Maui Arts & Entertainment

18th Annual Celebration of the Arts Festival, April 2-4

March 29, 2010, 6:27 AM HST
* Updated March 29, 11:07 AM
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Hawaii’s premiere hands-on arts and cultural festival will grace the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Resort, April 2-4, 2010.  In preparation for the 18th Annual Celebration of the Arts Festival, event chair Clifford Nae’ole announced the theme “E ia ka Manawa”, or “Here, Now is the Time” saying this year’s focus will initiate thoughts from the present to the future.  Highlights include village galleries featuring traditional artists from Niihau to Hilo; a Celebration Pa’ina featuring master chanter and Kumu Hula Charles Ka’upu and performers from the award-winning Ulalena theatrical presentation; and panels discussions with an emphasis on education and cultural awareness.

Clifford Nae'ole. File Photo by Wendy Osher.

Every Easter weekend, Celebration of the Arts is presented complimentary to the public to reconnect the “host to the hosted.”

“This year’s theme will inspire intellectual conversation to shape and align the future of Native Hawaiians,” said Clifford Nae`ole, event chairperson 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 Hawai`i Tourism Authority in 2005, Celebration of the Arts is Hawai`i’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.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua overlooks one of the most significant sites to native Hawaiians, the Honokahua Preservation Site, and is a gathering place for Hawaii’s well-known and best loved artists, educators, cultural art masters and healers.  Maui visitors blend with island kupuna (elders) and keiki (children) in a rich tapestry with a common thread to learn about Hawai`i’s past, present and future.  Each event features a timely topic with emphasis on education, cultural awareness and sharing so that it can be perpetuated.


Friday and Saturday, April 2 & 3
The panels and events are scheduled Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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 – 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 Souz Chef Marc McDowell – returning for its second year with an informative tour through the hotels organic gardens
•       Got Poke? – new poke (diced tuna seafood salad) cooking demonstration hosted by 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 – four-part harmony and contemporary beats of Vaihi will be featured on Friday from 9 p.m. to midnight; Waipuna, Hawaii’s newest musical stand out, will take the mic on Saturday from 9 p.m. to midnight night to close out the festivities; no cover charge

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

Saturday, April 3
The highlight of the weekend is 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 the award-winning Ulalena.


Hawaiian cooks join with The Ritz-Carlton chefs to create an abundant masterpiece of traditional lu`au foods along with those 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.”

Ticket prices are $90 for adults and $45 for children ages 5 to 12, inclusive. Advance reservations are recommended as the event sells out in advance each year.

Sunday, April 4
A complimentary Easter Egg Hunt takes place on the expansive Plantation Lawn. The lavish Easter Sunday Brunch is held in The Terrace Restaurant. Prices are $75 for adults and $37.50 for children ages 5 to 12.  Prices are exclusive of taxes and gratuity.  Please call (808) 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 Celebration of the Arts, visit  The event hotline is available 24 hours a day at (808) 665-7296.

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