Chapter 32 – Cultural Life
Maui has a rich and unique blend of cultural influences, from the traditional Hawaiian language and culture to nearby Asian countries to American culture. Nowhere is this more evident than in Maui’s offering of culture. There is something for everyone, from art galleries and exhibits to traditional Hawaiian music to history museums. The Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, 1727 Wili Pa Loop, Wailuku, 96793, (808) 244-3530, is a great resource for tips and tools to explore the local cultural scene. gohawaii.com/maui also offers a complete overview of the island and what it has to offer.
Tickets for most major concerts, theater productions and other cultural events are available at the venues’ box offices or through their website. Purchasing straight from the vendor is the best way to avoid service charges and other fees.
Most major events for larger venues are available through Ticketmaster. You can purchase tickets over the phone at (800) 745-3000 or visiting ticketmaster.com. If you find yourself looking for tickets to a sold-out show or event, StubHub may be a good resource. People looking to buy or sell tickets can use StubHub to set their own prices and determine how much they are willing to pay. To search for available tickets for events around Maui and Hawaii, check out www.stubhub.com. If you are looking for smaller, quirkier local events, check out EventBrite, eventbrite.com as well.
Keep in mind that purchasing tickets through Ticketmaster and StubHub often have service charges and processing fees. These fees can vary from state to state and event to event; make sure to check what (and how much) these fees will be to avoid paying more than you would for a show.
Concert Halls, Stadiums, and Arenas
While Maui is the second largest Hawaiian island, it doesn’t have a wide variety of large, traditional performing arts centers. Instead, live, local music can be found in bars, restaurants and local festivals.
- Maui Arts and Cultural Center, 1 Cameron Way, Kahului, 96732, 808-242-7469, mauiarts.org, is a world-class performing arts complex that features a 1,200-seat theater, 330 seat black box, 5,000-seat amphitheater, gallery, concert stage, courtyard and outdoor performance platform dedicated to hula. It is the center of cultural performances in Maui, with a wide variety of mediums, classes and opportunities. Offerings include contemporary concerts, films, comedy shows, poetry readings and more.
Music – Symphonic, Choral, Opera, Chamber
Maui brings a great blend of professional and community performance organizations. From symphony orchestras to hula dancing, Maui has a lot to offer residents and visitors alike.
- The Maui Pops Orchestra is dedicated to presenting classical, light classical, Broadway, opera and more. 808-242-7469, mauipops.org
- The Maui Community Band performs concerts for the community at various venues, and is dedicated to providing an opportunity for wind and percussion players to continue their music reading skills and further pursue their instruments, mauicommunityband.com.
- The Maui Chamber Ensemble provides Maui audience with “sensitive performances” of chamber music, accompanied by wonderful food and wine.
- The Maui Choral Arts Association is a community group that strives to bring a high level of artistic performances to Maui. Membership dues of $50 apply, mauichoralarts.org.
Maui’s Academy of Performing Arts is a non-profit organization committed to bringing educational performing arts programs to people of all ages in Maui. For classes and calendar of events, check out mauiacademy.org.
The Hawaii Hula Company was created to promote traditional Hawaiian performances: hula dancing, Tahitian dancing, Hawaiian musicians and Polynesian Fire/Knife dancers. Performers are available for hire, and Hawaii Hula Company also teaches lei making classes. (808) 646-1455, hawaiihulacompany.com
Theatre – Professional and Community
- Maui Theatre, (808) 856-7900, mauitheatre.com. The Maui Theatre seats 680 people and employs the talents of Hawaii’s most distinguished musicians and performers. Offerings include live Hawaiian music, theatre and dance.
- Maui Onstage is a community organization that strives to get the community involved in theatre and dance. Events take place at the historic Iao Theater. (808) 244-8680, mauionstage.com
Maui has a long history of film. From Elvis Presley’s “Blue Hawaii” to ABC’s hit series “LOST”, and from Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End”, Maui’s beauty is the perfect setting for movies and television (http://www.destinationhotels.com/blogs/maui-hawaiis-famous-films-and-television-shows).
If you’d rather watch a finished project rather than chance stumbling upon a set, there are a number of movie theaters in the area. For theater locations, show times and ticket information, Fandango, www.fandango.com, is a great, quick resource.
- Regal Maui Mall Megaplex 12, 70 E. Kaahumanu Ave. Suite A Kahului, (800) 326-3264. regmovies.com.
- Regal Wharf Cinema Center 3, 658 Front St. Lahaina, 96761. regmovies.com
- Kaahumanu 6, 275 W. Kaahumanu Ave, Kahului, 96732.
An annual affair, the Maui Film Festival (808) 579-9244, www.mauifilmfestival.com takes place at Castle Theater. Tickets cost anywhere from $15 to a single screening to $500 for an elite membership experience.
Music (Contemporary) and Night Life
When most people think of “cultural life,” they associate the phrase with Broadway-style theatre or symphony orchestras. Yet for many, live contemporary music is just as much a part of their cultural life as museums or literature. Another good way to find your next favorite spot is to check yelp.com for reviews and rankings. Below is a smattering of clubs and bars that offer music and a great place to hang loose, if you will:
- Ambrosia, 1913 S Kihei Rd, Kihei, 96753 (808) 8911011 ambrosiamaui.com, is a 21+ dance club.
- Tsunami Nightclub, Grand Wailea Resort, 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr., Kihei, 96753
- (808) 8751234, grandwailea.com.
- Kahale’s Beach Club, 36 Keala Pl, Kihei, 96753, (808) 8757711
- Mulligans on the Blue, 100 Kaukahi St Kihei, 96753 (808) 8741131, mulligansontheblue.com, an Irish bar with a gorgeous view.
- South Shore Tiki Lounge, 1913 S Kihei Rd, Ste J, Kihei, 96753, (808) 8746444, southshoretikilounge.com
Art MUSEUMS AND Galleries
The Hui No’eau Visual Arts center is a nonprofit, nondegree granting organization that seeks to unlock creativity through visual arts education. Offerings include open studios, events, workshops and exhibits for people of all ages. huinoeau.com, (808) 5726560
Maui’s unique collection of cultures yields a wide variety of visual art. Here is a sampling of the art galleries you can find in Maui:
- The Maui Crafts Guild has been presenting the Maui community with local art for over 30 years. mauicraftsguild.com, (808) 5799697.
- Art of Peter Max Gallery, artofpetermax.com, 3750 Wailea Alanui Dr Kihei, (808) 4950060
- Schaefer International Gallery, as part of the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, (808) 2422787, mauiarts.org.
- Elan Vital Galleries, elanvital.com, 3750 Wailea Alanui Dr Kihei, (808) 8794448,
- The Village Galleries, www.villagegalleriesmaui.com, 120 Dickenson Street, Lahaina, (808) 6614402
- Maui Hands Gallery, mauihands.com, 1169 Makawao Avenue Makawao, 96768, (808) 5732021
- Viewpoints Gallery, viewpointsgallerymaui.com, 3620 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, 96768 (808) 5725979.
- Hot Island Glass, hotislandglass.com, 3620 Baldwin Ave #101A, Makawao, 96768
- (808) 5724527
- Makawao Fine Art Gallery, makawaofineartgallery.com, 3660 Baldwin Ave #A, Makawao, 96768, (808) 5735972
- Sherri Reeve Gallery & Gifts, 3669 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, 96768, (808) 5728931
- Paia Contemporary Gallery, 83 Hana Highway, Paia, Maui, 96779, (808) 5798444
- The Hana Cultural Museum was established by kupuna (wise elders) to honor the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance. hanaculturalcenter.org, (808) 2488622.
- The Lahaina Heritage Museum allows visitors to view the 20th century courtroom as it was during the early half of the era, and an ongoing whaling exhibit. Free admission. lahainarestoration.org, 648 Wharf St, Lahaina, 96761, (808) 6613262
- Hale Kahiko is an outdoor exhibition of an ancient Hawaiian village. 900 Front Street, Lahaina Center, (808) 6679216
- The Wo Hing Temple is a Chinese temple, built in 1912 for the Wo Hing Society in Lahaina. Today, visitors can find beautiful artifacts from China. lahainarestoration.org, 800 Front Street, Lahaina (808) 6615553
- The Maui Ocean Center at the Hawaii Aquarium is a 3 acre park with over 60 self-paced exhibits. mauioceancenter.com, Hwy. 30 & Maalaea Harbor, (808) 2707000.
- A great resource for adults and children alike, the Hawaii Nature Center has educated over 8,500 people since its opening. This interactive museum provides 30 hands-on exhibits about science and Hawaii’s natural history. hawaiinaturecenter.org, 875 Iao Valley Road, Wailuku, (808) 2446500.
- See a prime example of sugar plantation life on the islands at the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum, a plantation manager’s residence and surrounding yard. sugarmuseum.com, 3957 Hansen Rd, Pu’unene, (808) 8718058.
- View the state’s largest collection of whaling artifacts at the Whalers Village Museum.2435 Kaanapali Parkway, Kaanapali, (808) 6615992.
Historical Sites and Cultural Museums
Culture for Kids
The days when your children say “I’m bored!” are over– at least for a little while. While Maui’s Children’s Museum is currently under construction, many of Maui’s museums and many of the area’s annual festivals offer family friendly or children’s activities. And if all else fails, the beach is close by.
Whether you’re an aspiring writer seeking constructive criticism or a book lover, there are likely a number of groups to match your enthusiasm and interests. Libraries, independent book stores and many national book retailers host book clubs and literary groups. Another great resource to find local writers’ workshops or book clubs is meetup.com. The website provides a great directory of local social groups.
National Novel Writing Month takes place in November, and the organization typically coordinates meetup groups around the country. Visit nanowrimo.org to find a writing group near you.
- The Maui College Library, www.maui.hawaii.edu/library/index.html.
- Hana Public and School Library, 4111 Hana Highway, Hana, 96713
- Kahului Public Library, 90 School Street, Kahului, 96732, (808) 8733097.
- Kihei Public Library, 35 Waimahaihai Street, Kihei, 96753, (808) 8756833.
- Lahaina Public Library, 680 Wharf Street, Lahaina, 96761, (808) 6623950
- Makawao Public Library, 1159 Makawao Avenue, Makawao, 96768, (808) 5738785
- Wailkuku Public Library, 251 High Street, Wailuku, 96793, (808) 2435766
- Barnes and Noble, 325 Keawe #101, Lahaina, 96761, (808) 6621300, barnesandnoble.com
- Maui Friends of the Library, 275 Kaahumanu Ave, Kahului, 96732, (808) 8772509, mfol.org.
- Kihei Christian Bookstore, 300 E. Welakahao Road, Kihei, 96753, (808) 8791193, kiheichristianbookstore.com.
- University of Hawaii Maui College Bookstore, 310 West Ka’ahumanu Avenue
- Kahului, 96732, (808) 9843248.
Artists and performers that come to the Maui Arts and Cultural Center often hold lectures. Visit the center’s website, mauiarts.org for details.
The University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy’s faculty hosts monthly lectures in Maui. Visit http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/ifa2/outreach.shtml for a detailed schedule.
University of Hawaii, Maui College often offers academic lectures that are open to the public. Check the college’s events calendar at maui.hawaii.edu for more information.
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