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Innovative hula choreographer from Oahu wins prestigious MacArthur genius grant

By Rick Quan

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    HAWAII (KITV) — A big congratulations to Kumu hula Patrick Makuakane. He’s one of twenty people from around the country this year to win a prestigious MacArthur Foundation genius grant.

When Makuakane first got a text to call the MacArthur Foundation last month, he was stuck in the mud at Burning Man for days with no cell phone service.

But he would later return home — and learn that he had been awarded $800,000 to continue his work, however he sees fit.

“I think of this award as an award for hula, because a lot of people have no idea what it is,” Makuakane told the Washington Post. “They think it’s a simple-minded dance done in a grass skirt. But it has really profound effects on many people I know. For many of us, hula is life.”

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