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Maui Celebrates Traditional Arts

March 5, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox

E ia ka Manawa” (Here, Now is the Time), is the theme for Maui's 18th Annual Celebration of the Arts, which runs from April 2 to 4 at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Every Easter weekend, Celebration of the Arts is presented complimentary to the public to reconnect the “host to the hosted.”

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.

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 Hawaii through counting, painting, crafts and outdoor activities.

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 traditional lu`au foods along with those delicacies a visitor might only find if invited into a Hawaiian home.

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.

For more information on Celebration of the Arts, call Clifford Nae’ole at 808-669-6200 or visit The event hotline is available 24 hours a day at 808-665-7296.

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