Kona Historical Society has been awarded $40,000 through the Hawaii Community Foundation’s FLEX Grants Program. The grant was given by the Robert Emens Black Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation, the Hokuli`a Community Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation, and the West Hawaii Fund supported by the Stanley and Renee Tomono Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation.

With support from this grant, Kona Historical Society will continue to serve 60,000+ current annual visitors from West Hawaii and elsewhere- at its sites, out in the community, and directly engaging online. The grant will support many free activities, such as exhibits for adults and keiki in “pop-up” locations and at its two sites, educational lectures, and other special festivals and events. Preservation and cultural work aided through this grant will include educational outreach to cultural repositories and partners in West Hawaii, preservation of two National and State historic places, conservation of green space (including nearly 10 acres of Hawaii State Legacy Land), and significant and unique archival and museum collections.


Kona Historical Society shares the honor of this award with many other high-performing organizations across the state. As a way to maximize the impact of their gifts, Hawaii Community Foundation created the Flex Grants Program as part of the Nonprofit Excellence Initiative. Through this program HCF supports high performing nonprofits with unrestricted operating support. In 2016 the Flex Program distributed more than $4.8 million in much needed unrestricted funds to high performing nonprofits.


“We are so thankful to these foundations, which provide rare funds that can be applied toward operational costs, and are so important to the health of small non-profits like ours,” said Joy Holland, Kona Historical Society Execuitve Director. “This Flex Award from Hawaii Community Foundation, Hokuli`a Community Fund, the West Hawaii Fund, and the Robert Emens Black Fund, will be used to serve this wonderful community of ours in ways which will reach even more keiki and kamaaina this year.”


For four decades, the Kona Historical Society has collected, preserved and shared the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii through its educational programs, historic sites and preservation projects.