Celebrate Hawai'i


Cultural Programs embody MACC’s commitment to Hawaii’s diverse cultural communities and Pacific traditions.

The Maui Arts & Cultural Center has become the artistic and educational heart of the community, and its Cultural Programs reflect  and maintain Hawaiian values. A core tenet of Maui Arts & Cultural Center is that Hawaiian culture is vital to the identity of the institution. The MACC’s cultural programming, under the theme “Celebrate Hawai’i”, supports the performers and artists of Hawai’i as well as provides additional educational outreach activities in the community.  Thus, diverse groups of residents and visitors may share, understand, and gain new perspectives on the multiple facets of Hawaiian culture as expressed through the arts.

The PA


A simple mound of earth faced with river rock sits in stately silence to one side of the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s amphitheater.  The structure’s simplicity belies its significance: this is Maui’s first recorded pā hula: a space dedicated to the ancient Hawaiian tradition of hula, and to the cultural proctices of Maui’s kumu hula, their students and guests. One of only four known pā in the state, the pā at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center was created under the direction of kumu hula and cultural specialists Hōkūlani Holt, Keali‘i Reichel, AI Lagunero, and Bert Sakata. Its purpose is to honor and perpetuate the art forms at the core of  Hawaiian culture


The MACC presents ...  "Celebrate Hawai‘i" events:

Sunday, February 26, 2017, McCoy Studio Theater
The musicians of Keauhou find passion and joy in the performance, preservation, and perpetuation of traditional Hawaiian music. The trio includes Kamehameha Schools graduates, Kahanuola Solatorio, and brothers, Nicholas and Zachary Lum, who bring forth inspiration from Hawaiian music of the eras preceding them, and contribute to a renewed respect and interest for the incomparable beauty of traditional Hawaiian music. All three are active and passionate educators and cultural practitioners in their field. With the relationships between them and the guidance of Ke Akua as top priorities, the members of Keauhou offer a new sound to the Hawaiian music scene, inspired by those who have come before. 
Kuana Torres Kahele
Saturday, March 18, 2017, McCoy Studio Theater
Musician, vocalist, songwriter, record producer and dancer Kuana Torres Kahele is known for his poetry-laden lyrics as one of the most popular entertainers performing in Hawai‘i and Japan. He maintains his own Hawaiian music & culture school in Japan, where he teaches more than 200 students in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. 



Completed events in our cultural programs collection:


Pāka‘a Lanakila!
Sunday, October 23, 2016 Castle Theater 

Jump into the waʻa (canoe) with your new friend, Pākaʻa, and help him paddle to keep up with the ʻau waʻa lawaiʻa (fishing fleet) as they make their way out to the kai lawaiʻa (fishing grounds). There, after the fishing is done, Pākaʻa will wager his share of the catch on an impossible bet – and win! Pāka'a Lanakila is a classic coming-of-age story that first appeared in Hawaiian-language newspapers during the late 19th century. Many versions have appeared since, in both Hawaiian and English. In 2011, on a commission from Chamber Music Hawaii with funding from the Honolulu Mayorʻs Office on Culture and the 

Arts, composer Jon Magnussen created a musical setting of a portion of the story in which the story is told by a flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and a narrator. Chamber Music Hawaii’s Spring Wind Quintet and friends  share the exciting moʻolelo (story) of Pākaʻa, in a special presentation which includes an interactive demonstration in which the audience can learn about the musical instruments and the story. English subtitles will be provided.
Click here to see video example  |      CLICK to see the program

Music education resources are available for teachers in both ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and English-speaking classrooms, including a bilingual CD recording and a free, downloadable bilingual teacher resource guide, with artwork by noted Hawai‘i Island artist, Caren Loebel-Fried. The presentation will feature the Spring Wind Quintet with Kalama Cabigon, haʻi moʻolelo (narrator), and Jon Magnussen, composer.



Haunted Hawaiian Nights:  Lopaka Kapanui 
Friday, October 28, 2016; McCoy Studio Theater 

Although they travel far from home, some Hawaiians have found that their heritage follows wherever they go. Come hear ghostly tales and spine-tingling accounts of our Hawaiian brothers and sisters whose haunting experiences in far-off lands are overcome by their own cultural traditions. Lopaka Kapanui is a native Hawaiian storyteller, writer, actor, kumu hula, cultural practitioner, former professional wrestler, husband, father, and grandpa. Sharing more than just Hawaiian ghost stories, Lopaka shares his knowledge of the history and legends of Hawai'i.




Kumu Kahua Theatre: UchinaAloha
Friday-Saturday, November 4-5, 2016 McCoy Studio Theater
Playwright Lee A. Tonouchi brings us a warm tale of generations of an Okinawan family in Hawai‘i. David Tamashiro resists his grandfather’s sanshin lessons until he has the right motivation: a girl. A pretty young lady from Okinawa helps David and his friends discover much about themselves and David’s enigmatic grandfather. This is a story about the change that any culture experiences when it is relocated. Grandfather wants to play music the way it is played in Okinawa, but his grandson wants to combine tradition with more modern methods and the mix of culture found in Hawai‘i. When the guest from Okinawa arrives, she brings tradition and fresh perspective – teaching both about Okinawa in the present. The grandson learns a new way of playing that honors Okinawan culture. Directed by Reiko Ho.
DUKE by Moses Goods
Saturday, November 26, 2016 McCoy Studio Theater
Award-winning actor, writer, and storyteller Moses Goods creates an unforgettable portrayal of the life of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku in his one-man show entitled “Duke.”  Hawai‘i’s first Olympic gold medalist and the father of modern surfing, Duke Kahanamoku is unquestionably one of the most important and beloved figures in Hawaiian history. Known for his humility, kindness, and love of community, Duke’s fame and renown made him a role model and source of inspiration for all. The original production of “Duke,” directed by Eric Johnson, premiered in October 2015, at Honolulu Theatre for Youth, where it successfully ran for five weeks and reached over 10,000 audience members. Moses Goods is one of Hawai‘i’s most prominent theatre artists. Originally from the island of Maui, he is now based on Honolulu and travels nationally and internationally performing his original work to a wide range of audiences.
Chad Takatsugi
Saturday, January 28, 2017, McCoy Studio Theater 
A multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winner with his debut solo album Ahuwale, Chad is an accomplished composer, musician, and leo of Hawaiian music.  Chad and his special guests will share a  collection of mele from the past and present, embracing the beauty and honesty of human vulnerability.

Ku Mai Ka Hula

Kū Mai Ka Hula Competition 
September 10, 2016
Featuring award-winning hālau competing in solo and group performances. Male and female dancers perform both kahiko (traditional) and ‘auana (modern) hula stylings, judged by renowned, prestigious kumu hula. Expect to see hālau competing in a level of performance as in more well-known competitions, yet this event takes place in our own comfortable and beautiful venue of Castle Theater, right here on Maui! Presented by MACC and Kauahea Inc.

 Demystifying the Kuahu 
September 8, 2016 McCoy Studio Theater
 An intimate conversation with Maui kumu hula about what the kuahu means to them personally and to their hālau hula. According to Unwritten Literature of Hawaii by Nathaniel B. Emerson, “In every hālau stood the kuahu, or altar, as the visible temporary abode of the deity, whose presence was at once the inspiration of the performance and the luck-bringer of the enterprise.  How is the kuahu celebrated or honored today? How do they maintain its significance today? Participating kumu hula: Kumu Hula Nāpua Greig, Kumu Hula Kamaka Kukona, Kumu Hula Kapono'ai Molitau, and Kumu Hula Pueo Pata. Facilitated by Kahulu Maluo, MACC’s cultural programs director. 

Mai Poina


Mai Poina: The Overthrow 
September 17, 2016 McCoy Studio Theater 

Following last year’s powerful, Trial of a Queen, the Hawai‘i Pono‘ī Coalition brings Mai Poina: The Overthrow to the MACC in September. This theatrical production tells the story of the tumultuous last four days of the Hawaiian monarchy from the perspective of the people most concerned: native Hawaiians and other citizens of the kingdom. Newly conceived for the MACC, history comes alive to inform and inspire. An open discussion with Hawaiian scholars follows the performance. The play is presented by the Hawai‘i Pono‘ī Coalition, which is an apolitical and nonpartisan consortium of Hawaiian-serving organizations founded in 2007 to educate those who live in and visit the islands about Hawai'i’s true history, the Hawaiian people, and their culture. 

See the related Artists in the Community & Arts Education activities




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