ConFest Hawaii 2022 to be presented as a hybrid convening with both a virtual presentation series and a limited, invitation-only, in-person gathering in Honolulu.
The 7th National Asian American Theater Festival & Conference (ConFest): Kuʻu ʻĀina, Kuʻu Piko, Kuʻu Kahua is now a mere nine months away; mahalo for your continued patience in receiving updates! With continued public health concerns in mind and driven by our deep respect for our host culture, we have made the difficult decision to reimagine ConFest as a hybrid convening featuring a robust virtual presentation series and a limited, invitation-only, in-person gathering in Honolulu.
When CAATA accepted the invitation to convene ConFest in Hawaiʻi, we pledged to center the voices of Kanaka Maoli and Pacific Islanders; right now, many Kanaka Maoli leaders are saying, “please don’t come.” Over the past two months Hawaiʻi has been experiencing the highest infection, hospitalization and fatality rates of the entire pandemic, in a large part fueled by travel to the islands. The gravest of these impacts have been felt most deeply by our Kanaka Maoli, Pacific Islander and Filipino communities. Even as we begin to see more favorable numbers, we place increased attention on the systemic issues that are often swept under the rug in the desire for a “return to normalcy.”
This public health crisis has brought renewed focus on long-standing tensions surrounding the fraught nature of tourism and its impact on indigenous communities, leading us to be conflicted over planning an event promoting large-scale travel to Hawaiʻi, even for the best of purposes. Balancing the responsibility we feel toward Hawaiʻi and our desire to connect with you, we are now in the process of creating a more tightly-focused ConFest that involves fewer people travelling to Hawaiʻi, yet still honors our commitments to our artistic community and forms deep, long-term connections with Hawaiʻi artists. We also hope to engage you in coordinating regional gatherings to further delve into the topics discussed in ConFest virtual sessions.
Our ConFest Virtual Series will run throughout June 2022, allowing opportunities for a wide array of New Play Readings, Panel Discussions, Workshops and Presentations. Our conference proposal submission process is still ongoing. The new deadline to update previous ConFest proposals and to submit new proposals is Wednesday, December 15, 2021; please access submission links below:
A benefit of spending the past eighteen months in virtual sessions is that we have all developed a sense of what makes a virtual presentation engaging. We look forward to the best our community has to offer! Again, mahalo for remaining flexible along with us as we continue to find the best paths towards empowering and celebrating our theaters, our artists and our allies.