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Hawaii culture, arts foundation leader to retire

The executive director of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts is retiring at the end of the year.

Ronald Yamakawa has held the position since 2002. He has been with the foundation for 35 years.

Foundation officials said a search will begin immediately for his replacement.

The foundation was established in 1965 by the state Legislature

Barbara Saromines-Ganne, Oahu commissioner and chairwoman of the board, said Yamakawa’s accomplishments include increasing the total number and percentage of works in public places. She said he has encouraged more programs to highlight Native Hawaiian performing arts, especially slack key guitar.

She said systems by which art is purchased, grants are given and honors awarded have been streamlined and improved during Yamakawa’s tenure.

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