T. Lulani Arquette

A new home for the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation

Yale Union transfers its building at SE 10th and Morrison to the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and will dissolve by the end of 2021

About two years ago, T. Lulani Arquette, president and CEO of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF), got a call out of the blue from Yoko Ott, a fellow former Hawaiian and a fellow figure working in the field of arts and culture. Ott had recently been hired as the new executive director of Yale Union, the nonprofit contemporary art organization, and she invited Arquette over to their headquarters on SE Morrison. 

“I thought we were just getting together to catch up,” Arquette remembers, “and ‘talk story’ as we say in Hawaii.” 

Instead, Ott had something much bigger in mind: she and Yale Union wanted to transfer ownership of their building, and the land it sits on, to NACF. 

T. Lulani Arquette. Photo courtesy of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.

“I was stunned into silence,” Arquette says. “I was shocked. Pleasingly shocked. This has been a really amazing experience and very profound for all of us that are involved.” 

The shockwaves have yet to die down since the transfer was announced this past Thursday, especially as their joint news release also included the detail that, at the end of next year, Yale Union would dissolve their nonprofit and cease operations.