopter and pulled him to safety as the sun began to set. The man was identified as 73-year-old Harry Osachy of Kurtistown.  Osachy is Micronesian and speaks little English, but told rescuers that he had fallen on Monday. The exact time is unknown.

Search and Rescue was able to get him out

Search and Rescue was able to get him out

Osachy was transported by ambulance to Hilo Medical Center, with injuries to his pelvis and shoulder. He had numerous scrapes and suffered from dehydration.

“Luckily, he landed in a dense thicket of native ‘uluhe fern, which broke his fall,” Broward said.

It is the thirteenth SAR mission at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park this year. Last year, park SAR crews responded to a total of 26 incidents.

“Once again, risky behavior by a visitor endangered the lives of our staff,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando, who was on site during the dramatic rescue. “We were able to execute an exemplary response from our cadre of specially trained first responders, and thankfully no one else was injured,” she said.


Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park – Minimal Services Until Flossie Passes

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will remain open during Tropical Storm Flossie, but with minimal services.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

“We encourage people to shelter in place, and stay off roads. Our first priority is safety, and keeping our park employees and visitors out of harm’s way,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

Park officials have closed the following areas as of Sunday evening. Closures remain in effect until the storm has passed and conditions are safe:

  • Chain of Craters Road, from Devastation Trail parking lot to the coast
  • All backcountry areas, including Mauna Loa and cabins
  • Mauna Loa Road (known locally as “Mauna Loa Strip Road”)
  • All coastal areas, including, ‘Āpua Point, Keauhou, Halapē, and Ka‘aha
  • Kulanaokuaiki campsite
  • Nāpau campsite
  • Nāmakanipaio Campgrounds and A-frame cabins
  • Jaggar Museum (observation deck open but no rangers on duty)
  • Additional closures may be warranted as Flossie nears

Kīlauea Visitor Center will open Monday from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. with reduced staffing. Thurston Lava Tube will remain open. Volcano House and Kīlauea Military Camp are open.
The National Weather Service issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i, Kaho‘olawe, Lāna‘i, and O‘ahu. Forecasters predict extremely heavy rains. As of 5 p.m. HST Sunday, Tropical Storm Flossie was approximately 320 miles east of Hilo, with sustained winds of 60 mph, and higher gusts expected. The storm is moving west at 18 mph.

For updates on Tropical Storm Flossie, go to

For Civil Defense updates for the County of Hawai‘i, and the location of local shelters, go to


The Volcano House Story – Restoring History to Hawai‘i’s Oldest – and Newest – Hotel

The beloved Volcano House will fully reopen on the rim of Kīlauea caldera in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park next month, following a multi-million dollar upgrade and completing yet another chapter in the epic history of this iconic hotel.

NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

Soon, guests will stroll through the lobby, where polished concrete floors of deep jade have been restored to their 1940s luster, and into the Grand Lounge. Flames from the original lava rock fireplace will warm the lobby and cast flickering light upon the imposing bronze of volcano goddess Pele, sculpted by Honolulu artist Marguerite Blassingame. A few more steps will reveal an expansive, comfortably appointed sitting room with spectacular views of Kīlauea and fuming Halema‘uma‘u Crater beyond large picture glass windows.

While temporary shelters on Kīlauea predate the 1824 grass hut built by Chiefess Kapi‘olani and her entourage, it was in 1846 that Hilo resident Benjamin Pitman, Sr. built a grass house, and christened it “Volcano House.” The name stuck, and the first substantial wooden structure to welcome guests at Kīlauea was built in 1877. (Eventually, this one-story building was relocated, repurposed, and currently houses the Volcano Art Center). Famed writers Mark Twain, Isabella Bird and Robert Louis Stevenson were among guests in the 1877 building, as were King David Kalākaua, and French microbiologist, Louis Pasteur.

The Volcano House in 1947, a historic landmark overlooking Kīlauea Crater, east side. NPS Photo

The Volcano House in 1947, a historic landmark overlooking Kīlauea Crater, east side. NPS Photo

In 1895, Greek-born George “Uncle George” Lycurgus acquired the Volcano House, and several structural evolutions ensued, including the construction of an ornate, two-story Victorian-inspired building that served many distinguished guests. Visitors included President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 (the first U.S. president to visit Hawai‘i), Amelia Earheart, and Princess Victoria Ka‘iulani.

In 1940, a fire from an oil burner destroyed the Victorian-style Volcano House. No lives were lost, but the entire hotel was a complete loss. Undaunted, Uncle George negotiated the construction of a new hotel with the park some 200 yards from its former site. In late 1941, the new Volcano House, designed by Maui-born architect Charles W. Dickey, was unveiled with great fanfare on the crater rim – and it is unveiled again in 2013 in the historic character of the 1940s. Uncle George’s name, flair for hospitality, and affinity towards volcano goddess Pele, will continue to define the character of Volcano House.

Historic photo taken February 1966. NPS Photo/Wm Robenstein.

Historic photo taken February 1966. NPS Photo/Wm Robenstein.

The 33-room hotel is owned by the National Park Service, and is managed under contract by Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC, who also manage Nāmakanipaio Campground and 10 A-frame cabins. While the views from Volcano House of the active volcano may be distracting, the careful observer will note the restoration of canec ceilings in the comfortable guest rooms, appointed with historic crown moldings. Prints by local artist Marian Berger of native birds in the Audubon style of the era adorn the walls. Original tiled hearths in three rooms were upgraded with electrical fireplaces.

Outside, two new decks overlook Kīlauea caldera. Indoors, guests can have a seat at the lovingly restored original koa wood bar in Uncle George’s Lounge, where another bronze sculpture depicting Pele’s vengeance graces a historic fireplace.

If Uncle George were alive today, perhaps he’d marvel over the coincidental return of Pele to her home at Halema‘uma‘u Crater, which began to erupt again in 2008, and to the return of guests to historic Volcano House.

Contemporary Artist Phan Barker Exhibits “Soul Work” in Volcano Village

Volcano Art Center’s Rainforest Gallery at Niaulani will soon serve as host to an inspiring new collection of artwork entitled The Garden Within. Created by Volcano artist Phan Barker, this contemporary multimedia exhibit will be on display Saturday, May 4 through Friday, May 31, 2013, 9:00am to 4:00pm daily (closed Sundays).

Artist Phan Barker

Artist Phan Barker

An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 from 4:00 to 6:00pm. Phan will lead an exhibit tour beginning at 5:00pm, offering insights into her technique, process and inspiration. The artist will also be available every Tuesday in May from 10:00am to noon.

The Garden Within features abstract fiber sculptures, quilts and paintings made of silk, thread, beads and wood meant to illustrate the beauty found internally as one tends to soul searching and spiritual discovery. 

“With the abundance of rain and space here in Volcano, I have been creating a flower garden with a path meandering around our property,” explains Phan. “I feel physically and mentally well working outside. But the inner work, which I call soul work, has always been very important to me. Like the outside garden, the garden within requires just as much tending, especially weeding. My artworks are metaphors that represent the garden within. The two gardens support me physically, emotionally, and spiritually; the very support one needs to become whole.”

Phan is no stranger to internal struggles. Born in Tu Chau, a Catholic Village north of Hanoi in Vietnam, she escaped to the south with her family at the time of partition in 1954. Phan emigrated to the United States in 1969, considering Vietnam to be a place of death and sorrow.

After a 23-year absence, Phan returned to her homeland in 1992 where she burned incense at her mother’s grave and visited family members she never expected to see again, including her sister, her sister’s nine children and nine grandchildren. Returning home to Kona, Phan’s overwhelming emotional response to this trip inspired a new kind of work called The White Mourning Cloth Series. One piece in this series, A Poem for My Mother, was widely exhibited across the United States as part of The Smithsonian Institution Exhibition Traveling Service.

Phan has been an active member of the Volcano community since 2000, considers Hawaii to be a healing refuge, and feels blessed by the sacred energy she feels on the Big Island.  

The Rainforest Gallery at Niaulani is located at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village on Hawaii Island. For more information, visit or contact the gallery directly at (808) 967-8211 or

Volcano Art Center (VAC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1974 to develop, promote and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii’s people through the arts and education.


Celebrate Merrie Monarch at the Volcano Art Center

 Nonprofit presents free cultural encounters during annual hula festival

Hawaii Island’s most anticipated event of the year is almost here and Volcano Art Center invites you to join them to celebrate! In honor of the already sold out 50th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival, VAC will be hosting five days of special arts and cultural events from Wednesday, April 3 through Sunday, April 7, 2013.

VAC Merrie Monarch

All events will be held on the lanai of the VAC Gallery, located next to the Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visitors and kama’aina alike are invited to experience the mauka celebration of Merrie Monarch free of charge (park entrance fees apply).

While visiting the gallery, be sure to check out La‘a Ka Pa-Kapala, a collaborative art exhibit by Natalie Mahina Jensen and Lucia Tarallo currently on display through April 14. Also featured will be an old-style lei stand with a variety of flower, leaf and liko (bud) lei available for purchase. All proceeds aid in supporting VAC’s mission to develop, promote and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii’s people through the arts and education.

Wednesday, April 3 & Friday, April 5, 10:00AM–2:00PM: Ohe Kapala on Gathering Bags. Join artist and Hawaiian cultural practitioner Greg West to learn the art of ohe kapala (bamboo stamping) on the VAC gallery porch. Select your own 100% cotton gathering bag keepsake and personalize your design using a traditional Hawaiian stamping technique. Free crafting demonstration; bag and materials fee of $42.

Wednesday, April 3, 10:00AM–2:00PM: Artist Demonstration with Jelena Clay. Meet artist Jelena Clay as she demonstrates a variety of techniques for designing and decorating an ipu (gourd) and presents an extensive collection of her past works.

Thursday, April 4, 11:00AM–2:00PM: Print and Book Signing with Caren Loebel-Fried. Meet the artist known for beautiful illustrations of the legends and myths of Hawaii. Caren will be on hand with an extensive collection of books, prints, giclees and original pieces to sign while conducting a demonstration of her finely-tuned block printing process.

Friday, April 5, 11:00AM–1:00PM: Ukulele Lesson with Patrick Inouye. Join in on this free hands-on ukulele lesson taught by Patrick Inouye. Ukulele available, or bring your own for a Kanikapila-style casual jam session.

Sunday, April 7, 10:00AM–2:00PM: Print and Book Signing by Dietrich Varez. Celebrate Hawaii’s most popular hula festival by meeting VAC’s signature artist. Renowned Hawaiiana artist Dietrich Varez will be on hand signing his extensive collection of over 250 prints and books he has written or illustrated.

For more information, visit Volcano Art Center’s website at or contact the VAC Gallery at (808) 967-7565.



Volcano Art Center Presents “Na Mea Hawaii – Hula Arts in the Park”

Volcano Art Center presents Kahula ‘O Nawahine Noho Pu’ukapu under the direction of kumu hula Ana Nawahine-Kahoopii for an inspirational hula kahiko performance at the hula platform in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 10:30am.

Ana Nawahine-Kahoopii by Ken Kurashima

The halau, founded by Nawahine-Kahoopii in 2007, is based in Kuhio Village, Hawaiian Homelands in the ahupua’a of Pu’ukapu, Waimea. The mission of the halau is to express the sacred through the poetry of hula.

“Hula is a sacred path to the core of ourselves, the world we exist within and the worlds that exist within us. As we deepen this awareness of our place in the cosmos it is reflected in our voices and bodies, the joy of oli (chant) and hula (dance) are expressions of this awakening. This path of awakening is a lifetime commitment and one we graciously share with you,” says kumu Nawahine-Kahoopii.

Kahula ‘O Nawahine Noho Pu’ukapu by Ken Kurashima

Also on December 15, there are cultural demonstrations of lei making from 9:30am to 1:30pm at Volcano Art Center Gallery. For the outdoor hula performance, the audience is encouraged to bring mats for sitting on the grass, plus rain and sun gear as the presentation takes place rain or shine. As parking is limited, carpooling is strongly recommended.  Events are free; however, national park entrance fees apply.

These events are sponsored in cooperation with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and supported in part by the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. For more information, call Volcano Art Center at (808) 967-8222 or visit

Volcano Art Center (VAC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1974 to develop, promote and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii’s people through the arts and education.


Kumu Hula Ehulani Stephany Featured in Traditional Hula Performance at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Volcano Art Center welcomes Halau Hula Ka Makani Hali ‘Ala O Puna to upcoming Na Mea Hawaii Hula Kahiko

Each month the Volcano Art Center (VAC) celebrates the traditions and art of hula through “Na Mea Hawaii Hula Kahiko” performances in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Halau Hula Ka Makani Hali ‘Ala O Puna, under the direction of Kumu Hula Ehulani Stephany, will grace the pa hula with their awe-inspiring style of Hawaiian dance and chant on Saturday, September 15, 2012.

Halau Hula Ka Makani Hali ‘Ala O Puna under the direction of Kumu Hula Ehulani Stephany

Since 1980, VAC has held the responsibility and privilege of inviting hula schools from all over Hawaii to perform at the stone hula platform, which is reserved exclusively for the perpetuation of traditional hula and chant. For cultural practitioners, an offering of hula in the presence of Halema’uma’u crater at the summit of Kilauea, the legendary home of the volcano goddess Pele, is especially inspiring.

For the hour-long outdoor performance starting at 10:30am, the audience is encouraged to bring mats for sitting on the grass and be prepared for variable weather conditions. On the same day, traditional Hawaiian arts and craft demonstrations will be held on the front porch of the Volcano Art Center Gallery from 9:30am to 1:30pm. Demonstrations include hands-on displays and lessons where all ages are invited to meet, learn from and talk story with friendly and knowledgeable locals.

Na Mea Hawaii Hula Kahiko is a free community event presented in cooperation with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and supported in part by the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. As park entrance fees apply and parking is limited, carpooling is strongly recommended. For more information, visit or call (808) 967-8222.

Hula Kahiko Informance in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Aims to Entertain and Educate

Volcano Art Center (VAC) proudly presents an exciting addition to this year’s Na Mea Hawaii Hula Kahiko, an annual traditional hula performance held in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The “Hula Kahiko Informance” scheduled for June 30 will provide a rich context for both kama‘aina (locals) and malihini (newcomers) on the inspiring cultural heritage that makes hula such a treasured dance for Hawaii.

For over 30 years, VAC has held the responsibility and privilege of coordinating the Hula Kahiko presentations for the public. The beautiful backdrop of the national park offers the perfect setting for the performances, held each year at the sacred pa hula (hula platform), and delivered with such a true spirit of aloha one imagines the dances to serve as a loving gift to the volcano goddess Pele herself.

Leilehua Yuen dancing hula with Manu Josiah by Ken Kuroshima

In response to the wonderfully engaged and curious audiences over the years, VAC will now be offering the Hula Kahiko Informance – a live educational performance that aims to pass on the traditions of the costumes, leis and cultural significance behind the Hula Kahiko. Invited to preside over the Informance are the acclaimed kumu hula Leilehua Yuen and her equally talented husband and accompanying musician Manu Josiah.

This unique offering will reveal the elaborate behind-the-scenes preparations for the Hula Kahiko – from the gathering of lei foliage, to the art of weaving the lei, to the adornment of the dancer – each meaningful step is demonstrated and described in one beautiful and unforgettable hour. Prepare for an enriching experience in both the wisdom of kumu Leilehua and her inspiring hula as the crowning finale.

Leilehua and Manu admire each other’s love of and respect for their island home. They live in her family home in Hilo, restoring the medicinal garden that her grandfather tended. Leilehua’s hula lineage is rooted in her grandmother’s teachings and her studies with legendary expert on all things Hawaiiana, Auntie Nona Beamer. The powerful natural forces of the island are where Leilehua draws much of her artistic inspiration. Manu also draws strength from the island as he works to preserve his cultural heritage through music and community education.

Save the date for this intimate and revealing display of the age-old pageantry and ritual behind the hula dance. The Hula Kahiko Informance with kumu hula Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah will begin at 10:30am on Saturday, June 30 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. On the same day, a hands-on cultural demonstration will be offered from 9:30am to 1:30pm on the front porch of the Volcano Art Center Gallery. The Hula Kahiko is scheduled for the following Saturday, July 7 at 10:30am. For more information, visit or contact Julie at (808) 967-8222 or


Nature Guides Needed in Volcano

Volcano Art Center (VAC) seeks environmental-minded volunteers who can devote a minimum of two hours per month, either on Saturday or Monday mornings, guiding visitors and residents through a unique, historic section of native Hawaiian rain forest in Volcano Village.

Niaulani Nature Walk guides sharing the importance of Hawaiian Rain Forests

The three hour-long session readies potential guides for weekly one hour long “Niaulani Nature Walks,” which have been running strong every Monday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. since 2006. Guides are granted the opportunity to also help lead Saturday tours, from 11 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., to be initiated in May of 2012. These tours provide thousands of local and global visitors a chance to experience and learn about one of the last intact, accessible examples of this forest type remaining in the entire state.

On the day of the training, attendees are offered an intensive written and oral explanation of the concepts intended to be communicated to visitors, such as Niaulani’s natural history and cultural uses of its components. After the training, attendees are encouraged to follow on more tours until they get a general understanding of the forest, a feel for the flow of interpretational information, are comfortable communicating it to groups, and can commit to begin leading walks on their own. For officially scheduled guides, VAC provides an extensive 90-page illustrated narrative further detailing the ecology and history of the forest. VAC also has a volunteer reward program based on hours accumulated annually.

The April 28 training is held at VAC’s Niaulani Campus, at 19-4014 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village. Registration for the training is required and space is limited. If you are interested in being part of these exciting educational tours please contact Volcano Art Center at 967-8222 or

National Park Service Selects Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC to Operate the Volcano House

A 15-year concession contract has been awarded to Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC to operate the overnight accommodations, food and beverage, retail, and related services within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Volcano House, NPS Photo Jay Robinson

Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC, is a Hawai‘i-based company, owned by Ortega National Parks, LLC and Aqua Hotels and Resorts, Inc. Ortega National Parks, LLC, has more than 45 years of hospitality experience and over 16 years’ experience operating concessions within National Park Service (NPS) sites, including Bandelier, White Sands, Muir Woods, Carlsbad Caverns, and Death Valley. The locally based Aqua Hotels and Resorts, Inc. manages 18 hotels and resorts in Hawai‘i on five islands.

“Together, these two companies have extensive hospitality industry experience – both nationally, as well as within the State of Hawai‘i. We are very excited to have Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC join with us as we enter a new era of the Volcano House operation and once again share quality visitor services with over 1.4 million annual visitors to the park,” stated Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

Since 1824, a structure has been on the edge of Kīlauea caldera to shelter park visitors. Mark Twain wrote in 1866 that ‘[t]he surprise of finding a good hotel in such an outlandish spot startled me considerably more than the volcano did.’

“We look forward to working with Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC to continue to inspire this sense of wonder over the Volcano House,” Orlando said.

The concessioner will operate the Volcano House as well as Nāmakanipaio Campground, and other smaller locations within the park. Since the previous operator left at the end of 2009, the NPS has invested over $4 million in upgrades to the Volcano House for fire and safety improvements, including seismic upgrades. As a requirement of the new contract, Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC will complete additional renovations on the facility estimated between $2.5 and $3.5 million. The contract will be for a term of 15 years and a required minimum franchise fee, paid to the NPS, of 6.0% used to help maintain facilities and other critical visitor services.

Concessioners fill a vital role in helping the NPS carry out its mission by operating publicly owned facilities and offering high-quality commercial visitor services at reasonable prices. As required by the 1998 Concessions Management Improvement Act, the NPS solicited for proposals from July 25 through October 25, 2011, for the commercial services provided within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Offerors were evaluated on their responses to questions asked, including how to engage and educate the visiting public on the native Hawaiian culture through interpretive experiences and retail services, including the sale of Native Hawaiian handicrafts and cultural demonstrations. Additional guidelines used to evaluate proposals can be found online at

For information about Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC, contact Tanya Ortega de Chamberlain at 949-544-9016, Visit them online at, Information about Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park can be found at

Carnevale di Venezia: Under a Hawaiian Moon

An evening Masquerade with Italian culinary delights, art and enjoyment for all.

Get swept away in the magic of Carnivale at Volcano Art Center’s 8th Annual benefit gala, Love the Arts.  Doors open at 5:30PM on Saturday, February 11, 2012, with tickets available for purchase online at  For one memorable evening, guests will be transported Venice, Italy through food, artwork and installations by some Hawaii’s most gifted artisans.  Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door.

Love the arts at the Volcano

In theme with the event, guests are encouraged to wear creative, original, fantastical, or homemade masquerade attire.  Costumes are optional, with prizes and recognition awarded to attendees voted “best mask.”  Welcomed by our own “Aloha Gondolier,” with a Hawaiian canoe built by Jeff Roth, the setting will offer perfect photo opportunity.

Indulge in an affair of the senses, with complimentary fine wine and Prosecco, handmade truffles and coffee in an Italian Bistro Setting.  Italian/Venitian gastronomique by Pacific Isle Catering Co. offers delectable options even for vegetarians, serving tender pillows of artichokes in creamy bread custard, isalata caprese skewers, grilled shrimp, calamari and mussel salad on a bed of fennel and more.

Each year the “Love the Arts,” silent and live auctions grow in size and reputation through the generosity of local artists and community sponsors.  Fine arts, goods and services will be among the auctioned items, as well as a selection of wearable artwork in the accompanying exhibit “Masquerade:  The Art of Illusion.”  A collection of art work by Leimanu Designs will also be featured at this event.  Steel and copper light fixtures hanging from the rafters will cast pools of light on the floor and walls.  “It’s all about the light, where it falls, and where it doesn’t,” says artist Leilehua Yuen.  “Making the art is really just crafting the tool which will sculpt the light.”  Auction proceeds benefit arts, cultural and environmental programs in and around the Volcano community.  This event takes place at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road.  Contact Anne for info: (808) 967-8222 or e-mail:

The History of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Explained – Volcano Awareness Month

The story of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this month, is the topic of an “After Dark in the Park” program in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Tues., Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.

U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge Jim Kauahikaua will talk about the founding of the observatory in 1912, as well as HVO’s achievements monitoring Hawaiian volcanoes and earthquakes during the past century.  His presentation will be held at the park’s Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Park entrance fees apply.

Thomas A. Jaggar founded the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in 1912 and served as its Director until 1940. Shown here in 1925, Jaggar is at work in HVO’s first building, which, at the time, was located on the northeast rim of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit caldera, near the present-day Volcano House hotel. Today’s HVO Scientist-in-Charge presents the story of America’s first volcano observatory in a talk at the Kīlauea Visitor Center at 7 p.m. on Jan. 17.

The founding of HVO, America’s first volcano observatory, is attributed to Thomas A. Jaggar in the year 1912. But the study and monitoring of Kīlauea actually began in 1911 with Frank Perret, who came to Hawai‘i at the request of Jaggar.

Jaggar arrived at Kīlauea on Jan. 17, 1912, and immediately set forth monitoring earthquakes and changes in the shape of Kīlauea with the best tools available to him at the time: a few seismometers, some meteorological equipment, and a surveyor’s transit.

One hundred years later, HVO scientists in 2012 analyze data collected from more than 100 field stations, each of which consists of one to five instruments, including seismic, deformation, volcanic-gas, geologic, and other monitoring tools.  These stations transmit data to HVO around the clock, with a single instrument sending as much as 60 terabytes of data each year—more information than Jaggar could have imagined possible.

Kauahikaua will tell the story of HVO’s first 100 years, the various buildings and locations HVO has occupied, the legacy of HVO’s leaders, the evolution of volcano monitoring tools and techniques, and significant discoveries along the way.

HVO’s entire history is a lot of information to compress into a 45-minute presentation, but Kauahikaua says not to worry.  He is coauthor of a new USGS General Interest Product, “The Story of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory—A Remarkable First 100 Years of Tracking Eruptions and Earthquakes.”  One hundred paper copies of the publication will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to attendees at his talk.

The public is also invited to attend an Open House of the observatory in celebration of HVO’s centennial milestone.

“HVO is not ordinarily open to the public, so our Open House on Jan. 21 is a special opportunity for island residents and visitors to see how we monitor Hawaiian volcanoes and to interact with HVO scientists,” said Kauahikaua.

Kauahikaua’s presentation is one of many programs offered by HVO during Volcano Awareness Month and in celebration of HVO’s 100th anniversary in January 2012.  For details about this After Dark in the Park program, please call 808-985-6011.  More information about Volcano Awareness Month is posted on the HVO website at

Brothers Cazimero Holiday Concert at the Volcano Art Center

The Fall Concert season at the Volcano Art Center continues on Saturday, November 26 at 7:00 pm at Kilauea Theater in H.V.N.P. when The Brothers Cazimero hosts a special night of “Holiday Magic in Volcano”. The night will feature Grammy Award winners Robert and Roland Cazimero and their beautiful dancers Jackie Kaniaulono Booth and Danielle M.K. De Fries. Tickets for the Brothers Cazimero concert are $30.00 and are available at or by calling 967-8222. “It is an honor to have these Hawaiian legends who for over 30 years have brought joy and happiness to the people of Hawaii and abroad. We are so happy they are part of our Volcano “Christmas in the Country” Celebration”. stated Concerts Coordinator David Wallerstein.

Robert and Roland Cazimero

Robert and Roland Cazimero

The Brothers Cazimero are consummate performers who have made their indelible imprint on the face of contemporary Hawaiian music. Their talent, longevity and sales success over the past 30 years have placed them in a league of their own, untouched by any other performer in the history of Hawaiian music. The early 1970s were a remarkable time as the Hawaiian culture and music began an amazing resurgence in Hawai‘i. Leading the way down this amazing new path were The Brothers Cazimero, carrying a torch that sparked a new interest in music performed in the Hawaiian language with a contemporary sound that even today has never been duplicated. Their presentation of the chants, dances and songs of their ancestors serve to honor those musicians, composers, teachers and elders who paved the way for what they are able to accomplish in Hawaiian music today.

Robert and Roland Cazimero

Robert and Roland Cazimero

Robert and Roland have released an unprecedented 36 musical recordings and 3 beautifully visual DVDs. Remarkable entertainers on stage, The Brothers Cazimero achieve a full-bodied sound that emanates from two traditional instruments, the acoustic bass and a twelve-string guitar. The Brothers Cazimero have taken the beauty of Hawaiian music and dance for encore performances in Carnegie Hall in New York City, Wolftrap and Hollywood Bowl, as well the World Expo in Brisbane, Australia, Hong Kong, Tokyo; and annual performances in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle to sell out crowds. They have been guest stars each Christmas in always sold out holiday shows with the Honolulu Symphony.

For tickets to the The Brothers Cazimero call 808-967-8222 or visit Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus, VAC Art Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; Books, Nooks & Crannies in Hilo or

Just for Kids Classes Begin at the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus

Just for Kids

All classes are held at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in the Hale Ho’momana Educational Facility:  19-4074 Old Volcano Road, Volcano Village.

Call (808) 967-8222 or e-mail: to register.

Ukulele for Life, with Patrick Inouye

Four Tuesdays, September 6, 13, 20 & 27   with a performance on October 4.

3:00PM-3:45PM Ages 6-8

4:00PM-5:00PM Ages 9-13

No one is too young or too old to learn to play the ‘ukulele.  Learn a song on an ukulele at your first lesson.  Build your confidence and develop a lifelong skill.  Learn chord and strumming techniques from Patrick Inouye, who has over 50 years of experience.  An extension course will be offered in November to students wanting to build on their skills.  $40/$36 for VAC family members.  ‘Ukulele for Life is offered as a part of VAC’s Art Afterschool Program, funded in part by the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts.

Mommy and Me

Wednesdays, September 7, 14, 21, 28 and October 5, 2011

Wednesdays, November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

GROUP 1: Tumblers, Ages 18-23 Months       9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

GROUP 2: Rompers, Ages 2- 4yrs.                  10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Creative engagement and social time for very young keiki, including music, movement, and artistic activities in a hodgepodge of fun and learning through play. $6 per class or $25 for 5.

Volcano Rain Forest Art Camp: Autumn Harvest

Monday-Friday, October 3-7, 2011   9:00AM-4:00PM

Keiki and teens ages 6-14 are invited to participate in this one-week camp with Hawaiian culinary and cultural emphasis.  Activities include luau cooking class, traditional tool making, art and outdoor adventures, all culminating in an ‘ohana luau with food and performances by our creative keiki.  $165/$148.50 for VAC family members.  Partial financial aid available for those in need; applications due by September 21, 5:00pm.  To register, request a financial aid application or for more information:

Mexican Folk Art Days

Sundays in October: See Online Calendar for schedules and offerings.

Mask making, tissue flowers, collage altars and more… In honour of upcoming Dia de Los Muertos celebrations at East Hawaii Cultural Center and Volcano Art Center in November, individuals, families and children are invited to join in the creation of traditional art and craft projects.


November 1 – December 9, 2011       3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Creative engagement with professional artists, musicians and cultural practitioners for kids ages 6-13.  Classes include studio practice, outdoor fun and movement activities for a relaxed and balanced afterschool option for kids. See our “Menu for Creative Enrichment” for current offerings in ‘ukulele, painting, drawing, performance arts, ceramics and more…  Tuition is $60-$65 per 5 week class.

Performance Arts  with Tanya Aynessazian

5 Wednesdays, November 9, 16, 23, 30, and December 7    3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.

This 5- week course introduces young performers Ages 10-14 to the art of using their voice, body and soul… not to mention the stage! Each session includes warm-ups, conceptual discussion, improvisation games, sketch comedy exercises, two 15-minute breaks and question/answer time. Students will actively participate in creating the class each week, building quick-thinking skills, characterization, comedy, movement and expressiveness.  Basic stage skills and focus on specific skills (i.e., projection, comedy writing, character development) per participant desire and need will be addressed weekly.  Learn to use your energy creatively, purposefully and work with others to create acts and skits each week!  $65/$58.50 for VAC family members.  VAC’s Art Afterschool Program is funded in part by the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts.

Jim “Kimo” West and Dennis and Christy Soares in Concert Friday at the Volcano Art Center

Friday, April 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm at the Volcano Art Center Hale Hoomana Performance Hall

Media Release:

“We are so excited to have a guitarist and musician that is of the highest quality perform in Volcano Village. This concert venue  is an intimate setting and is one that allow the audience to get close and personal with Jim and we expect to sell out fast. Joining Jim will be Big Island favorites Dennis and Christie Soares who have been nominated for both Na Hoku and Hawaii Music awards. This is going to be a special night in Volcano, I can promise you that!”  stated Volcano Art Center Concerts and Performance Coordinator David Wallerstein.

Kimo West

Kimo West

West’s first two CD’s, “Slack Key West” (2005) and “Coconut Hat” (1999) are excellent examples of the tradition of slack key guitar taken to a new and unique place, while still retaining the essence of ki ho’alu. “Kimo” as he is called in Hawaii, has performed at many of the islands’ legendary slack key guitar festivals as well as on the mainland, including the historic So Cal Slack Key Festival. His playing has been featured in a number of Honda TV spots, Disney Channel movies and National Public radio. “Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar: Kimo-Style”was released in December of 2007 and proved to be another evolutionary step in the ever-evolving journey of ki ho ‘alu.

Dennis and Chistie Soares

Dennis and Chistie Soares

Released in fall of 2008, “Kimo’s Hawaiian Slack Key Christmas,” features slack key arrangements of classic and contemporary holiday songs and won the Hawaii Music Award for Best Seasonal Recording. West is also a two-time recipient of the LA Treasures Award from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Between composing music for TV and film and slack key guitar playing, West also finds time to hone his production chops and has produced CDs for a number of independent artists including a project for Los Angeles-based Hawaiian performer Kapo Ku, a talented composer of new Hawaiian language mele. “Eia Mai Ka La” was recently released by Hawaii’s foremost record label, The Mountain Apple Company. He also has produced two CD’s for CMH Records in Los Angeles, “Hotel Honolulu”, and ‘Livin’s EZ-The Hawaiian Tribute to Sublime.”

Tickets for West’s performance on Friday April 29 are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for Children. Please call David Wallerstein

at 808-967-8222 for tickets or visit the Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus or the VAC Art Gallery. Visit  for information and to purchase tickets online. Tickets are also available the evening of the performance 1 hour before scheduled concert time at the venue.

Volcano Art Center is a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization created in 1974. VAC promotes, develops, and perpetuates the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawai’i through the arts and education.