Creative Lab Hawaii Hosts 2019 Weekend Ideation Program with Focus on Indigenous Storytelling. Deadline to Apply is April 30, 2019! **LATEST UPDATE: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 15, 2019!**



HONOLULU (February 26, 2019) – The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s (DBEDT) Creative Industries Division (CID) invites creative entrepreneurs to take advantage of the expertise of industry mentors through the 2019 Creative Lab Hawaii  (CLH) Weekend Ideation program. The department is hosting this weekend experience with a focus on cultivating opportunities for indigenous storytelling on global platforms, which includes three months of follow on mentorship.

Creative Lab Hawaii (CLH) Weekend Ideation Program: From Shorts to Long Form Content – A Program for Indigenous Storytelling

June 1 and 2, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
2490 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815

The deadline to apply is April 30, 2019. To be eligible for the program, participation in one CLH Information Session BEFORE the program application deadline is required.

The free CLH Ideation Weekend workshop caters to creative entrepreneurs who look to explore ways in which they can execute a story they’re committed to telling. Those who have a written idea, concept, or fully developed short—and are interested in taking the next step to create a plan for their project—can learn strategies to maximize their time, creative and financial resources. In addition to the two-day workshop, participants will benefit from the guidance and support of a three-month coaching program.

“We’re always looking for new ways to celebrate and accelerate opportunities for Hawaii’s unique voices,” said Georja Skinner, division chief DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division and founder of CLH. “CLH programs offer participants an understanding of the avenues, tools and access to industry connections needed to better navigate the entertainment industry and the use of new platforms to share their stories.”

CLH was launched in 2012 to develop an ecosystem which is designed to increase export, attract investment and build the state’s creative entrepreneurial capacity. Its CLH Weekend Ideation workshops are designed for entrepreneurs in early stage project development with the goal of building the pre-requisite requirements for CLH Immersive Programs or other relevant accelerators.

“We are thrilled to provide this platform to cultivate indigenous storytelling and support creative entrepreneurs who are committed to moving their ideas forward,” added Michael Palmieri, executive director of CLH.

Participants provided opportunities by CLH—most notably those that advance and become Immersive Program Fellows—have gone on to see their projects make a major impact in the marketplace. Jeff Orig, a CLH Web-Series Immersive Fellow, developed the popular “Waikiki PD” during the program, and has since had his comedy web-series honored with numerous international accolades, including award nominations at the prestigious L.A. WebFest at Sony Pictures. Orig recently wrapped principal photography on a feature film inspired by the series, and this version of the project is currently being shepherded through the CLH Producers Immersive.

Said Orig of his experience, “The feedback, wisdom and workshop environment offered through Creative Lab Hawaii helped me to elevate my project to the next level. The program is important because it is not only a tool to diversify our local economy, but it helps give our people a voice.  We cannot rely on Hollywood to tell our story.  We communicate to each other and to the world through story.”

Myka Arakawa, a recent college graduate with a Creative Writing major, came to CLH as a screenwriter and was accepted to the current 2018 Writers Immersive. “The program isn’t even over yet, but I now have an actionable and dedicated plan on how I want to position myself and my work, a supportive and competitive community, a better sense of how the business side of the industry works and confidence in myself as a creative entrepreneur,” said Arakawa. “Creative Lab Hawaii gives you the tools to not only tell the stories you’re uniquely qualified to tell, but also see what makes you truly unique and necessary in the first place.”

CLH Weekend Ideation program eligibility is contingent upon participation in one hour-long information session.

These important information sessions are offered both in-person across the state featuring knowledgeable speakers (many of them past CLH Fellows), as well as online.  Details follow:

Oahu (Hawaii Foreign-Trade Zone No. 9)
Monday, March 4, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Speakers: Georja Skinner, Michael Andres Palmieri, Jeff Orig, Stacy Fukuhara-Barclay, Sean Verhaagen
RSVP Link:

Hawaii Island (Palace Theater – Hilo)
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Speakers: Georja Skinner, Michael Andres Palmieri, Charles Brotman, Amy Bircher, GB Hajim
RSVP Link:

Kauai (Kauai Community College)
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 – 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Speakers: Georja Skinner, Michael Andres Palmieri, Serge Marcil, Nadya Wynd
RSVP Link:

Maui (Akaku Television)
Thursday, March 7, 2018 – 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Speakers: Georja Skinner, Michael Andres Palmieri, Brian Kohne, Spencer Hyde, Jonathan Melikidse
RSVP Link:

Online sessions are available every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. HST until the end of March, 2019. Those interested are asked to RSVP at

For additional information on the CLH Weekend Ideation or to apply, visit The community is additionally invited to connect to Creative Lab Hawaii on social media for the latest updates, insights and content via:

Facebook: Creative Lab Hawaii –

Twitter: CreativeLabHI –

IG: CreativeLabHI –

About DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism)

DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

About CID (Creative Industries Division)

CID, a division within DBEDT, is the state’s lead agency dedicated to advocating for and accelerating the growth of Hawaii’s Creative Economy.  Through initiatives, program development, and strategic partnerships, the division and its branches implement activities to expand the business development, global export and investment capacity of Hawaii’s arts, culture, music, film, literary, publishing, digital and new media industries.  

About the Creative Lab Hawaii Program

The Creative Lab Hawaii (CLH) Program was founded in 2012 by the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic, Development and Tourism (DBEDT)’s Creative Industries Division to accelerate the growth of Hawaii’s creative entrepreneurs through immersive, hands-on training in broadband/new media, producing, screenwriting, interactive media, music and design/fashion.  The CLH Program, a key facet of Hawaii’s creative economy, is developing an ecosystem to increase export, attract investment and build the State’s creative entrepreneurial capacity in media, music and fashion/design. The CLH Program features three program components: 1) Immersive Programs; 2) Ideation Workshops; and 3) Public Keynotes. Website:

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Media Contacts:

Georja Skinner
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: 808.586.2590
Email: [email protected]

Susan Wright and Vianca Cao
Becker Communications, Inc.
Phone: (808) 533-4165
Mobile: (808) 799-4293; (808) 798-8873
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]