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             In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the City's Commission on Culture and the Arts, the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts presents the first-ever Art on the Block on Saturday, April 19, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., on the Fasi Civic Center grounds surrounding the Skygate sculpture.

             Open to the public, with entry free of charge, Hawaii's "American Idol" Jasmine Trias and beautiful songstress Kristian Lei will headline this all-day event.  Art on the Block will also offer residents and visitors alike the chance to see, hear, taste, and experience the mix of cultures that contribute to the artistic richness of our islands.  The event will showcase five main attractions; cultural exhibits, art tents, food tents, a demonstration tent, and a performing arts stage and will highlight many of the islands' ethnic groups.

             Established in 1968, the Commission on Culture and the Arts assists the City in preserving the artistic and cultural heritage of residents.  Honolulu was the first county in the state to create an organized body with such responsibilities.  The commission recommends acquisitions for the Art in City Buildings program, and has advised the City on acquiring the majority of artwork in its 900-piece collection.

             Mayor Mufi Hannemann said, "The Commission on Culture and the Arts plays a vital role in assisting the City in perpetuating Honolulu's legacy through the arts.  Art on the Block will showcase the artistic talents and cultural diversity that help make our Honolulu a special place to live, work, and raise our families.  I invite everyone to join us as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the commission."

             "My Filipino heritage has played an integral part in my life while growing up in Mililani," said Jasmine Trias, "and I am very proud to be a part of Art on the Block to celebrate all of the distinct cultures Hawaii, and its residents, have embraced."

For Kristian Lei, Hawaii holds special meaning, "Being raised in Hawaii exposed me to so many other cultures besides my own Filipino heritage, and because of that, I now have an appreciation for all cultures.  That is a special gift I want to share with others."

             Besides Trias and Lei, the performing arts stage will feature Kenny Endo from the Taiko Center of the Pacific, a Chinese Dragon Dance performed by Gee Yung International Martial Arts Dragon and Lion Dance Association, traditional Hawaiian dance and chanting, Korean drumming and dancing, and Uncle Mel and the Keiki Palaka Band, among others.

             Food will include Portuguese baked goods from Agnes Bakery, Mediterranean fare from Da Spot, Okinawan specialties from Off The Wall Restaurant, Hawaiian comfort food from Kamaaina Service, Cuban cuisine from Soul De Cuba, and much more.  Samplings will be made available for a small fee.

            Local artists exhibiting will include hand-painted serving dishes of Hawaiian flowers and original water color paintings from artist Michael Lee, glass works from the Glass Art Family of the University of Hawaii, hand-made jewelry, original photography, weaving, pottery, and sculpture.  All the works on exhibit will be available for purchase.

             The demonstration tent will host Japanese mochi-pounding and more.


Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts

Dymian Racoma, 527-5288


Hawaii Pacific Entertainment

Lincoln Jacobe, 237-3676

Julia Little, 237-6715

Chimaine Pouteau, 237-3678


Thursday, March 13, 2008

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