The Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) is a nonprofit organization established to preserve, protect and promote one of Hawai‘i’s chief assets, its music. Membership is open to those who are now, or have previously been, active in the recording arts and sciences as professionals, such as radio, television, record company employees, arts and entertainment writers, and other members of the media, and, in a new category, individuals who are not professionally affiliated with the recording industry, but who have demonstrated a keen knowledge of and interest in the recorded music of Hawai’i.
The Academy annually produces the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards in a live television broadcast honoring the achievements of excellence in the recording arts. All product created, produced, engineered, and recorded by a local resident artist, musician, or technician released during the eligibility year and primarily for distribution in Hawai’i is eligible for inclusion on the preliminary voting ballot. The final ballot is made up of a maximum of five of the top voted preliminary ballot nominees in each category. Only voting members of the Academy that have applied for membership at least two months prior to the awards ceremonies are eligible to vote in the Nā Hōkū Hanohano balloting.
The Academy also administers an annual scholarship fund, is establishing a discography of Hawaiian music, and is currently working on a network linking Hawai‘i with national and international recording arts industries. This enables the membership full access to talent trends and shifts in product development and marketing. On a grander scale, this promotes Hawai‘i, helping to create a positive image for the islands’ world music and video markets.