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Posted on May 23, 2018 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – Under the Direction of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and its Creative Industries Division, Creative Lab Hawaii (CLH) is set to begin its summer program for music and transmedia. CLH is welcoming songwriters and storytellers to join the program on the Big Island this summer.  


“We’re thrilled to offer our neighbor island communities the opportunity to experience the Creative Lab Hawaii Programs, connecting our tremendous local talent to prestigious mentors and new marketing venues,” said DBEDT Director, Luis P. Salaveria. “This program is part of our overall growth strategy to grow our local talent and create foundational support for our creative entrepreneurs.”


This weekend, Hawaii’s artists celebrated the best of our music industry for the 41st Annual Na Hokuhanohano Awards honoring the top performers, musicians and songwriters in the state. Among them, Hoku Award winner and CLH participant Kimie Miner, who won the Na Hoku 2018 for Female Vocalist of the Year, and whose original song “Bamboo,” won for Best Song of the Year.


“Kimie participated in the first ever Creative Lab Hawaii Immersive Music Program in 2016 and she is one of our brightest stars,” said Georja Skinner, chief officer, of DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division and founder of CLH.  “We created this program to help our amazing local talent reach the next level and it’s so gratifying to see the success of our creative entrepreneurs.”


In 2016, Miner also won the Na Hoku for Contemporary Album of the Year. 


Miner cites the CLH experience as the igniting opportunity and added, “As artists, particularly in Hawaii, we embrace a sense of community— the CLH Music Immersive program provides new connections and extends our community by bridging the gap to mainland music industries. What is so powerful about the program is it allows us to share a vessel and bring new opportunities into view.”




The 2018 CLH Music Immersive Program will be held on July 23 – 27, 2018 at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.  The program is under the direction of Grammy and Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winner, Charles M. Brotman, and will provide the selected songwriters with an opportunity to co-write and produce songs for a specific television or film project each day of the immersive, working alongside world-class award-winning music supervisors, producers, songwriters and entertainment industry executives.


Participants will gain a deeper understanding of music licensing, publishing, intellectual property protection, and other aspects of the business. Following the completion of the week-long immersive program, attendees will receive year-round mentoring support.


“We’re offering Hawaii’s songwriters the tools to build and strengthen their business and mentorship networks,” explains Brotman. “The CLH Music Immersive is truly a one-of-a-kind, hands-on learning process. It pushes our participants’ creativity to new heights, while providing perspective into the business behind the creation process.”


Since 2016, more than 12 music placements and licensing agreements for digital, national television series, international commercials, and films were the direct result of artists’ participation in the CLH Music program.


Up to 11 applicants will be selected to participate in the immersive program, which the state offers free of charge. Selected participants will need to cover personal expenses, including transportation, lodging and meals. To be considered for the CLH Music Immersive Program, an applicant must be a member of a Performing Rights Organization (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, etc.), have some co-writing experience and have attended an industry conference.


For a full list of requirements and to apply, go to: or email [email protected].


Deadline for submissions is May 31 at midnight. Admittance to the program is competitive and for serious songwriters only.




CLH launches a new Transmedia Ideation Workshop, which will be held on June 16 and 17 at the Fairmont Orchid Resort on Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast. The program is being generously supported by CLH partners Writers Guild of America, Na Leo TV, the County of Hawaii, Office of Research and Development, the Hawaii Island Film office, and the Fairmont Orchid Resort.


Designed as a feeder program for the CLH Immersives, this two-day intensive workshop is looking for entrepreneurs who have an idea, a book, short story, short film or other content concept they wish to turn into a media property. Selected participants will learn from industry mentors on ways to develop their craft, understand how to navigate the business, and be informed about distribution opportunities for content on all platforms to plot next steps from their idea to a media property. Participants will also receive three months of mentorship.


The CLH Ideation program is currently offered at no cost to creatives, and is limited to 30 creative entrepreneurs, who are dedicated to furthering their craft.


Michael Andres Palmieri, CLH executive director who leads the media programs says, “This program provides participants with a great opportunity to workshop their ideas and learn about pathways with which to make their projects a reality. It also comes with a three-month follow-up program to support participants’ goals.” Palmieri will be leading the CLH Weekend Ideation Program in Transmedia Workshop with the following accomplished mentors: 


  • Larry Kennar, writer/director/producer/manager for motion picture/television/web, known for “The L word,” “Barbershop,” “50 First Dates’” and “DTLA.”
  • Yulin Kuang, writer/director/producer for web content, known for “Kissing the Rain,” “A Tell Tale Vlog,” and creator of YouTube Channels: “Yulin is Working” and “Shipwrecked Comedy.”
  • Sierra Teller Ornelas, writer/producer for television comedies, known for NBC “Superstore,” FOX “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and ABC’c “Happy Endings.”


Successful CLH graduate fellows will also join the workshop and share their experience and achievements with the program participants:


  • Amy Bircher, writer and CLH Writers Immersive Graduate, landed a work for hire to write “Delivering Christmas,” that premiered on Lifetime Television Network and was hired by the production company to adapt a book into a screenplay for ION network. The project she brought into the program, “Victorian Christmas,” is currently under option with a production company in Los Angeles.
  • Brian Kohne, writer/producer/director and CLH Writers Immersive Fellow, whose latest award-winning feature, “Kuleana,” recently enjoyed an eight-week run in theatres throughout Hawaii. His first feature was also set in Hawaii entitled, “Get a Job.”
  • Jeff Orig, producer and CLH Web-Series Immersive Graduate, owner of Orig Media, creator of web series, “Waikiki PD,” recently won the International Award at the LAWebfest. He will be traveling to Rome to partake in the International Rome Web Fest, and then to the Seoul Web Fest.


The deadline to apply is June 1 at midnight. To learn more and apply  please complete the following form: or go to


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

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. Website:


About Creative Industries Division (CID)

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. Website: 


About Creative Lab Hawaii (CLH)

CLH was founded in 2012 by the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic, Development and Tourism (DBEDT)’s Creative Industries Division (CID) 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. CLH, a key facet of DBEDT’s HI Growth Initiative, is developing an ecosystem to increase export, attract investment and build the State’s creative entrepreneurial capacity. CLH features three program components: 1) Immersive Programs; 2) Ideation Workshops; and 3) Public Panels. Website:



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Media Contacts:


Georja Skinner
DBEDT Creative Industries Division
Phone: (808) 586-2364
Mobile: (808) 294-8073
Email: [email protected]



Christine Hirasa
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Mobile: (808) 286-9017
[email protected]