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This profile was last updated on 10/31/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Project Manager

Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice Street
Honolulu , Hawaii 96817
United States

Company Description: Hawaii's Bishop Museum is the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific and is recognized throughout the world for its cultural collections,...   more

Employment History

  • Director of Community Affairs
    Bishop Museum
  • Assistant Specialist In the American Studies Department
    University of Hawai'i at Manoa
61 Total References
Web References
They can talk to them about what inspires them, about why they do what they do," said Noelle Kahanu, Project Manager at Bishop Museum.
The new members are Philip Bossert, ... [cached]
The new members are Philip Bossert, Helen Cox, Noelle Kahanu, Tessa Munekiyo Ng, Scott Robertson and Manoj Samaranayake.
Noelle Kahanu (O'ahu) is Assistant Specialist in the American studies department at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She was formerly the director of community affairs at Bishop Museum where she developed and implemented numerous notable exhibitions and projects including the historic renovations of Hawaiian Hall (2009) and Pacific Hall (2013). She currently serves as the co-chair of Maoli Arts Month and is a founding member of Maoli Arts Alliance.
Welcome to the Bishop Museum, 27 Mar 2012 [cached]
said Noelle Kahanu, Bishop Museum project manager.
Welcome to the Bishop Museum, 27 Mar 2012 [cached]
Says Kahanu, "We have the Hoku Awards and the Merrie Monarch, but how were we acknowledging the visionary visual artists within our own Native Hawaiian community?
Says Kahanu, "What better way to start off MAMo than with this exhibit, by celebrating our master artists.
According to organizer Noelle Kahanu, the market is fashioned after the Indian markets at Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, both of which have been running for a half-century. "They've got great models," says Kahanu, "but we're doing our best to create something that represents who we are as Hawaiians. A wide variety of quality Native Hawaiian arts will be showcased, displayed, and demonstrated, such as featherwork, wood carving and sculpture, and weaving. In addition, there will be Native Hawaiian performing arts and food booths featuring island favorites.
Artisans and performers who would like to learn more about how they can participate in the market and festival, should contact Kahanu at (808) 848-4190 or by email at
And Noelle Kahanu, Project ..., 5 Feb 2013 [cached]
And Noelle Kahanu, Project Manager, Bishop Museum
We owe Noelle our thanks for organizing the panel and soliciting our participation on it. As the moderator, I had the privilege of speaking with Kippen, Alexandra, and Noelle before they had to pare down their presentations from many topics to a few.
In her panel description Noelle refers to these issues as "the buffalo in the room"-the things that museum planners and exhibit designers talk around and rarely confront.
Noelle started her presentation by locating the Bishop Museum within two histories-first, the historic decline of the Hawaiian population since Western contact and the political dispossession of the Hawaiian people in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and second, the history of the museum itself. While Bishop Museum began auspiciously with collections of treasured objects from three Hawaiian royal women, it eventually devolved into portraying Hawaiians from a non-Native perspective and relegating Hawaiian culture to the past. Hence, she emphasized the importance of the museum's newly re-opened Hawaiian Hall in August 2009, and its efforts to present an Hawaiian worldview.
For many in the Native community, the renovated exhibits are more than beautifully redesigned displays, they are restoring "health, trust, faith, foundation, and a nation. According to Noelle, most of the "buffalos" in the museum were/are congregating on the third floor of Hawaiian Hall. Here, controversial political issues are directly addressed by Bishop Museum for the first time (e.g., the events leading up to the 1893 overthrow, the 1898 annexation process and its protesters, opposition to statehood in 1959, and the rise of the contemporary Hawaiian "renaissance" and independence movements).
Like Alexandra, Noelle described the concerns of staff and board members that the exhibition team avoid developing negative portrayals of historic events. Because they could not completely avoid this problem, Noelle ended her presentation by noting the presence of an important exhibit on the third floor that includes a large painted mural and a video. Both works refer to a prophecy chant that foretells the rise of the Hawaiian people ("that which was below would rise up…") after experiencing profound changes. In these two pieces, the museum hopes its uplifting message about the resiliency of the Hawaiian people will resonate with all visitors who have experienced difficulties and grown stronger because of them.
I believe these three presentations have opened an important space for future discussions about topics we have avoided in both Native and non-Native museums. I hope all of us will take the opportunity to join Kippen, Alexandra and Noelle and carry the conversation further.
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