Since early last month, HPAF’s executive leadership has been monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely, continuing work to ensure the safety, health, and wellness of our student artists, faculty, staff, volunteers, and patrons. HPAF has been regularly reviewing the changing guidelines set forth by the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it relates to guidance on the situation. As such, it is with great disappointment that we share the postponement of our full 2020 Summer Festival. We will present the full season next June and July, during the summer of 2021, where we intend to produce a thrilling line-up of events, featuring highly anticipated productions of As One, Acis and Galatea, The Threepenny Opera, and Carousel.
Casting decisions and all previously awarded financial aid (including our prestigious professional fellowships) will be held for the 2021 Summer Festival. Furthermore, HPAF is pleased to honor all contracts for its faculty and staff who were previously contracted for 2020, during the 2021 Festival. 2021 Festival dates will be confirmed in the near future, once we have the opportunity to solidify those requests with our many island venues. We will be sure to share this information with you just as soon as it is available.
As you might expect, our small non-profit will quickly feel the tremendous impact of this decision. Nearly 45% of our annual operating budget consists of student tuition revenue, 45% grants and individual contributions, and the remaining 10% ticket sales. Sadly, there will be no tuition revenue this year, as we will be returning all payments to students, with the exception of their non-refundable deposit, which will be held to assure their role in our 2021 Festival. We are also now ineligible to receive our largest grant for the upcoming season in the amount of $35,000; funding allocated to support our mainstage productions and artistic personnel for those projects. We simply cannot mount a festival without these resources and cashflow.
The financial threat to HPAF is immense, and we cannot ensure the future of our beloved organization without your help. In order to brave this storm, we need to rely on annual contributions from our friends and long-time supporters. We understand this is an incredibly difficult time for so many, but if you are in a position to offer any support during this period, we would be most grateful. In these extraordinarily challenging moments, music and the arts offer solace to a frightened nation and our fellow community members, both locally and worldwide. And that’s the reason why we will soon be announcing our 2020 Virtual Festival.
Our team well understands the disappointment associated with this decision to postpone this summer’s events, and has been considering a myriad of alternative celebrations for our loyal supporters and students in the near future, prioritizing our mission to music education and community engagement. As such, we are pleased to announce HPAF’s 2020 Virtual Festival, running from July 6 – 19, 2020. During these two weeks, we will present a series of performances and events which will be live-streamed for the general public. The 2020 Virtual Festival (to be announced in full detail on Friday, May 1st) will feature returning perennial favorites, new concerts, and special cabarets—all from the comfort of your living room! In addition, members of our faculty will teach a series of masterclasses where select festival participants will have the opportunity to coach repertoire of their choosing; all events open to the public (virtually), as well. In addition, each festival participant will receive two private voice lessons, a dramatic coaching, and a career consultation class during the two-week virtual festival. It’s a reminder that the arts are part of the soul of a civilized society, and without cultural institutions like HPAF, our lives would be diminished.
On behalf of the entire HPAF family, we look forward to welcoming you to our “virtual paradise” this summer as well as in person during the 2021 Festival Season. As always, we welcome any questions you may have and hope to be able to speak with you personally in the near future. Thank you for trusting us, for being a part of this occasion, and for sharing this season’s somewhat unique and unexpected journey. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And lemonade, we must! (Mai Tais later.) We wish you and yours all the strength and sustained wellness during this challenging moment in time.
Justin John Moniz, Executive Director
Val Underwood, Artistic Director