International Waikiki Hula Conference Returns to the Hawai`i Convention Center

waik-hula-conf1The International Waikiki Hula Conference kicks off today at the Hawai`i Convention Center.  From November 7-9, visitors from around the world will gather to share their love for hula, and experience hula in the land of its birth.  Participants have the opportunity to learn from kumu hula, interact with fellow dancers, and perform on various stages throughout Waikiki.

For more information, visit www.waikikihulaconference.com.

waik-hula-conf2

The Honolulu Festival Begins Today

A display of unique and intricate origami in the exhibit hall of the Hawai`i Convention Center.

A display of unique and intricate origami in the exhibit hall of the Hawai`i Convention Center.

Hawai`i’s annual cultural extravaganza, The Honolulu Festival, begins today!  This much anticipated event brings people together from around the Pacific Rim – Japan, Australia, Tahiti, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, and Hawai`i.  A mix of educational programs, dance performances, musical acts, art demonstrations, food and fun activities for all ages attracts thousands of locals and visitors each year.

These family-friendly activities take place at the Hawai`i Convention Center and many other location in Honolulu, with the grand finale Honolulu Festival Parade down Kalakaua Avenue at 4:00pm and Fireworks Show at 8:30pm on Sunday, March 9.

For more information and a complete schedule, please visit the Honolulu Festival website.

honolulu-festival-lobby

Join Us for the Sights and Sounds of “Mele Mei”

Springtime is here, and it’s bringing music to our ears.

This May, we’re participating in the second-annual “Mele Mei,” a month-long celebration of music and hula from Hawai`i.  Performances, held throughout Waikiki, will include musicians Amy Hanaiali`i Gilliom, John Cruz, Teresa Bright and many more.

The Hawai`i Convention Center will be hosting the Na Hoku Hanohano Music Festival, a series of awards presentations and workshops to honor and promote music made in Hawai`i.  The multi-day event kicks off May 5 with the Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremony, and includes two music workshops on May 25 and 26.  The Festival wraps up with the 35th annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on May 27.  Tickets are available online.

The Center is also home to this year’s Waikiki International Hula Conference from May 11-13.  The Conference will feature 40 kumu hula, as well as 80 workshops and seminars that cover modern and ancient hula, chant, history, costume, lei-making, Hawaiian language, songs, music, and implement-making.  There will be 10 Ho`ike Hula shows, a vendor mall with Hawaiian-made products and crafts, and a closing concert.  Registration is limited and closes May 1.

Eager students participate in one of many hula workshops during the International Waikiki Hula Conference. Photo courtesy of International Waikiki Hula Conference.

Hawaiʻi Convention Center Unveils First Permanent Native Hawaiian Mural

Kumu (teachers) and Haumana (students) gather to celebrate the completion of the Hawai`i Kakou Community Mural project at the Hawai`i Convention Center.

On October 19, 2011 “Hawai‘i Loa Ku Like Kākou (Hawai‘i Kākou)” the Hawai‘i Convention Center’s first permanent native Hawaiian indigenous artwork was unveiled. The mural was created by the Hawai‘i Kākou Community Mural Project headed by Lead Artist Meleanna Meyer. She was joined by fellow kumu (teacher) artists Solomon Enos, Kahi Ching, Al Lagunero and Harinani Orme together with six alakai (leaders) and featured a team of 17 talented haumana (students), ages 12 to 19, that came from various public, private, charter and Hawaiian immersion schools.

Kumu Meleanna reveals that the idea for a community mural project started a few years back she and her fellow kumu and alakai mentored young artists in painting a mural for the Sheraton Waikīkī. They were also involved in creating various mural projects such as the “Kuakeahu” Mural at Camp Mokule’ia, the “Ho’ohuli” Mural at the Bishop Museum and the 250-ft long mural near Kalihi Waena Elementary along Kalihi Stream.

Located at the Level 1 Lobby of the Hawai‘i Convention Center, the 10’ x 64’ mural was made possible through funding from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Painting began on October 3rdand during a short opening ceremony guests were invited to put their fingerprints on to the mural to mark the starting point of this project. It symbolizes that each person is indigenous to a certain culture and that the imprints we leave behind are something we all have in common.

Joe Davis at the Hawaii Kakou mural

Hawai`i Convention Center/SMG General Manager Joe Davis puts his fingerprint onto the Hawai`i Kakou Mural during the opening ceremony held on October 3, 2011.

“New Old Wisdom”

Apart from mentoring young artists, the Hawai‘i Kākou Community Mural Project also serves as a venue to share the indigenous voice through art. As a visual response to the gathering of world economies in Hawai‘i, this mural serves as a reminder that lessons from Hawaii’s indigenous past are alive and relevant in helping to influence our future. It is a Hawaiian perspective on the economy rooted in indigenous values.

Kumu Harinani Orme works with haumana (students) as they help paint the Hawai`i Kakou Community Mural.

The theme of practicing “New Old Wisdoms” is a prominent message embedded into Hawai‘i Kākou. Symbols and icons representing various indigenous economies throughout Asia and the Pacific are included in the design. Among them, the ‘auamo (carrying stick) is symbolic of everyone’s shared responsibility of keeping the land and our resources in balance. Images of Po’e (people) working and being “pushed, pulled, woven and gathered by the land” reveals our direct relationship with the environment. Throughout the mural, the haumana added small dots and “fish” forms that move through the piece, representing “the currents, winds, veins, and arteries that weave elements together.”

working on the hawaii kakou mural at the hawaii convention center

Talented young artists put their mark on the Hawai`i Kakou Community Mural at the Hawai`i Convention Center.

Color choice is also indicative of the artwork’s message. Shades of amber, ocher, yellow and blue suggest “colors of hope and the urgency of fire.” Crimson is also visible and denotes the “internal bleeding” of people and the environment impacted by exploitation and imbalance.

Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Harinani Orme, and Solomon Enos put on the final touches of the Hawai`i Kakou Mural

Kumu artists (from left) Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Harinani Orme, and Solomon Enos put on the final touches of the Hawai`i Kakou Mural.

True Collaboration

Throughout the seven days that the Hawai‘i Kākou Community Mural team worked, many hands have touched the artwork and inspired the design.  Sketches and drawings can be seen surrounding their work area providing guidance and inspiration as the group worked throughout the day and well into the night.

This made the mural dedication held on October 19th even more special because they were unveiling not just a great piece of indigenous artwork but a product of true collaboration.  Friends and family of the haumana, alakai and the kumu were present to witness this occasion.

Maile Meyer (center) shares a few words of thanks during the mural dedication on October 19

Maile Meyer (center), one of the principal organizers of the mural project, shares a few words of thanks during the mural dedication on October 19. There were also the five kumu who helped mentor the young artists: (from left) Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Solomon Enos, Harinani Orme, and Kahi Ching.

Maile Meyer, sister of artist Meleanna and one of the principal organizers of the mural project expressed gratitude towards everyone supporting the effort. The kumu also took the time to recognize and thank each of the alakai and haumana who participated in the mural as well as everyone who worked behind the scenes to make this community mural project possible.

The mural’s unveiling occurs just in time for the APEC Leaders Summit in November and is another way to showcase Hawai’i’s culture to the world leaders and future visitors of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Beyond the art styles and skills involved in creating the mural, Hawai‘i Kākou is a strong medium that gives Hawaiian artists a chance to share the indigenous perspective of community economics – an economy that is based on sharing, relationships and aloha. Kumu Meleanna puts it more aptly, “Art is our visual currency. We trade in heartworks; we trade in spirit; we trade in aloha.”

Hawai`i Loa Ku Like Kakou

"Hawai`i Loa Ku Like Kakou" is located on the Lobby Level, outside Kamehameha Exhibit Hall 1, at the Hawai`i Convention Center.

Cultural Training Program

As the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2011 Leaders’ Meeting approaches, nearly 100 Hawai`i Convention Center staff are attending training sessions to learn more about one of the APEC member economies:  China.

The sessions are part of Kapiolani Community College’s (KCC) Chinese cultural training program, and are intended to help Center staff get a better understanding for the appropriate protocol when interacting with Chinese visitors.  Center staff members – ranging from the executive team to engineers, greeters, and housekeepers – are learning appropriate greetings, phrases, and etiquette.

In addition to APEC preparations, China is a major emerging visitor market for Hawai`i, adding to the popularity of the program.  Nearly 3,000 visitor industry employees have taken part since its start nearly two years ago, after KCC established the training with a grant from the Hawai`i Tourism Authority.

Training is available in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean cultures, although about 70 percent of the participation so far has been focused on China.

Read more about the Center’s participation in the program and other efforts to prepare for November’s APEC meeting in Pacific Business News.

New Art Exhibit Unveiled at the Hawai`i Convention Center

Uncommon Objects - 3rd Floor

The Hawai`i Convention Center has a new art exhibit in the museum cases on the third floor.  Titled “Uncommon Objects,” the new exhibit includes craftwork by local artists who are instructors at the UH Manoa and other colleges and schools in Hawai`i.

James Kuroda, the curator in charge of the Arts in Public Places program from the Hawai`i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, offered a few explanations to give us a better understanding and appreciation for the exhibit.

The steps and footwear are displayed at the start of the exhibit in Case 2 (see photo below).  It represents the entry into the exhibit as steps are the entry to a house.  The largest piece is at the end of the exhibit, representing the end or back of the house.

The next time you are on the third floor at the Hawai`i Convention Center, take the time to stop by the showcases located on the mauka side of the building (between rooms 302-306).

Uncommon Objects - Case 2

This is the most recent enhancement to the $2.5 million art collection housed at the Hawai`i Convention Center as part of the Arts in Public Places Program.

A huge mahalo to James Kuroda and all of the wonderful SFCA and HCC staff who helped with the installation.  Now everyone can enjoy!

SFCA staff in front of their favorite collection.

Waikiki Hula Conference November 19-21, 2010

waikiki-hula-2010-640x350

~ Hula in the Land of its Birth ~
Can you hear the mele (music and singing) yet? This event will fill our center with so much! Here in Hawai`i we talk about the “mano`o” of each person – the energy and spirit that is inside each person. Hula of course helps it to shine, and the dancing, the musicians, the chanting, the costumes, and the high vibrating energy all contribute to these days of magical moments.

The International Waikiki Hula Conference offers the rare opportunity to come to Hawaii to learn, share and experience hula in the land of its birth, with a variety of respected hula masters, many of whom do not travel outside Hawaii to teach. For our local hula people, it is the chance to enrich their hula experience from many sources in one place, and to meet fellow dancers and kumu hula from around the world.

You’re invited to come join the “>Waikiki Hula Conference, take classes, watch performances, and learn about Hawaiian-made products and crafts, including hula implements, costumes, clothing, accessories and gifts.