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Learn about Hawaiian culture at Celebration of the Arts

By Staff | Mar 18, 2010

On Friday and Saturday, April 2-3, hula and cultural performances are slated throughout the day.

KAPALUA — “E ia ka Manawa” (Here, Now is the Time) will be the theme for the 18th annual Celebration of the Arts on April 2-4 at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. 

Every Easter weekend, Celebration of the Arts is presented free to the public to link residents and visitors with the host culture. 

“This year’s theme will inspire intellectual conversation to shape and align the future of Native Hawaiians,” said Clifford Nae‘ole, event chair and hotel cultural advisor. 

“In prior years, we have focused on bringing the past to the present, while this year the concentration will initiate thoughts from the present to the future.”

A recipient of the prestigious Kahili Award from the Hawaii Tourism Authority in 2005, Celebration of the Arts is Hawaii’s premiere hands-on arts and cultural festival.

Kama‘aina (local residents) and malihini (visitors) are invited to experience the “Hawaiian heart and soul” through interaction with artists, cultural practitioners, workshops, films, food and music.

Each event features a timely topic with emphasis on education, cultural awareness and sharing. 

On Friday and Saturday, April 2-3, panel discussions and events are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., along with traditional craft stations and continuous hula/cultural performances throughout the day.

With this year’s theme, sessions and panels will include the following:

• “Can or No Can” — A discussion of the pros and cons of establishing large observatories and telescopes on the volcano summits, regarded as sacred sites by many Hawaiians.

• “2012… Huli Ia (To Change)” — A look at the Polynesian view of messages from nature that could become more evident in 2012

• “Passing the Torch” — A lesson in mentoring ancient things in a contemporary time.

• “The Mua, the Men and the Mission” — This presentation details the challenge of adult Hawaiian males guiding male youth to become adults while preparing themselves for the responsibilities of being kupuna (elders).

• “A Green Harvest with Executive Sous Chef Marc McDowell” — Take an informative tour through the hotel’s organic gardens.

• “Got Poke?” — Enjoy this poke (diced tuna seafood salad) cooking demonstration with Kumu Charles Ka‘upu and respected Kupuna Aunty Mapu Yasue.

Contemporary artists from The Village Galleries and traditional artists from Ni‘ihau to Hilo will offer hands-on art experiences throughout the resort for children and adults.

“Celebration After Hours in Alaloa Lobby Lounge” will feature the four-part harmony and contemporary beats of Vaihi on Friday from 9 p.m. to midnight. Waipuna, Hawaii’s newest musical standout, will perform on Saturday from 9 p.m. to midnight to close out the festivities. Admission is free.

For the children, the hotel’s Ke Kula Kamali‘i (children’s learning center) will offer a day of Hawaiian mana‘o (thinking) and art inspired by nature. Keiki will be taught the language of Hawaii through counting, painting, crafts and outdoor activities. Hawaiian kumu (teachers) will share the heart and soul of their native language and culture.

The highlight of the weekend will be the Celebration Pa‘ina and Show on Saturday, April 3, at 6 p.m. in the Aloha Garden Ballroom. The entertainment-filled evening will showcase a transition of music and dance in time with the talent of Master Chanter and Kumu Hula Charles Ka‘upu and his kane kahiko (ancient men’s hula), auwana (contemporary hula) from the women and children of Keoni Manuel, and the innovative vignettes of Hawaiian history presented by the creators and performers of “Ulalena.” 

Hawaiian cooks will join with The Ritz-Carlton chefs to create an abundant masterpiece of traditional luau foods, along with delicacies a visitor might only find if invited into a Hawaiian home. 

“This feast and show is an evening of classic Hawaiian delicacies in combination with the cuisine of The Ritz-Carlton chefs,” said John Zaner, executive chef.

“Don’t wait too long to get your tickets, because this will certainly sell out.”

Tickets are $90 for adults and $45 for children ages 5-12. Advance reservations are recommended.

A free Easter Egg Hunt will take place on the expansive Plantation Lawn on Sunday, April 4. A lavish Easter Sunday Brunch will be held in The Terrace Restaurant. Prices are $75 for adults and $37.50 for children ages 5-12. Call 669-6200 for reservations.

The 18th annual Celebration of the Arts is sponsored by The Village Galleries, Hawaiian Airlines, Maui Visitors Bureau, MC&A, Kapalua Resort, Kapalua Villas and The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.

For more information on the event, call Clifford Nae‘ole at 669-6200 or visit www.celebrationofthearts.org.