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(Honolulu-December 14, 2009)  Mayor Mufi Hannemann will welcome the President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Michael Kaiser, to Honolulu on Wednesday, December 16th for a public forum and discussion on how the arts and culture organizations in Hawaii can survive in a troubling economy.  The program will begin at 9:30 in the morning at the Mission Memorial Auditorium and is free and open to the public. 

“As the Chairman of the US Conference of Mayors Committee on Tourism and the Arts, I’m aware of the challenges facing the non-profit groups that work so hard to keep the arts alive in our communities,” said Mayor Hannemann.  “We are honored to bring Michael Kaiser to Honolulu so that he can share his tremendous experience and marketing expertise with our local arts organizations.”

The Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts has partnered with the Hawaii Arts Alliance, in its role as the Hawaii member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network, and the Oahu Kennedy Center Partner in Education, the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, in hosting Mr. Kaiser’s presentation. 

“Often times, arts programs are the first to lose funding in economically challenging times,” Mayor Hannemann said.  “I beg to differ, and believe that we need to continue to find ways to sustain the arts.”

Mr. Kaiser will present a similar forum on Maui on Thursday.