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Art & Culture on the Islands
Guess which state has its own language, music and dance? As much as anything, it's perpetuating these unique qualities that make Hawaii such an appealing and intriguing destination to the rest of the world. Art and culture is everywhere and anywhere in Hawaii. This cosmopolitan community of islands continually celebrates its Polynesian heritage and multi-ethnic diversity. Yet, residents and visitors alike can also enjoy a world-class symphony, opera, live theatre, and seemingly countless cultural events, particularly during the annual statewide Aloha Festivals in September.

Fine art and the hand-crafted arts of the islands are found in museums, galleries, hotel lobbies, and parks. Music-lovers can always find a rich selection of live entertainment to choose from in theaters, malls, showrooms, and restaurants. Performing arts theaters abound statewide, playing host to productions from around the world and showcasing local artists. Honolulu's Diamond Head Theater is America 's third oldest community theater. The venerable playhouse celebrated its 90th birthday in 2005 with a season of Broadway-quality shows.

But no elements of Hawaii are more closely identified with its cultural traditions than the melodic Hawaiian music and beautiful dance of hula. Local musical artists continue to attract new fans nationwide, as they meld together the musical traditions of yesterday with the contemporary songs of today. Just how far has Hawaiian music come? It's now a category for the Grammy Awards.

Hula, with its graceful storytelling told through hands and hips, is a favorite of everyone. Performances and competitions take place throughout the year, highlighted by the world's largest and most prestigious hula event: The Merrie Monarch Festival. Staged in the city of Hilo on Hawaii's Big Island, the festival is literally three days and nights of the very best that hula has to offer, with hula halau (schools) from all islands performing everything from the most traditional to the most modern of dances.

To experience the full impact of Hawaii 's artistic and cultural splendor, visit during the Hawaii Arts Season, which runs from late February to mid-May and offers more than 100 events on each of the major islands. Art and culture is just one more great reason to come experience the "Islands of Aloha."

Check out our Hawaii Events page for specific dates of certain art & cultural events.

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