Arts & Culture

Arts and culture reports by Noe Tanigawa

Kawehi: Girl Band

May 12, 2015



   Very soon after releasing a cover of Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box on Vimeo about a year ago, Honolulu–born Kawehi’s kickstarter campaign was funded 900 percent.  Esquire, the Huffington Post, and Elle magazine called, and Courtney Love weighed in on Twitter with her verdict:  “genius.”  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports Kawehi has worked hard for this moment.   

Kawehi performs at the Republik in Honolulu May 29th.   Her most recent Kickstarter project, Interaktiv, invites investors to help program her next EP.

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  Pow!Wow! Hawai‘i is pressing on with its mission of igniting street art festivals around the world.  In March, Pow!Wow! staged its first event at the influential media mixer, South by Southwest.  Next month, Pow!Wow! rocks Long Beach, California.  Meanwhile, people continue to discover new paintings here in Kaka‘ako.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa offers this look at one particular work, by Egyptian artist, Ganzeer.




  These days, people around the world are discovering a wealth of Hawaiian culture online, from ‘ukulele tutorials to newspapers from the 19th century.  A music endeavor, Project Kuleana, has attracted hundreds of thousands of views, highlighting a Hawaiian perspective in contemporary media.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on their latest release.

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  The Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival this weekend will offer 150 different events involving 600 writers, performers, and presenters.  Offerings range from ‘ukulele workshops to insights from best-selling authors and panels on important local issues.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa offers a glimpse at the panel on Native Hawaiian law.

All Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival events are free and happen on the grounds of Honolulu Hale 10am to 5pm this Saturday and Sunday.

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    Contemporary depictions of Iranian culture range from news footage to the Shahs of Sunset, but ages of literature are also available to open the doors to this culture.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found a twenty-first century version of an epic Iranian poem offers a feast for the eyes.

Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings, continues at the Honolulu Museum of Art through July 26th.

Hawaii Opera Theatre
Hawaii Opera Theatre

Hawaii Public Radio’s takes a “Behind the Scenes” look at Hawaii Opera Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.

HOT’s Simon Crookall takes listeners through a musical tour of the history, characters, and production of the Opera.


•April 24, Friday, 8:00pm

•April 26, Sunday, 4:00pm

•April 28, Tuesday, 7:00pm

Tickets Available Here

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   This Saturday, you’re invited for a “Walk on the Wild Side” in Chinatown--- part of a National Kidney foundation effort to get people out walking.  Boutiques and restaurants are offering discounts and Art and Flea will fill Fort Street Mall with artisans and designers. HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

Ancient Hawaii






    The second annual “Contact” show is living up to its goals of both breaking new ground and providing points of convergence.  Offerings range from films, group discussions, even an ‘ukulele sing along, to the exhibition at the Honolulu Museum of Art School.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

The “CONTACT” curators, Noelle Kahanu and Ngahiraka Mason, host a discussion tonight, and there are related events into next week.  The exhibition runs through Sunday April 12.   Upstairs, the Ancient Hawai'i exhibit funs through April 30th.

Natalie Nakasone



  Hawai‘i Youth Symphony has been bringing music into the lives of students from every socioeconomic group in Hawai‘i for fifty years.   As part of its anniversary celebration, HYS is inviting everyone to a free Spring Concert at the NBC concert Hall this Sunday.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

This Sunday, 4pm, Hawai‘i Youth Symphony’s most advanced orchestra performs a free concert at the NBC Concert Hall.   Get your tickets at the NBC Box office.  

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For the past week, HPR has been looking at the issues Hawai‘i faces around solid waste. We’ve looked at the proliferation of plastic, the possibility of pollution from particles smaller than we now measure, and the struggles of each county to reduce mounting “waste” in landfills.  Over the past 20 years, a movement has been building around a mind shift—HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found that waste could translate into resources.

Nathan Yuen







   When was the last time you saw a butterfly?  Seventeen butterfly species make their home in Hawai‘i, and though they are often seen, the overall population of butterflies is drastically lower than fifty years ago.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found there are efforts underway to lure even the rarer Kamehameha butterfly into home gardens.

Taimane: Stardust

Mar 23, 2015
amber crago



   Don Ho first spotted the ‘ukulele phenomenon, Taimane, when she was thirteen, and recording deals and international gigs have followed.  This Saturday, she releases her new album, “We Are Made of Stars,” at the Bishop Museum on the lawn under the stars and in the planetarium.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

All are invited to this free CD release party Saturday, March 28 at the Bishop Museum, Planetarium and Gallery Lawns, 7-10pm.  

Ages All Ages, Picnic on the Lawn. BYOFC (Bring your own food and chairs!)

HOT: Out of the Box

Mar 18, 2015
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   Adventuresome culture buffs have a new experience waiting as Hawai‘i Opera Theatre unveils its first production in Kaka‘ako.  The warehouse space that houses Night Market and other events will be transformed to tell a particularly contemporary tale of deceit.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

Hawai‘i Opera Theatre presents “Siren Song”, six performances only through March 29th.  Street Grindz vendors will offer refreshments.  

lunalilo home



   While he was King, High Chief William Charles Lunalilo established a charitable trust to benefit Hawaiian people, especially the elderly.  This led to the creation of Lunalilo Home, first in Makiki, then, at its current location near Kokohead.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found, it’s a sanctuary of Hawaiian culture in Hawai‘i Kai.

This Friday, “He Wa‘a He Moku, He Moku He Wa‘a” a film about canoe values, will be showing free at Lunalilo Home as part of their monthly film series.  

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   If you’re looking for a welcoming place that mingles books and conversation, Revolution Books has been providing that space for over 38 years.  With bookstores down to a one handed count in Honolulu, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa visited a spot even many long time Honolulu residents have missed. 

Revolution Books’ Indiegogo campaign to keep them going concludes March 20th.  Check the HPR website for links.

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  Tonight, our elected officials join in on First Friday festivities as Art at the Capitol celebrates the majestic capitol building itself.  The building  made a splash in international architecture when it was unveiled in 1969, and now that the water feature functions, it continues to serve the state today.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa spoke with the first capitol tour guide.

wikimedia commons








   Every year, Art at the Capitol is a night of camaraderie that revolves around works of art owned by the people of Hawai‘i.  This year, legislators will open their offices and celebrate the state capitol building itself.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa discovered the capitol is a distinctive expression of Hawai‘i’s  attributes and aspirations.

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   The inaugural production of the new Hawaiian Theatre program at UH Mānoa sold out its first weekend at Kennedy Theatre.   HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports Lāʻieikawai is the story of how the most beautiful woman in Hawai‘i found her true love.  A special fund for Hawaiian Theatre has been started at the UH Foundation for touring and for future productions.

“Lāʻieikawai” continues at Kennedy Theatre on the UH Mānoa campus through this weekend  only.

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The Honolulu Printmakers have invited a dynamic young Chicago team to jury their new exhibition, and a splinter group is half way through wrapping a major Honolulu building site in thousands of prints.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa surveys the activity.

The Honolulu Printmakers’ 87th Annual Exhibition opens Wednesday with festivities and a DJ.  

All are invited to the Opening Reception: 
Wednesday, February 25, 5–7 pm

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    Does art by millennials differ from the art that has come before them?  That’s the unspoken question behind an exhibition at WCC’s Gallery ‘Iolani that features a dozen artists born between 1976 and 1991.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa spoke with one of the curators.

It's just fun to think, what are the characteristics of this millennial tribe, what are they drawn to?  Beyond that, what modes of depiction feel accurate now?  

kumu kahua


   “My Name is Gary Cooper”, the current production at Kumu Kahua has been generating a lot of buzz for the unconventional way it tackles family and race relations.  According to the play, the 1953 Hollywood film, “Return to Paradise” starring Gary Cooper,  spawned a generation of Samoan “Gary Coopers”, one of whom is the subject of this story.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

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At Spalding House, the site of the former Contemporary Museum in Makiki, a chapel of sorts has sprung up in the former tennis courts.  Open to the elements, with a transparent roof, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found a place dedicated to peace and play.

Little Brown and Co.



  David Sedaris has come far since his days as a Santa’s elf, far even since his popular segments in This 

  American Life.  His writings in the New Yorker tackle topics from dentists without borders, to his sister’s suicide, to crocheted owls.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa spoke with Sedaris in London as he prepares for visits to Līhu‘e and Hilo.

David Sedaris performs on Kaua‘i Wednesday February 18th at Kaua‘i Community College and at UH Hilo on Thursday.  

O'ahu Fringe Festival


   From humble beginnings in Edinburgh, Scotland, Fringe Festivals now dot the globe, each different but holding to the ideal of creating something new for their audiences.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on the O‘ahu Fringe Festival which runs through the weekend.

The O‘ahu Fringe Festival runs through February 15th in a variety of venues.

For a schedule of O‘ahu Fringe Festival events.

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  The Pow!Wow! Street Art Festival is underway in Honolulu this week.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa was at the opening of the new contemporary show at the HMA School.

‘Pow!Wow! Exploring the New Contemporary Art” continues at the Honolulu Museum School through February 18th.  This year there will be work fronting and inside the Honolulu Museum as well.

Find out more at the Pow!Wow! website.

A Motown Valentine

Feb 10, 2015
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   In the decade after 1961, Motown record’s distinctive sound propelled 110 hits into the Billboard top ten.  This weekend, the Kings of Spade present their 4th annual Motown Valentines Review featuring the music of the Supremes, Jackson five, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and others.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa caught a recent rehearsal.

Robert Allen




  Last year Honolulu city officials began a study to renovate the Neal Blaisdell Center complex.   After researching possibilities, the idea for a redevelopment is taking hold.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa offers background in advance of a public planning meeting next week.

A public workshop on the Neal Blaisdell Master Plan happens Tuesday, February 10th, 6pm, at the Blaisdell Center Hawai'i Suites, 777 Ward Avenue.  Free parking.

center for Korean studies


  Korean government support in the 1990’s helped fuel the Korean Wave of pop culture that swept Asia and Hawai‘i.  That wave appears to have peaked, along with Korea’s economic tiger status, and some in Korea’s film industry have been reflecting a growing social malaise.   HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on a film series examining castaways in Korean society.

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  Hawai‘i’s cable television companies are required by law to provide funds and channels for community access.  Na Leo o Hawai‘i on Hawai‘i Island, Akaku in Maui county, and Hō‘ike on Kaua‘i are much loved local channels.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa offer sthis visit with ‘Ōlelo, O‘ahu’s four community television channels.

Non profits and other community organizations,  ‘Ōlelo may be able to shoot and air your event for free. Call and ask about their Executive Production Service.

pegge hopper gallery




   Thirteen of Hawai‘i’s most savvy women artists are showing together at Pegge Hopper Gallery in Chinatown.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa offers this glimpse of the work.

The "13 Women" are:

Reiko Brandon, Allyn Bromley, Kandi Everett, Sally French, Lynda Hess, Kloe Kang, Emily McIlroy, Mary Mitsuda, Marcia Morse, Esther Shimazu, Yida Wang, Suzanne Wolfe, and Maile Yawata.