For those who believe that Hawaiian culture has been buried under a blanket of tourism and modernization, we suggest you reconnect with the spirit of “aloha” at the Celebration of the Arts Festival held annually at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. Now 17-years strong, this exceptional cultural awareness event unfolds over Easter weekend and pays homage to all things that make Hawaii unique and magical. The interactive festival connects visitors to their gracious hosts and reveals the heart and soul of the islands and its residents through art, music, dance, food, film, and cultural lectures by kupunas (elders), healers, authors, and educators. Rise early for a traditional chant at the beach and sip the sacred waters of Kane. Meet local artists and learn about the tradition of shell leis. Expand your knowledge of Maui’s benevolent chief Pi’ilani and the many meanings of the word mahalo. Kids can spend a day at the Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Center and learn the Hawaiian language through crafts, listen to whalesong, and experience Hawaiian puppetry. At an authentic lu’au celebration, local cooks join the Kapalua chefs in preparing an outstanding feast of dishes traditionally prepared in Hawaiian homes, while world-class hula dancers perform the real deal. Easter brunch means more delicious gourmet cuisine, an egg hunt, and non-denominational service by the sea.
“Hawaiian heart… Hawaiian soul. This celebration is about honoring the past with the hopes that we can shape the future,” declares Clifford Nae’ole, The Ritz-Carlton Kapulua Cultural Advisor and event producer of Celebration of the Arts. “Everyone is invited to display their artistic talents, share in intellectual conversation and, perhaps, provide some solutions that will share a message with the world.”
Many of the weekend events are free to the public. The Celebration Lu’au & Show on Saturday, April 11th is $80 for adults, $40 for kids ages 4-12. Easter Brunch starts at 11a.m. until 3 p.m. and runs $80 for adults, $40 for kids ages 4-12. Call 808-669-6200 for reservations.