Arts & Culture

Arts and culture reports by Noe Tanigawa

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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

Cyd Shizuru



  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.

hawaii symphony


   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. 

Vincent Ricafort



For the past three and a half weeks, five professional artists and thirty O‘ahu children have been transforming a ten thousand square foot warehouse space in Kaka‘ako. HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found the combination of planning, hard work and openness to change is a creative way to operate.

PRESENT Project artists and students invite the public to an open house tonight, September 24th, to explore the works-in-progress. Dive into the “Nest” at 445/449 Cooke Street across Fisher’s, from 6:30-10pm.  An End of Residency Party is set for September 30, 6-10pm.

Shuzo Uemoto


Participants in the UN Climate Change Conference this week in New York are looking to the roots of the problem for systemic change.  Some previously unquestioned facets of life might need to be re-examined, like the way we categorize land and build our cities.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on the idea of Hawaiian urbanism.


   Tonight, in the exceptional acoustics of the co-cathedral of St. Theresa, voices will rise in praise of early women composers.   The program was a special project, a final project, for a much loved leader in Honolulu’s music community, the late Carl Crosier .  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on the pleasures of these rarely heard compositions.   

Early Music Hawai‘i  presents “Triumph Against the Odds”, fine female singers and instrumentalists in an evening of music by early women composers.  The concert begins at 7:30 tonight, in the Co-cathedral of St. Theresa.  

kaveh kardan

As the Hokule’a and Hikianalia continue their worldwide sail, a theatre production in Honolulu is remembering a tragedy that nearly swamped Hōkūle‘a’s beginnings.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, it was March 16th, 1978, and amidst great fanfare, the Hokule’a set sail from Magic Island.    

hawaii business



In HPR’s continuing series on Hawaiian sovereignty, Noe Tanigawa speaks with Oswald Stender.   A Kamehameha Schools graduate, Mr. Stender was CEO of Campbell Estate from 1974 to 1990, then, a Bishop Estate trustee from 1990 to 1999.  He has served as an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee since 2000.

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   The fourth annual Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival closed this weekend, after 14 events, many of them sold out, on Maui, Hawai’i and O‘ahu.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports nearly 90 celebrity chefs converged on the islands to work with some of the finest food products available on earth. 

In their first three years, the Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival donated over 690 thousand dollars to local nonprofits.  

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   Outside of large curated shows and juried exhibitions, artists across the state continue to press ahead, alone in the studio or in casual groups.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on four artists who have been sharing ideas recently.  

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   The Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association’s annual Woodshow is a magnet for lovers of fine wood artistry.  Artworks by some of the state’s finest craftsmen are the public face of statewide efforts to support and expand Hawai‘i’s forest products.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa offers this look at the show.

Na Lā'au o Hawai'i, Hawai'i's Woodshow, continues at the Honolulu Museum of Art School at Linekona through September 14. The exhibition is open daily from 10 am until 5pm.  Admission is free.  

University of Hawaii
University of Hawaii




   The U.S. Department of the Interior’s recent hearings in Hawai‘i revealed a number of those testifying believe the U.S. government does not have jurisdiction over these islands.  As part of  ongoing coverage of sovereignty issues, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa took up the idea with Dr. Keanu Sai, who has been studying the Hawai‘i-U.S. relationship for over 3 decades.   Dr. Sai's research has had broad influence on the sovereignty debate, and this interview attempts to present his view.

PBS Hawai'i



  Since 2011, PBS Hawai‘i has been featuring weekly student produced news programs.   Five hundred students from over 70 public, private and chartered schools are participating in this effort to air student perspectives.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

PBS Hawai‘i’s free Hiki No Festival screens at Kaua‘i’s Waimea Theatre tonight, 6pm.   Find out more about Hiki No.

The HIKI NŌ Festival screening events are free of charge and will be at these locations:


Remi Taum



  Kapu Kuialua, or Lua, is the once closely guarded Hawaiian martial art.  Lua is known for intricate bone breaking techniques, but also involves joint dislocation, kicks, punches, leg sweeps, and other moves, as well as weapons.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on an opportunity to experience Lua in a contemporary context this weekend.

Hawai'i Symphony Orchestra



  After two successful seasons, the Hawai‘i Symphony is unveiling another, colorful addition to Hawai‘i’s music scene.   HPR’s Noe Tanigawa spoke with the Symphony’s director about  new and easy ways the HSO is connecting with the community.

The Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season opens September 13 and 14 with Ravel’s Bolero.  Note that many concerts will be performed one time only.  Check the season listings below.  Get tickets and more information at

Honolulu Street Style

Aug 15, 2014
noe tanigawa





    Yes, Honolulu has its own street style and two local authors have tried to describe it in a new book, Honolulu Street Style.   Noe Tanigawa reports.

The book, Honolulu Street Style, is available through your favorite bookseller.

Click for a synopsis of the publication, Honolulu Street Style

Check Mālie Moran’s Hawai‘i style blog, Hawai'i Red Style

Hilo Orchid Society



  You know what the Merrie Monarch Hula Competition has done for hula and for Hilo, now get ready for the Hilo Orchid Society Annual Show and Sale, also at Edith Kānaka’ole Stadium.  Thirty eight hundred people went last year, from 26 states and 14 countries.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on the largest and most comprehensive orchid show and sale in Hawai‘i, coming this weekend. 

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  In the 1950’s, a gutsy band of locals, barely off the plantations, got it into their heads to become artists.  They migrated to New York City to live the life, then returned, to create Hawai‘i’s first contemporary art scene.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on a show that samples their work at KCC’s Koa Gallery.

For more information from the Koa Gallery

mountain apple company




  Hawaiian wild card entry Mākua Rothman stole the show at the 2014 Billabong Pico Alto earlier this month.  He won the kick-off event in the Association of Surfing Professionals Big Wave World Tour, in 30-40 foot waves in Punta Hermosa, Peru.  Rothman has been shredding on the music charts, too.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa offers this look at his first CD release, Sound Wave.

Brad Goda



  Hawai‘i’s love affair with Spam would seem to make Diamond Head Theatre’s new production of Spamalot an absolute must.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found, in fact, there are many reasons to see this show including zippy musicians, lively staging and spot on characterizations.

“Spamalot”, a musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” continues at Diamond Head Theatre through August 10th.    

noe tanigawa



   Kōkua Kalihi Valley is a family service center that grew out of the community’s need.  Since its modest beginnings in 1972, KKV has grown to serve over 10 thousand people every year, and its staff is fluent in over 20 Asian and Pacific languages and dialects.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found a focus on community runs through the work at KKV.