Voting in a winning season for Kahilu Theatre

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<p>Lisa Reilly Anderson, a strong supporter of the arts, prepares to vote on the possible selection of artists for the upcoming theater season. SARAH ANDERSON | SPECIAL FOR NHN</p>
<p>The Fish and the Hog, one of the local businesses that turned out to support the theater, provided a selection of delicious crostini at the event. Pictured are Merrin Dickson, Zoe VarnDam and Sarah Munden. (SARAH ANDERSON| SPECIAL FOR NHN)</p>
<p>A community member considers favorite performers for the upcoming Kahilu Theatre season. (SARAH ANDERSON| SPECIAL FOR NHN)</p>
<p>The Honokaa High School Jazz Band performs at the event on April 13 at the theater. (SARAH ANDERSON| SPECIAL FOR NHN)</p>

About 100 people attended the Kahilu Theatre Foundation community open house at the theater on Saturday April 13.

“We want the community to feel welcome at the theater all the time,” said Mimi Kerley, board chairperson.

Inspired by the Honokaa Jazz Band, an art exhibit, spirits, ono hors d’ouvres and chocolate, open house attendees were asked to vote on artists that they would most like to see perform at the theater. At the event, the board discussed their community-centered mission. They said their goal is to include the community as part of the decision-making process, and to create a theater that is recognized as a hub of the community.

After opting to take an “intermission” from programming for the 2012-2013 season to address outstanding debt and to examine the future, the board is establishing long-term, sustainable funding from a number of sources, including grants, state capital improvement funding and private donors. For more information, visit