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Na Moolelo Lecture Series

Iolani Palace

Na Moolelo Lecture Series
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Iolani Palace Na Moolelo Lecture 1 hour before event starts Free  

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Iolani Palace invites you to join us at our new Na Moolelo Lecture Series, which feature presentations by Hawaiian cultural experts, historians, and museum professionals that prompt will discussion of Hawaii history and culture as well as museum practices. 

The lecture series is free and open to the public. 

The summer schedule for the Na Moolelo Lecture Series is as follows:

Wednesday, July 11

Topic:              A Duty of Care:  Museums, Environment and Climate
Why does it matter that museums become more environmentally sustainable and climate resilient? How can they even do it? It starts with energy, water and waste; progresses to capital planning and public programs; and culminates with cooperative community planning for resilience and national commitments to UN Sustainable Development Goals. See how this work is developing in Hawaii, and around the country, through programming about climate and the Anthropocene, in operations through high-efficiency buildings and processes, and through community resilience planning. Examples include Manoa History Center, Bishop Museum, Strawbery Banke, CalAcademy, Detroit Zoo, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Wagner Free Institute, Phipps Conservatory.

Speaker:         Sarah Sutton, Sustainable Museums
Sarah Sutton is Principal of Sustainable Museums, a consultancy using the understanding of behavioral change, environmental policy, and cultural resource practice to help nature/culture organizations thrive in a changing planetary climate. She helps zoos, aquariums, gardens, museums, and historic sites become more environmentally sustainable and to work with their communities to build climate resilience. She is the Sector Lead for Cultural Institutions at We Are Still In, the largest national coalition of non-party supporters of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Wednesday, July 18
Topic:             Cultural Property, Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, and Western Intellectual Property Systems
Cultural Heritage, Traditional Knowledge, and Western Intellectual Property Systems is a broad survey of how Indigenous peoples are protecting their heritage and traditional knowledge from misappropriation and exploitation by working within Western intellectual property regimes, the same regimes that often fail to recognize Indigenous peoples' collective interests in their cultural property.  Article 31 of the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which affirms Indigenous peoples' right to maintain, control, protect, and develop intellectual property over their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions, will provide the backdrop and context for discussion.

Speaker:          Barron Oda,  Art and Intellectual Property Attorney
Barron Oda is Co-Chair of the ABA's Section of Science & Technology Law’s Museums and the Arts Law Committee.  His practice areas include governance, art, entertainment, museum, cultural property, and intellectual property law.  Barron has taught intellectual property and constitutional law at the Hawaii Pacific University, has been a guest lecturer for Harvard Extension School, and has presented for the American Bar Association and American Alliance of Museums.  He has presented and published in the areas of intellectual property, art law, museum administration, international health law, and technology.  Barron enjoys cooking, writing, and running, and is looking forward to completing his seventh marathon in 2018.

Wednesday, Aug. 8
Topic:              Before and After: Shangri La
An important part of modern conservation practice is documentation and this includes before and after photographs of everything a conservator does.  Prior to coming to Hawaiʻi in 2012, Kent’s career in private conservation practice included work on a wide variety of materials, from mosaics to bronze sculptures, from a the ancient to the modern world.  Come and see how his work before coming to Hawaiʻi helped him tackle some interesting problems at Shangri La, Museum of Islamic Art, Culture and Design… illustrated with “before and after” photographs, of course!

Speaker:         Kent Severson, Conservator, Shangri La, Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design
Kent Severson is the Conservator at Shangri La, Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design in Honolulu, where he is responsible for overseeing the care and preservation of Shangri La’s collection of Islamic art. He is a graduate of the NYU conservation training program and was formerly in private practice, in Boston, Massachusetts. He has participated in active archaeological excavations in Turkey, Greece, Italy and Egypt. In 2010, 2011, and 2016-2017 he was a Visiting Instructor for the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in Erbil, Iraq. Severson is a fellow of the American Institute for Conservation.

Wednesday, Aug. 22
Topic:              Na Kilo Ao Māiki: Observing the microbial realm
Dr. Frank studies the smallest, most abundant and diverse forms of life in the ahupua‘a ecosystems and the role they play in shaping the functionality of that ‘āina. Though our kupuna could not physically see microorganisms, she believes they understood their presence, which is reflected within our moʻolelo, mele, oli and traditional management practices. By better understanding the microbial moʻokuauhau of our ʻāina – bridging cultural and historical knowledge with contemporary knowledge systems – we can begin to decode the insight left to us by our kupuna and better evaluate overall ecosystem health, inform current monitoring, and perpetuate the restoration, sustainability and resilience of our native ecosystems.

Speaker:         Dr. Kiana Frank, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Pacific Biosciences Research Center
Kiana Frank - born and raised in Kailua Oʻahu - is an Assistant Professor in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at the University of Hawaii, Mānoa.  She studies the microbial dynamics of Hawaiian ecosystems as a mechanism to better understand the connectivity between land and sea, and to perpetuate place-based knowledge and ecological-based studies that foster values and concepts of traditional management. Her work integrates biology, geochemistry, and ʻike kupuna (traditional knowledge) to address novel hypothesis and showcase connections between contemporary western science and Native Hawaiian Science.

All discussions will take place at 5:00 p.m. in the Kanaina Building on the Palace Grounds. Admission is free. 

The free Na Moolelo Lecture series continues Iolani Palace mission to preserve and share Hawaii’s unique cultural and historical qualities with the community.

Have questions about Na Moolelo Lecture Series? Contact Iolani Palace

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Iolani Palace
364 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813


Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace is the only official residence of royalty in the United States. King Kalakaua was the first reigning monarch to travel around the world and built Iolani Palace in 1882 to enhance the prestige of Hawaii overseas and to mark Hawaii’s status as a modern nation. For more information, please call Iolani Palace at (808) 522-0822 or visit

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