tory by Teri Freitas Gorman | Portrait by Michael Gilbert
This Easter weekend, the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, hosts the twentieth annual Celebration of the Arts—a three-day festival of song, dance, workshops, films, art displays and demonstrations, and a rich exploration of Hawaiian culture. Most activities are free, and everyone is welcome.
Everyone on the planet, if Clifford Naeole has his way.
“For two decades, Celebration of the Arts has created common ground through music, food, art and conversation,” says Naeole, Hawaiian cultural advisor for the Ritz-Carlton and the event’s founder. “This year, we extend the circle of aloha to everybody who lives on Island Earth.”
Naeole chose Me Ke Aloha (With Aloha to All) as the theme for this year’s Celebration, among whose highlights will be a panel discussion among representatives of indigenous people from North America, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
“Although oceans and continents separate us, there are parallels in our cultural thinking,” Naeole explains. “We Hawaiians call it ‘aloha,’ but every indigenous group has a word for it. It comes out of the relationship native peoples have with their land, and is expressed to others through love, gratitude and appreciation. Aloha comes to us in lessons every day; it is up to us to recognize when the lesson comes, and what we are going to do with it.”
Celebration of the Arts runs April 6 through 8, and in the spirit of aloha, the Ritz-Carlton is offering kamaaina specials April 5 through 9. For reservations and information, call (808) 669-6200.