East Hawai'i Cultural Center is operated by the East Hawai'i Cultural Council, a coaliton of organizations and individuals dedicated to preserving cultural, creative and traditional arts in Hawai'i, to foster community involvement with culture and the arts; and to coordinate activities and resources among East Hawai'i arts and cultural community. The Council was founded in 1967 with six charter organizations reflecting Hilo's multi-ethnic heritage.
East Hawai'i Cultural Center is home to an alliance of arts and cultural organizations among them the Big Island Dance Council, Hawaii Concert Society, Bunka No Izumi, Kin Ryosho Dance Academy, and the Phillippine Women's Circle.
The Center's facilities include three public galleries, which host local, national and international invitational art exhibits. In the Main Gallery is the Gift Shop featuring locally created art and artifacts.
A Performance Space on the second floor serves as a "black box" theater, an art studio, a meeting room, and one of the best dance floors on the island. The broad lanai and balcony frequently become the stage for the Hilo Community Players Summer Shakespeare Performances.
Events are made possible in part by support from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation, Culture and Arts Section and other funding sources.
The main support comes from the public. As a member of EHCC one receives invitations to the art exhibitions, advance notice to other events, discounts for classes and gift shop purchases as well as the newsletter, Art Centering.
In addition to Center activities, EHCC helps sponsor other exhibitions and cultural events, including the Big Island Hawaiian Music Festival and the Hamakua Music Festival. EHCC sponsors events that attract many thousands of visitors annually.
Its newsletter, Art Centering, is mailed to members and distributed free to the public, bringing news of cultural events, ideas about the arts and living, as well as providing a forum for poetry and art.