Leeward Community College Native Hawaiian Writing and Arts website, Pūpū A ʻO ʻEwa Native, was selected as a finalist for Edublog’s 2013 Best New Blogs Awards. The students and faculty involved were delighted by achieving a seventh place in the national initiative.

The website presents creative work of Native Hawaiian artists, writers, creators and producers in written pieces, videos and audio recordings.

Leeward CC Professor Pat Kamalani Hurley created the website last spring to publish the creative work from the Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo Native Hawaiian Writing and Arts Achievement Awards, and to establish a creative place for students, faculty and community members.

With a goal to encourage students to express themselves in both English and Hawaiian languages, the Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo awards program is supported by Leeward’s Language Arts Division and Student Life.

“Both the awards program and Pūpū focus on na mea Hawaiʻi—anything Native Hawaiian,” said Hurley. “I am proud that Pūpū was nominated for a best blog of the year. We didn’t win, but it was an honor for our students to get some well-deserved recognition.”

Hurley and her volunteers spend countless hours in making the creative pieces come alive. ”If the work is art and in the Hawaiian language, then we like to include audio recordings so that visitors who speak Hawaiian can enjoy the moʻolelo and so that those who donʻt speak Hawaiian can hear what the language sounds like,” Hurley said.

Hurley also produces short, rather informal bios where the contributors talk about themselves and their work. “Videos help to make what could be a static, boring website into something pretty special,” she said. “The students never fail to charm.”

“I like to think that both the Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo awards and Pūpū A ʻO ʻEwa are innovative in supporting Leeward CC’s mission statement of addressing the needs of Native Hawaiians,” Hurley said. “This project helps me to meet my kuleana of supporting my fellow Hawaiians while contributing to the campus I love.”

For more information, read the full story.