In celebration of the 53rd Annual Merrie Monarch Festival, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center will host three days of cultural enrichment programming, Wednesday, March 30 through Friday, April 1. This series is organized to complement and honor one of Merrie Monarch’s major purposes: the perpetuation, preservation and promotion of the art of hula and Hawaiian culture through education.
“The Merrie Monarch Festival is an important platform for sharing the history and culture of Hawai’i with thousands of people worldwide. It is a privilege each year for ‘Imiloa to help extend the impact of the festival by offering related cultural enrichment programs for the benefit of both our local and visitor communities,” states Ka’iu Kimura, Executive Director of ‘Imiloa.
MW-020514-mossmanThe opening day of events (March 30) at ‘Imiloa will showcase Hānau ka Ua me ka Makani, a recent publication on Hawaiian rain names and lore by Kamehameha Schools educators, Collette Akana and Kiele Gonzalez, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. A live musical performance by Hilo’s own Hōkū-award winner, Mark Yamanaka will follow that afternoon from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.
The second day of events (March 31) will feature He Inoa no Hiʻiakaikapoliopele, A Papakū Makawalu presentation from 10:00 am to 11:30 am on Hi’iakaikapolipele. The presentation is by Pomai Brandt and Ku‘ulei Higashi Kanahele, who is a PhD student in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization at Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Afternoon Hula performances by UNUKUPUKUPU will include UNUOLEHUA I and UNUOLEHUA II, under the direction of Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.
The third and final day (April 1) will feature the hula drama Hānau Ke Aliʻi: Born is a Chief, performed by Hālau Nā Kīpuʻupuʻu under the direction of Kumu Hula Michah Kamohoali’i from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. The final event of our programming will feature hula performances by Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani Ē, under the direction of Kumu Hula ʻIwalani Kalima at 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.
All Cultural Enrichment Programs will take place in ‘Imiloa’s Moanahōkū Hall. Tickets to each event will include access to ‘Imiloa’s interactive Exhibit Hall. Pre-sale tickets will be available for purchase on Tuesday, March 15 at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s front desk, or by calling 808-932-8901. General Admission ticket prices are $10, and $8 for members. A limited supply of tickets will be available on the day of event for $15.