Arts & Culture

Climate change is affecting human lives, and that experience is showing up in the arts. Tonight in Honolulu, five contemporary Australian musicians will share experiences of nature from Down Under. In this concert, visions of the natural world include pastoral landscapes, majestic vistas, and much more.

If you love the Pacific islands, don’t leave Honolulu in June. Twenty-eight Pacific nations will be represented here at a mammoth gathering of tribes. The Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture has grown to include political, scholarly and business concerns as well. Hawai‘i has been sending groups to these gatherings since 1976. But FestPac 2020 marks the first time Hawaii is the festival host.

Over a hundred artists are converging this week for Honolulu’s tenth annual Pow!Wow! street art festival. Key locations will have fresh new works of art as live painting continues all this week along the streets and byways of Kaka‘ako. Best of all, a generation is growing up in Honolulu with paintings by internationally renowned artists all around them.

For many people, UN reports and scientific papers do not really convey what climate change will be like. Part of the problem is that scientists are warning about effects we never imagined on the economy, migration, health, and human relations. In this edition of HPR’s Planet808, we look at one journalist's estimation of how the Earth's worst and best case scenarios have changed. 

Noe Tanigawa

The Lunar New Year begins this Saturday. It’s the year of the metal rat and celebrations hit a peak Friday night through Saturday. Lion dances, firecrackers, even the foods of the season, are slipping from sight in Honolulu, but there's a spot at the Vineyard Boulevard edge of Chinatown that will be hopping Friday night.

Noe Tanigawa / Hawai'i Public Radio

Communities large and small have been trying to deal with their own garbage since the dawn of civilization.  The first municipal waste dump in the Western world is credited to Athens in the 5th century B.C., and that’s the solution nearly every community takes, at least for starters. We’ve spent the last two weeks looking at solid waste management across this state, and while methods and incentives have differed over the decades, experts in the field are coming to one conclusion.

UH Manoa

In just twenty years, awareness of climate change has progressed to climate anxiety. According to Time Magazine, mental health studies show “eco-anxiety” exploded last year from Greenland to Australia. A new exhibit at UH Mānoa aims to work through the grief and denial toward community action.

The Arts at Marks will go on! One person, well, two, have made all the difference. Last September, the Arts at Marks Garage was looking at closing completely.  Since opening in 2001, Honolulu Chinatown’s experimental art space has been a hub for theater, visual arts, fashion, film, spoken word, community meetings, and much more. 

Noe Tanigawa

Over the last decade, people across the globe began to grapple with the effects of global warming.  Here in Hawai‘i, effects have ranged from wildfires to flooding and coral bleaching, with more frequent and intensified weather events.  In this edition of Planet808, climate change across the islands, HPR takes a look at the road ahead.

John John Florence of Hale‘iwa will join fellow Hawai‘i surfer Carissa Moore on the U.S. Olympic Surfing team.  That was decided Thursday during the Pipe Masters at ‘Ehukai Beach.  Events continue today on the North Shore.  We found out more about what goes on under the waves, with a leading authority on O‘ahu’s beaches.

Honolulu’s most respected fine art and antique dealer, Robyn Buntin of Honolulu Gallery, will close after this Sunday. An artist himself, Buntin developed contacts in Asia and the Pacific and through the late 1980s and 1990s. The gallery was well known on the international circuit of antique art fairs. Now, a new phase is about to begin.

Noe Tanigawa / Hawai'i Public Radio

You will not find any plates, mugs or vases at the ceramics show on view now at the UH Mānoa Art Gallery. Associate professor Brad Evan Taylor has shown his work primarily in Asia, where he is known for giant wedges of rock, like sections of a mountain ridge that appear to be thrusting upward. Taylor says the natural processes his pieces go through leave their mark.

Brian Vallelunga/cc commons / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hawai‘i’s green energy goals are among the most ambitious in the nation, and other states are closely watching our progress. Hawai‘i’s stated goal is 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2045, an ambitious target that requires tackling the problem of airline fuel. Nearly a third of the petroleum consumed in Hawai‘i is for jet fuel. In this edition of Planet808, HPR visits this past week’s Hawai‘i Aviation and Climate Action Summit.

Noe Tanigawa / Hawai'i Public Radio

Thanksgiving usually kicks off a season of increased generosity.  Social service agencies notice an uptick in volunteers as Christmas approaches, and people who want to make a contribution wonder how to be most useful. Here are recommendations from a professional who knows the value of contributing to a cause.

Noe Tanigawa

This cat is a very custom maneki neko. The cats are a familiar sight in restaurants and retail establishments all over Hawai‘i and Japan--but not in front of homes. Why? Usually, the sculpture depicts a white cat with orange patches, a calico with one paw raised. What does this cat signify? Also, The new Downtown Art Center Shop welcomes artists.

Noe Tanigawa / Hawai'i Public Radio

In 2017, Hawai‘i set high tide records for four straight months. It turned out to be because of a combination of factors including sea level rise, and an El Nino effect. Today, HPR’s Planet808 takes a look at the high tides we’ll be experiencing this week.

Noe Tanigawa

This year, the 2019 Honolulu Biennial set roots in this community with thoughtful installations, and exuberant music, video, and conversations. According to the Biennial Foundation, forty five thousand visitors came from out of state for the events, and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority estimates direct visitor expenditures around the Biennial reached $82 million dollars. All this, on a public investment of $35 thousand dollars. Now, the HB is ready for its next step, a permanent center for creative exploration.

Restaurant Week starts today, so if you’re on O‘ahu, you can dine out for a cause until November 24th.  Over 75 diverse restaurants around Honolulu have prepared special menus or are running deals, and donating proceeds to the Culinary Institute of the Pacific. Travel and food videos have raised expectations for the next generation of chefs.

honolulu museum of art

After a national search lasting nearly a year, the Honolulu Museum of Art has selected a new director. Hālona Norton-Westbrook is currently director of curatorial affairs at Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. Norton-Westbrook recently talked about the Honolulu museum’s size, quality collection, and connection to the community as key assets. 

Francis Haar/UH Manoa

Black and white photographs are offering a glimpse into Honolulu’s colorful past, at UH Mānoa’s John Young Museum. The A‘ala Park area on the west end of Honolulu was once bustling around its train station, but by the 1960’s decay had set in, and redevelopment was on the way. That’s when photographer Francis Haar decided to document the changes.

Wikimedia Commons

Some very high tides are expected later this month, Nov. 25 to Nov. 28. Hawai‘i’s last "king tide" event happened at the end of July. Combined with a freak south swell, ocean levels rose over three feet and reached their highest point of the year so far. One water expert explains how Honolulu will cope with rising sea levels.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa / Hawai'i Public Radio

Kaka‘ako Makai’s sidewalks are cleared of campers now, but where have they all gone? And, O‘ahu’s homeless youth just got $3.8 million from HUD for programs homeless youth will help develop. 

Honolulu Museum of Art

Beginning in the Tang dynasty over a thousand years ago, Chinese landscape painting was seen as a way for cultured people to commune with nature. The exhibition now at the Honolulu Museum of Art is solidly a part of that tradition, but, according to the show’s curator, these paintings say more about the present, than the past. Li Huayi’s huge ink paintings plunge you into a non-rational world.

Ferraro Choi Architects

New help has arrived for Hawaii’s next wave of creative and technology start ups. It’s the new Entrepreneurs Sandbox: a community co-working, event and maker space in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kaka’ako.  The state and major business partners are investing in a combination of creativity, technology, and entrepreneurship.

New Federal Regulations on Hemp; Night Marchers Movie Reboot; Easy Access to e-cigs; Honolulu Funding the Arts; Halloween Storyteller

Across Honolulu, storefront galleries have been disappearing, and exhibition venues are becoming rare, but you’re more likely to see art on the street or in a bar. With changes underway in Honolulu’s arts infrastructure, the role of the City could be crucial.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa / Hawai'i Public Radio

Maui is famous for its beaches and other natural features, and in the old days, Maui people really knew the land they lived on. Now, a project to collect the songs of West Maui has uncovered a treasure trove of cultural and environmental knowledge embedded in music.  A new project is bringing the old songs back to life as a book, an album, and a concert.

After a big weekend on Maui, the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival is wrapping up in Honolulu this week. The annual event raises money for agriculture and culinary projects across the state, and organizers say they’ve raised nearly two and a half million dollars since they started eight years ago. It’s a lot of work, and much of it is volunteer, but workers include students who see their future in the field.

Chip Fletcher
Chip Fletcher

A hardy band of UH faculty and state and county officials is just back from a learning trip to U.S. East Coast cities that are wrestling with climate change. This week’s Future Focus conference brought academic, business, and government leaders together to collaborate on climate adaptation.

Hawaii Sketch Comedy Festival

Styles of comedy have changed over the years, and the best of it continues to touch on things we all have in common, living in Hawai‘i. Still, connections outside the islands are changing the style and content of local comedy and the Hawai‘i Sketch Comedy Festival this weekend will show case some of what’s out there now.