Often overlooked, art and music are a big part of Hawaii’s culture. The art and artisans, music, and dance of the Islands range from traditional to contemporary. The realm of the arts offers fun and immersive ways to explore and enjoy Hawaii’s diverse multicultural landscape. Music and cultural festivals to art exhibitions and theater productions should be a must on your Hawaii visit!
If exploring local art is a must on your vacation, check out the Honolulu Biennial, an Oahu art exhibition that contributes to local and indigenous perspectives, knowledge and creative expressions. This event is March 8th through May 5th.
In early summer, the annual Molokai Hula Ka Piko festival, happening May 30th to June 1st, celebrates the traditions of the island’s early history that speak of it being the birthplace of hula.
In September, attend the Kauai Mokihana Festival, a week long celebration of Hawaiian culture featuring music, hula competitions and educational lectures.
Hawaii’s unique art exhibits!
Oahu’s Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum for “The Untold Stories of Easter Island.” Running through May, the exhibition showcases artifacts from the South Pacific nation of Rapa Nui and aims to transport visitors beyond the island’s world-famous moai (carved stone statues). Learn about its unique environment and history.
On Maui, the Maui Arts and Cultural Center is a year-round art exhibit focusing on paintings and ceramic works, to two- and three-dimensional depictions exploring the history of surfing.
Are you a theater enthusiast? visiting Kumu Kahua Theatre in Oahu offers a variety of year-round productions featuring locally inspired narratives written and produced in the Islands.
Hawaiian cultural workshops are also a great way to experience the culture. Maui Nui Botanical Gardens and Kauai Cultural Center, offer a variety of activities ranging from creating kapa (bark cloth) and weaving fishnets, to cooking with the Hawaiian dietary staple ulu (breadfruit) and making the steamed kalo (taro) and coconut milk dessert kulolo. Personally, I would love to learn to cook a few Hawaiian dishes!
Hawaii’s Music Scene!
Music festivals are happening on the Islands year-round. Experience the musical styles of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festivals on Kauai, Maui, Oahu and the island of Hawaii by attending the Ki-Ho Alu Foundation’s series. On the island of Hawaii, check out the Kahilu Theatre, which schedules a diverse selection live musical performances.