Arts & Culture

Arts and culture reports by Noe Tanigawa

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   Klezmer is the traditional folk music of Jews from Eastern Europe, known for expressive melodies and lively dance tunes.   The music ensemble, Big Galute uses klezmer as a springboard for a night of music, stories, and borscht belt humor.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found out why they sold out last time they were here.

Big Galute combines humor with  traditional klezmer music with cabaret, baroque classical, music from Jewish teatre and composers.

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   The venerable Hawai‘i Theatre has been through a lot since opening as the “Pride of the Pacific” in 1922.   Vaudeville acts gave way to movies, then a closure in 1984.  The theatre’s reopening in 1996 after a 32 million dollar renovation has always held great promise, and HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found a new theatre president is reorganizing with an eye to the future.

Next up at the Hawai‘i Theatre, Kuana Torres Kahele on  February 7, Hālau I Ka Wēkiuʻs annual concert February 8, and blues singer Eric Bibb, February 13.

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    There’s a young singer in town who’s being picked up in South America, South Africa, Japan, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa caught up with Maryanne Ito at one of her favorite downtown lunch spots, Fresh Café, for a chat about the music. 

Check out Maryanne's website.

See Maryanne’s video with Jemere Morgan, “How I Feel”

Pow! Wow! 2015

Jan 13, 2015
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Lately HPR has been examining how arts and culture are playing a key role in kakaako’s development.  In this latest installment, Noe Tanigawa headed to the community’s center, Mother Waldron Park, to chat with the founder of Pow!Wow!, the street art festival that’s changed the look of the neighborhood.

Find out about POW!WOW! Hawai'i 2015

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  At a time when even writing is getting obsolete, people across the state are answering an inner call to use their hands to make things.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa finds people are pooling resources and expertise, and computers often play a major role.

An annual maker gathering, the Mini Maker Faire, happens on O‘ahu

Check out the O‘ahu Makerspace and get with their motto:  Let’s make it happen!

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 On the eve of the 2015 legislative session, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa takes a look at a recent auditor’s report on the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.  You can find the full audit at the SFCA website.

Future curators, gallery owners and installers, contact Karen Ewald of the Art in Public Places program for more on the Gallery Incubator , planned for Spring 2015.

Karen A. Ewald, APP Program Manager

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  Currently, the average sales price of a home on O‘ahu is 974 thousand dollars, up 11% from a year ago--- for a condo, the average price is 398 thousand, up 8%.  Meanwhile, Hawai‘i’s population is increasing by about 29 new residents a day, and housing has not kept up.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa offers this look at real estate on O‘ahu over the past year.

The Honolulu Board of Realtor’s website offers listings, market information, and consumer assistance.

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   Latest available statistics show Hawai‘i’s creative industries now involve 48,170 entrepreneurs and small businesses around the state, accounting for 5.9 percent of jobs here.  That's just one percentage point below the construction industry in 2013.  Creative industries, which include art, design, culture, interactive and digital media, plus film and television, account for 4.5% of Hawai'i's total GDP, and the sector is experiencing double digit expansion.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa offers a look at this growing sector of the state economy.

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  As 2014 draws to a close, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa has prepared a look back, and a look forward.  Keola Beamer performs from his first recording, released January first, 1972.  Darrell Lum reads from a letter to his hometown, written in 2014.

You’ll be listening to Darrell Lum’s “Letter to Honolulu” read with Keola Beamer’s “In the Real Old Style.”

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   If shipping deadlines are past and you still need a few choice gifts, remember a lot of your island neighbors are still hoping to make a good portion of their annual income this season.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa offers a look at places to get locally made goods.

Native Books/Na Mea Hawai‘i in Ward Warehouse

For the Drift Boutique address in Kaimukī

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   In the last five years, the Street Grindz team has done a lot to create Kaka‘ako’s current lively image.  Their events, Eat the Street and Honolulu Night Market, attract thousands to the area and now, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on what’s next for some lucky vendors in the Kamehameha Schools side of Kakaako.

Food, music, and vendors of all kinds will gather for a Street Grindz "Rogue Christmas” tomorrow, Saturday night, December 20th, at 449 Cooke Street from 6 to 11pm.  

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   Between the two world wars in 20th century Hawai‘i, the convergence of Hawai‘i’s natural beauty and an international art style created compelling images that haunt us today.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Art Deco Hawai‘i show, set to close January 11th.

Find out more about the Art Deco Hawai‘i exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art.   It closes January 11.

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  Earlier this week, we visited the young entrepreneurs of Art and Flea who have moved their flock of fledgling creatives to a new shop called MORI in Ward Warehouse.  Today, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on how plans for the Ward Village neighborhood are shaping up.

Click to find out more about the Ward Village development on their website.

Check here to find out more about community events sponsored by Ward Village.

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   Art and Flea began in 2010 as a monthly gathering of eclectic vendors.  The last Thursday of every month, a select group of creatives got a shot at selling their fashion, t-shirts, jewelry, bags, and other products.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on Art and Flea’s new retail location.

Art and Flea’s 4th Annual Ugly Sweater Party happens Friday, December 19th at the new location, 1020 Auahi Street, Bldg 3, behind Marukai Market, 5-10pm.

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  International artist Patrick Dougherty creates massive environmental sculptures with sticks.  As part of their fiftieth anniversary celebration, the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kaua‘i commissioned a giant new installation for the McBryde Garden in Lāwa‘i .  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

Here’s the link to the National Tropical Botanical Gardens

Here’s Patrick Dougherty’s website.

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  Earlier this month, the women of the Honolulu Blend Show Chorus competed in the Sweet Adelines’ International Competition in Baltimore.  They astonished the crowd by placing third, ahead of many more experienced competitors. HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found the Blend is back in town and ready for more.

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Cathy Kata (Papua New Guinea), Mbu Walg Kupun II, c. 2009 plant fiber, jute fiber, paper mulberry bark, wood, seed, shell, feather, boar tusk, possum bone, plastic, natural dyeCredit noe tanigawaEdit | Remove



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   In Kumu Kahua’s current production, "the underneath", the waters of the Ala Wai Canal are a metaphor for the past and for the complex relationship between two brothers.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found it is both a whodunit and a layered family portrait.

“The Underneath”, by Susan Soon Stanton, continues at Kumu Kahua through December 7th.   Deft staging propels strong performances by Jonathan Clarke Sypert, Brandon DiPaola, Stephanie Keiko Kong, Kati Kuroda, and William Ha'o.

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   Hawai‘i Fashion Month is pressing forward with more shows, more events, and opportunities to shop local designers.   HPR’s Noe Tanigawa surveys upcoming events and profiles a designer who’s gone from Siberia to Kaua’i.

Find out more about upcoming Hawai'i Fashion Month events.

Denver art Museum


   The Stronghold Society, based in Colorado, has a subliminal suicide prevention program that appears, on first glance, to be a skateboarding club.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports the instigating artist is in town to spread the movement.

You can meet Lakota artist, Walt Pourier at free workshops this week, at PA'I Foundation

904 Kohou St. #102

Thursday, Nov. 20, 6pm, Designing Skateboard Decks

Saturday, Nov. 22 at Mother Waldron Park he will be at the PA'I Kaka'ako Arts & Makahiki Fest

9:00 am - 4pm

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  Since her death in 1955, Sadako Sasaki has become an international symbol of the effects of nuclear war. She has inspired songs, animations, and now, ‘Ohana Arts has created a musical based on her life affirming story.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

The premiere of “Peace on Your Wings” will take place at Leeward Community College Theatre on November 20th, 21st, and 22nd at 7:30 PM, with a matinee on Saturday the 22nd at 2 PM.  Tickets are $25 for premium seating, $15 For general admission, and $10 for students.  They can be purchased at:

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  Here in Hawai‘i, we’ve got a lot of veterans to celebrate.  Military veterans comprise over eleven percent of the population.  Overall, their unemployment rate is about the same as other residents though experts think younger vets, 18-24 match the national average of over twenty percent unemployed.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa looks at challenges and and one veteran’s journey to success.

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   The Hawai‘i Symphony is launching a pops series that will bring live acrobats and high resolution animations to the stage along with full symphonic orchestrations.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found a gala evening is planned for the first event in the new series, “Hooray for Hollywood”.

Kaveh Kardan via Hawaii Fashion Month
Kaveh Kardan via Hawaii Fashion Month



 November is Hawai‘i Fashion Month with runway shows, pop up boutiques, and lots of opportunities to shop local designers.   Last year, the fashion industry pumped 750 million dollars into the local economy, much of it through small businesses that began on a dream and a prayer.

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  A top of the line international art exposition in Hawai‘i could bring groundbreaking artists, curators, critics and collectors into town.  High profile crowds flock to the venerable Venice Biennial, and other art festivals in Asia and Europe.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa previews the Honolulu Biennial which opens its prologue tonight in Kaka‘ako.

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  The last executive director of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts left in a cloud of controversy, and after a national search for a successor, a local Kalani graduate was for the State’s top arts post.  Now settled into his new position, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa talked with Jonathan Johnson about what’s ahead for the State foundation.

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   Tucked into the makai corner of Mānoa Marketplace, a new music venue has been drawing weekend audiences.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa discovered there are two concert venues and art, dance, and culinary classes going on there as well.

The Stantons welcome community use of their concert spaces and are fundraising to expand their practice rooms and studios.  The schedule of performers changes constantly so check the website for the latest.


Luis Valdez’ films, “Zoot Suit” and “La Bamba” use humor, drama, music, and dance to illuminate social issues.  As he prepares to speak at a humor conference in Honolulu, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa spoke with Valdez about his use of laughter and satire during the groundbreaking United Farmworkers’ strike in California. 

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   The recent Scottish independence vote, with all its color and emotion, came after over 400 years in the British commonwealth.  Many Hawaiians followed the Scottish vote with interest, knowing that Department of the Interior hearings here indicate emotions do still run high over US actions in Hawai‘i just over 100 years ago.  In HPR’s continuing exploration of voices on Hawaiian sovereignty, Noe Tanigawa spoke with Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, the Director of the Center for Hawaiian Studies.