Nonprofit wants to keep Spalding House for the public as a hub for local filmmakers


In Hawaii’s buzzing real estate market, a major Makiki property has gone unsold for almost two years.

The Spalding House at the Honolulu Museum, the former contemporary museum, has been on sale since 2019. Now a nonprofit has been formed to secure the property for public use as a film center.

Spalding House on Tantalus is a beautiful, tropical modernist 5,000 square foot estate. It sits on 3.4 acres overlooking downtown Honolulu. The Honolulu Museum of Art listed the former property of the Contemporary Museum in December 2019 for $ 15 million.

“The Spalding House is the place that fosters creativity. It’s a place that allows people to dream, to create, to be together,” said Jeannette Paulsen Hereniko, president of the new nonprofit Hawai Foundation. ‘i Film Foundation by Nu’umealani.

Their goal is to keep Spalding House for the public, as a hub for Hawaiian filmmakers and film organizations.

“You’re right, we can always go to a warehouse or Chinatown in a building somewhere, but there is something about House Spalding that contains its history and the mana of the artwork that sits there. ‘was there, “Hereniko said.

Hereniko founded the Hawaii International Film Festival and directed its first 15 years.

With a growing international interest in Hawaiian films, Hereniko says now is the time to invest in the future of Hawaiian cinema with meeting and seminar rooms, screening facilities, technical resources, and more.

“It takes someone to say, ‘Shit, this is an important vision and we are going to do it.’ And that’s how we, this group of people that is growing day by day, is how we feel about this vision, ”she said.

Hereniko cites HFF member filmmaker Heather Giuni who founded the ‘Ulu’ulu Motion Picture Archive, NMG Network’s editor Jason Cutinella and veteran producer Jason Suapaia as being at the heart of the effort.

Sarah Bakewell, a broker with Hawai’i Life, will help with the sale. Former Governor Neal Abercrombie, Kirsten Faulkner of the Historic Hawai’i Foundation and actor-producer Daniel Dae Kim are among those featured in a video supporting the Spalding House project.

Nonprofit supporters of the local film industry include HIFF, Hawaii Women in Filmmaking, Pacific Islanders in Communication, the Hawaii Filmmakers Collective, the DBEDT Creative Lab, and the University of Hawaii Creative Media Academy. Mānoa.

“We might not get $ 15 million, but let’s try and say to the Honolulu Museum of Art, ‘This is what we have. Let’s do this, let’s make it happen.’”

When asked where she thought the money would come from, she replied, “The money will come from your listeners, Noe, who believe in the arts and they are going to say, ‘I want to pledge for 250,000. Now do you think that’s impossible? It happened to me yesterday.

“It was anonymous, of course, so I’m not going to say it. This is just starting the momentum.”

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