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1980 Incorporated March 8, 1980

Founded by Alfred Preis, an architect, artist, philanthropist, innovator of the Art in Public Places legislation requiring 1% of all public construction funds to be spent on art in that building. Preis designed the Arizona Memorial (1962) and founded the Hawai‘i’s State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (1965).

1981 First Statewide Conference held at Pacific Beach Hotel
1985 Rainbow Festival of the Arts by and for young people

1988 First paid Executive Director +office @ Honolulu Academy of Arts
1992 Lifestories: Visions of a Multicultural World - Annual Conference
1993 My Culture and My Art: I Think, I Create, I Learn
1995 From Pencils to Passwords: Arts and Technology Conference
1995 ‘Ohana Arts - Family/Community Programs are initiated 

1996 Preis Honor becomes public event @ Bishop Museum. 1997 @ Hawai‘i Theatre
1997 National Endowment for the Arts grant for Hula Ki‘i
1999 Presentation to The Presidents Advisory Committee on the Arts
2000 ARTS license plates launched. Design by Clarence Lee.
2001-2012 The ARTS at Marks Garage downtown Honolulu collaborative arts center.
2001 ARTS FIRST Strategic Plan mandated by ACT 306

2002 ARTS FIRST invited to be 1 of 30 founding affiliates on APPLE Learning Interchange
2002 King Kamehameha – A Legacy Renewed PBS Documentary
2003 ARTS FIRST Essential Arts ToolKit: Fine Arts Grade Level Guide, K–5 Teachers
2006 Mission formally expands to advocacy, community, and education
2005-09 The Ford Foundation – Shifting Sands community project
2004-06 ARTS FIRST Research Project: U.S. DOE - Windward Schools
2006-10 ARTS FIRST Research Project: US DOE Arts and Literacy for All

2009 ongoing ARTS FIRST Artists-in-the-Schools
2011 ongoing ARTS FIRST Art Bento

2013 NEA OUR TOWN for POW! WOW! Hawai'i

2015 STEAM - ARTS FIRST Institutes


2019 Creative Artists Network

2021 Hawaiʻi Wolf Trap