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Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu Arts: Art Scene in Honolulu

Discounts
  • Honolulu on the Cheap—Blog that posts special offers for many cultural offerings such as concerts, readings, art classes, and theater performances.

Honolulu is the population center of the state of Hawaii, with over 350,000 residents.   Situated along the southeastern shore of the island of Oahu, and stretching from Pearl Harbor to Makapuu Point, the city is home to Waikiki Beach, as well as Hawaii’s fabled North Shore, one of the world’s top surfing destinations.  There is more to Honolulu, however, than spectacular beaches and beautiful sunsets. Honolulu has all the amenities of a major U.S. city, including numerous musical, theatrical, and dance organizations offering performances year-round.

Arts Info

  • Honolulu Weekly—Local newspaper has great arts and entertainment coverage
  • Arts With Aloha—Features short profiles of several local theaters, museums, and other Honolulu arts organizations
  • HNLnow.com—Where and When in Honolulu has a comprehensive events calendar for live music, arts & culture, and more
  • The Arts District Honolulu—Event information and links to Honolulu galleries and theaters

Art Museums

Honolulu Academy of the Arts

Honolulu Academy of the Arts

The Honolulu Academy of the Arts (HAA) is the foremost art museum in Hawaii, with a large and wide-ranging permanent collection (containing over 60,000 items), with a special emphasis on Asian art.  The museum began in the early 20th century with the private art collection of Anne Rice Cooke, the daughter of a prominent local missionary family.  With the aid of two of her daughters and a local schoolteacher, Cooke …more…

The Contemporary Museum

The Contemporary Museum

Honolulu’s Contemporary Museum is the only museum in Hawaii solely devoted to the art of the 20th and 21st Centuries.  Its collection contains numerous works in a variety of media from 1940 to the present, with many important contemporary artists represented.  The permanent collection contains over 3000 works, one third of them by Hawaiian artists, with particular strengths in ceramics, vessels of various materials, photography, and prints of varied media.  …more…

Theater

Honolulu Theatre for Youth

Honolulu Theatre for Youth

Not only Hawaii’s only professional stage company but also one of the oldest children’s theatres in the United States, Honolulu Theatre for Youth has been a thriving arena for imagination for over 50 years. Mixing modern stories, children’s classics, and tales rooted in the unique heritage of the Hawaiian Islands, HTY offers a seven show season as appealing to international travelers on holiday as to its loyal audience of Honolulu …more…

Opera

Hawaii Opera

Hawaii Opera

Island opera dates back more than 150 years. For much of this period, performances—a combination of companies braving the perils of long ocean crossings and local efforts—waxed and waned.

“Opera in Honolulu has been like Hawaii’s volcanoes,” wrote an observer in the early 1960s, summing up the first century-plus. “Historically it has burst into brilliant displays, then lapsed into periods of sleep … a time which has seen surges of serious …more…

Jazz

Jazz Minds Art and Café

Jazz Minds Art and Café

Jazz Minds Café is the only venue in Honolulu dedicated to live jazz performance six nights a week (the café is closed on Sundays).  Weeknights feature regular performances by local groups, while ensembles on weekends tend to rotate from week to week.  The music featured is eclectic, ranging from straight-ahead jazz on Tuesdays, Latin jazz on Thursdays to all-out R & B, funk and hip-hop on the weekends.  The café’s …more…

Dance

Ballet Hawaii

Ballet Hawaii

Ballet Hawaii arose from the ruins of Honolulu’s now-defunct resident professional dance company, Honolulu City Ballet. In the early 1980s, the federal program that had made Honolulu City Ballet possible was phased out, causing the company to close down and leaving only the “Friends of the Ballet,” a group of adamant supporters who restructured themselves into a non-profit organization that presents, promotes, and teaches dance in Hawaii—a.k.a. Ballet Hawaii.

Ballet Hawaii …more…

Venues

The Hawaii Theatre Center

The Hawaii Theatre Center

The Hawaii Theatre was built in 1922 as a venue for theatre, popular entertainment, and film. In the mid-1930s, it functioned primarily as a grand movie palace. The theatre shuttered in 1984, but two years later it was purchased to become part of the newly formed Hawaii Theatre Center along with the adjacent Austin, Pantheon, and McLean buildings.

In 1989, the theatre was closed for interior renovation; it was rededicated and …more…

Art Museums

Honolulu Academy of the Arts

Honolulu Academy of the Arts

The Honolulu Academy of the Arts (HAA) is the foremost art museum in Hawaii, with a large and wide-ranging permanent collection (containing over 60,000 items), with a special emphasis on Asian art.  The museum began in the early 20th century with the private art collection of Anne Rice Cooke, the daughter of a prominent local missionary family.  With the aid of two of her daughters and a local schoolteacher, Cooke …more…

The Contemporary Museum

The Contemporary Museum

Honolulu’s Contemporary Museum is the only museum in Hawaii solely devoted to the art of the 20th and 21st Centuries.  Its collection contains numerous works in a variety of media from 1940 to the present, with many important contemporary artists represented.  The permanent collection contains over 3000 works, one third of them by Hawaiian artists, with particular strengths in ceramics, vessels of various materials, photography, and prints of varied media.  …more…

Theater

Honolulu Theatre for Youth

Honolulu Theatre for Youth

Not only Hawaii’s only professional stage company but also one of the oldest children’s theatres in the United States, Honolulu Theatre for Youth has been a thriving arena for imagination for over 50 years. Mixing modern stories, children’s classics, and tales rooted in the unique heritage of the Hawaiian Islands, HTY offers a seven show season as appealing to international travelers on holiday as to its loyal audience of Honolulu …more…

Opera

Hawaii Opera

Hawaii Opera

Island opera dates back more than 150 years. For much of this period, performances—a combination of companies braving the perils of long ocean crossings and local efforts—waxed and waned.

“Opera in Honolulu has been like Hawaii’s volcanoes,” wrote an observer in the early 1960s, summing up the first century-plus. “Historically it has burst into brilliant displays, then lapsed into periods of sleep … a time which has seen surges of serious …more…

Jazz

Jazz Minds Art and Café

Jazz Minds Art and Café

Jazz Minds Café is the only venue in Honolulu dedicated to live jazz performance six nights a week (the café is closed on Sundays).  Weeknights feature regular performances by local groups, while ensembles on weekends tend to rotate from week to week.  The music featured is eclectic, ranging from straight-ahead jazz on Tuesdays, Latin jazz on Thursdays to all-out R & B, funk and hip-hop on the weekends.  The café’s …more…

Dance

Ballet Hawaii

Ballet Hawaii

Ballet Hawaii arose from the ruins of Honolulu’s now-defunct resident professional dance company, Honolulu City Ballet. In the early 1980s, the federal program that had made Honolulu City Ballet possible was phased out, causing the company to close down and leaving only the “Friends of the Ballet,” a group of adamant supporters who restructured themselves into a non-profit organization that presents, promotes, and teaches dance in Hawaii—a.k.a. Ballet Hawaii.

Ballet Hawaii …more…

Venues

The Hawaii Theatre Center

The Hawaii Theatre Center

The Hawaii Theatre was built in 1922 as a venue for theatre, popular entertainment, and film. In the mid-1930s, it functioned primarily as a grand movie palace. The theatre shuttered in 1984, but two years later it was purchased to become part of the newly formed Hawaii Theatre Center along with the adjacent Austin, Pantheon, and McLean buildings.

In 1989, the theatre was closed for interior renovation; it was rededicated and …more…