The first of two Paul Simon concerts takes place on Maui tonight at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Amphitheater and Yokouchi Pavilion.
The concerts mark the first time Paul Simon has ever performed on Maui, and his first Hawaiʻi shows since Simon & Garfunkel appeared at the Blaisdell Arena over 50 years ago.
All net proceeds will be donated to the Auwahi Forest Restoration Project and Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo. Both organizations are dedicated to environmental welfare and to preserving species biodiversity in Hawai‘i.
Tickets are available at the MACC Box office, by phone at (808) 242-SHOW or online at http://mauiarts.org . Ticket prices are: $55, $85, $125, $185 (plus applicable fees).
“While no longer touring, Paul Simon has stated his ongoing commitment to perform the occasional concert and to donate those earnings to philanthropic organizations, particularly those dedicated to environmental welfare and to preserving species biodiversity,” according to a concert announcement.
Simon decided to contribute to The Auwahi Forest Restoration Project and Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo after spending time visiting Maui in recent years and being inspired by their work.
Hawai‘i is universally regarded as a “biodiversity hotspot” by conservationists, as it’s one of earth’s most biologically rich, yet threatened, regions. Conservation International lists 36 areas around the globe that qualify as hotspots—they represent just 2.4% of earth’s land surface, but they support more than half of the world’s plant species as endemics.
According to The Nature Conservancy, Hawai‘i itself represents a very small percent of total US landmass, but it also comprises 25% of the endangered species listed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Since Hawai‘i is one of the biodiversity hotspots, while also being characterized as the most isolated mountainous archipelago on earth, it is also extremely vulnerable to invasive species by global trade and other sources. Over 90% of Hawai‘i’s native plants aren’t found anywhere else on earth.
The Auwahi Forest Restoration Project  originated in 1997 as a grassroots, community-based effort working in collaboration with `Ulupalakua Ranch to save tracts of highly endangered dry forest at Auwahi as biological and cultural sanctuaries. Since its inception, the Auwahi project has restored and preserved tracts of native forest by sequentially excluding grazing animals, controlling mats of invasive grass, and working with volunteers from the community to plant over 125,000 native trees. Within their restoration work, non-native species cover declined from 87% to 2%, while native species increased from 20% to 98%. Nearly two-thirds of native tree species at Auwahi are now producing seedlings naturally, signs of a healthy functioning ecosystem, including some species that had not done so in centuries.
Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo  (KUA) builds local capacity for community-based management of natural and cultural resources, supporting community-based organizations in identifying their own resource management goals and developing the expertise, knowledge, and skills necessary to accomplish these goals. Combining effective traditional and contemporary resources management methods, communities are restoring their traditional role as caretakers of the lands and waters of their places. KUA is committed to nurturing connective spaces where a growing network of communities can incubate ideas, pursue joint-strategies, learn from one another, and leverage shared strengths.
As previously announced, Paul Simon also headlined San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival on Aug. 11, and donated all net proceeds from that performance to local Bay Area organizations San Francisco Parks Alliance and Friends of the Urban Forest.
About Paul Simon:
During his distinguished career spanning six decades, musician and songwriter Paul Simon has produced timeless masterpieces, such as Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sounds of Silence, and Graceland. He has received 16 Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, and has been twice inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Simon was awarded the inaugural Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world’s culture. Simon is also a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, and, in 2006, was named one of Time magazine’s “100 People Who Shape Our World.”
Paul Simon’s varied philanthropic work includes the co-founding of the Children’s Health Fund, which donates and staffs 53 mobile medical units that bring health care to low-income children and their families around the United States, providing more than five million doctor/patient visits since its inception in 1987.
In June 2017, net proceeds from Simon’s month-long US concert tour were donated to benefit the Half-Earth Project, an initiative of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, which is committed to stopping the species extinction crisis by conserving half the planet’s lands and oceans. During Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour in 2018, he left a financial gift in each city he visited on tour, as a thank you to those cities, and benefitting local youth and environmental organizations. Having retired from touring, Mr. Simon continues his commitment to occasionally perform and to donate those earnings to philanthropic organizations, particularly those dedicated to environmental welfare and to preserving species biodiversity.