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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Diversify Tourism Sector on Maui, Hawaii

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.5 million grant to the Maui Academy of Performing Arts, Wailuku, Hawaii, to stimulate the diversified growth of the local tourism sector by boosting training in the creative arts. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant will support the renovation of an existing facility to house a new performing arts campus, contributing to the diversification of Maui’s tourism economy outside of the traditional hotel and food service sectors. This EDA grant will be matched with $1.2 million in local funds and is expected to create or retain more than 55 jobs and generate $2.5 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution the travel and tourism industry makes to the American economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Maui will help the island’s critical tourism sector not only recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic but build back stronger for the future.”

“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will support diversification within Maui’s tourism economy, contributing to the island’s economic resiliency.”

“Hawaii’s economy was hit particularly hard hit when the COVID-19 pandemic halted travel around the world, and this welcome investment in Wailuku’s creative and performing arts community will help make Maui more resilient going forward,” said Governor David Y. Ige.

“Today’s announcement will allow more artists to share stories that bring us together while creating new jobs and helping to grow our local economy on Maui,” said Senator Brian Schatz.

“Hawaii’s culture, history, and economy has been shaped by the performing arts,” said Senator Mazie Hirono. “This funding will help expand access to arts education on Maui while also boosting the island’s tourism economy. As we continue working to recover from COVID-19, I’ll keep working to secure federal funding to support our communities and economy.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in 2021 to all 50 states and territories. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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