Artist and Musician Allison Leialoha Milham in Hawaii



Allison Leialoha Milham, a songwriter and book artist and originally from California, but is of Hawaiian descent and has family ties to the islands, was the recent Artist in Residence near Hawaii Volcanoe’s National Park which has recently been the center of national attention because of the many awe-inducing volcanic events of recent months.


Along with Tanya Ortega – Founder of National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF), book artist, singer-songwriter and musician Allison Leialoha Milham discuss her art, music and recent NPAF artist-in-residence experience at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, on Big Blend Radio.



Milham, a native Californian who is currently based in Utah, is a gifted professional musician who has been performing since the age of 18, who also has an MFA degree in book arts from The University of Alabama. She combined these two areas in an unusual project combining research, printing, bookbinding and recordings of the compositions of Hawai’i’s beloved last Queen. Her record and letterpress printed project, Uluhaimalama – Legacies of Lili’uokalani is a careful selection of some of the 200 compositions that Lili’uokalani and some composed while under house arrest and smuggled out. Says Milham, “she was an accomplished musician, poet, and all around incredible and beloved leader. The Arts were really integrated into daily life in Hawai’i, and they had figured out these really sophisticated ways to take care of their needs, so they also had time for art and music. And the Queen used her music as her form of protest during the time of imprisonment as well as a source of comfort for her and her people during all that turmoil.”

Coming from a strong line of creative women, it makes sense that she would eventually find her way back home to this culture and its revitalizing energy. Milham says much of her recent work “is centered on Hawaiian history, culture, and the sustained social and environmental movements happening there. And both my mother and my grandmother were fierce advocates for Hawaiian rights and lifelong creatives. My grandmother, Dallas Keali‘iho‘onei‘āina Mossman, was a theater director and musician and my mother, Mary Alice Kai’ulani Milham was a writer.” Milham’s own work is held in multiple public collections including Yale University Arts Library and The Library of Congress and is represented by Vamp & Tramp Booksellers and Brooklyn in NYC.


NPAF is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the promotion of the National Parks of the U.S. through creating dynamic opportunities for artworks that are based in our natural and historic heritage. This project is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, and other generous benefactors. All NPAF programs are made possible through the philanthropic support of donors of all sorts ranging from corporate sponsors, small business, and art patrons and citizen-lovers of the Parks. NPAF is always seeking new partners and donors for its wide-ranging artist-in-residence programs.

Learn more about Allison at and NPAF’s artist-in-residence programs at  

National Parks Arts Foundation


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