Talk Story: EHCC 50 Years of Culture, Arts & Community THE COUNCIL GETS A CENTER

Talk Story: EHCC 50 Years of Culture, Arts & Community



Grants writing and research without the convenience of the Internet…  Is this even possible? Yes. Believe it!


In 1980 I was a young college graduate, and had returned home to Hawai`i Island after receiving a BFA in Painting from UH Manoa. I applied for and got into a skill development internship program for college graduates. Given a choice of several skill sets, I chose grants writing. I loved writing, and the thought of getting money to create programs and projects by delivering a good narrative, intrigued me.


In the pre-internet era, research consisted of physically taking oneself to the resource – state library, UH Hilo library, county and state government agencies – delving into card catalogs, files, manuals; copying pertinent documents, and transporting those hard copies (in my backpack on my bicycle) back to the office, up a narrow flight of stairs, situated above a crack seed shop. Proposals were typed, retyped, and retyped again on a typewriter; numerous sets of proposal copies where then “snail” mailed to granting foundations.


The legendary Paul Mark Clark, a lawyer and advocate for the arts, was my grants writing mentor. Paul was on the board of the East Hawai`i Cultural Council (EHCC) as the representative of the Hilo Community Players. EHCC was founded by a group of visionaries in 1967, as a council of community arts and culture organizations. 13 years later, “In 1980 EHCC signed a 20 year lease for one dollar a year with the County of Hawai`i for the purpose of utilizing the vacant former police station and courthouse for an art and cultural center for the East Hawai`i community. The main building is on the State and National Register for Historic Places.” (Placed on the NRHP list - 1979)


One of the first proposals I assisted Paul Mark Clark with, was a Hawai`i State grant on behalf of the East Hawai`i Cultural Council to renovate the newly leased county building into a community cultural center. Frances Sherrard, then EHCC Executive Director, was instrumental in crafting the grant narrative, and after days of rewriting and editing, gave her approval by placing her signature on the proposal. 12 sets of the proposal were submitted via USPS to the Hawai`i State Legislature (Grants in Aid Program.) I was thrilled and amazed when EHCC received the award letter from the Legislature for $50,000 in 1981!






Submitted by Marcia Timboy, former and first salaried Executive Director of EHCC,

October 24, 2017

Talk Story Series: EHCC 50 Years of Culture, Arts & Community