Despite several attempts by staff and legal counsel of the Hawaii’s Volcano Circus (HVC) to clarify the organizational relationship between HVC and the Village Green Society (VGS), the state Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) waged fines against both organizations on Friday. According to HVC Chairman, Graham Ellis, HVC did not erect or occupy any of the alleged structures nor is it responsible for any alleged encroachments on state land. He also clarified that all ohia used in constructing SPACE was sustainably harvested on the VGS TMK.
Interim Director, Dena Smith, reports feeling frustrated and disappointed at the vindictive efforts by several local residents that have repetitively waged complaints against SPACE over the last several years. She states that this pattern is destructive and counterproductive to building community connection and communication. Another source of frustration, according to Smith, is the information leakage to the press before either HVC or VGS received communication from the DLNR. It took nearly two months for the DLNR initial finding report to be sent to both organizations.
The mission statement of SPACE is “to creatively promote sustainable local community in Puna Makai.” This mission has been put into practice in recent weeks during the aftermath of Tropical Storm Iselle, when SPACE stepped in to offer assistance to local residents and neighbors by serving as a relief station; offering free ice, bathrooms, food & water distribution, and daily potluck dinners. Now with the lava threatening passage to lower Puna, SPACE is again seeking ways to serve the local community.
The focus for this colorful community arts center is on educational programs, particularly those for children and families. Besides being the home of the renowned HICCUP Circus, SPACE is also home to Seaview School, a satellite program of the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences, which serves 30+ students. A new program is being launched this week called “Sacred SPACE,” offering gatherings on Sunday morning to various local spiritual groups.
For more information about the Seaview Performing Arts Center for Education (SPACE), please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HawaiiSPACE or our website at www.hawaiispace.com.
Dena Smith, Interim Director