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Arts & Local Culture

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Total Number of Articles - 68
  • Kauai Celebrates Prince Kuhio

    Tomorrow, the annual Prince Kuhio Celebration of the Arts commences.  The week-long event uses the example of Prince Kuhio to remind us of the importance of serving our communities and showcases many of the arts and cultural practices of our host community, including hula, canoe racing, salt making, music and, of course, food. 
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  • New Year's Resolution

    A couple weeks ago, a group of virtual writer friends started posting their goals for 2010. They could all be my own: Write more, publish more, stop procrastinating. But out of the dozens of New Year’s resolutions I read, one stood out. And ever since I read it, I have pondered it. Rolled it around in my mouth like my dog eats peanut M&Ms. Read More
  • Kauai: Undercover Movie Star

    Though Kauai has played itself in the movies (you may remember Nicolas Cage frantically shouting "Is it Kapaa or Kapaa-a?" into a pay phone in Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), most of its screen time has been as a stunt double for a number of tropical paradises. The island's remote valleys and waterfalls portrayed Venezuelan jungle in Kevin Costner's Dragonfly (2002) and a Costa Rican dinosaur preserve in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993). Spielberg was no stranger to Kauai, having filmed Harrison Ford's escape via seaplane from Menehune Fishpond in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). The fluted cliffs and gorges of Kauai's rugged Napali Coast play the misunderstood beast's island home in King Kong (1976), and a jungle dweller of another sort, in George of the Jungle (1997), frolicked on Kauai. Harrison Ford returned to the island for 10 weeks during the filming of Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), a romantic adventure set in French Polynesia. Part-time Kauai resident Ben Stiller used the island as a stand-in for the jungles of Vietnam in Tropic Thunder (2008) and Johnny Depp came here to film some of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). But these are all relatively contemporary movies. What's truly remarkable is that Hollywood discovered Kauai in 1933 with the making of White Heat, which was set on a sugar plantation and—like another more memorable movie filmed on Kauai—dealt with interracial love stories. In 1950, Esther Williams and Rita Moreno arrived to film Pagan Love Song, a forgettable musical. Then, it was off to the races, as Kauai saw no fewer than a dozen movies filmed on island in the 1950s, not all of them Oscar contenders. Rita Hayworth starred in Miss Sadie Thompson (1953) and no one you'd recognize starred in the tantalizing She Gods of Shark Reef (1956).

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  • Kauai and Hawaii Today

    Despite its small size—about 550 square mi—Kauai has four distinct regions, each with its own unique characteristics. The windward coast, which catches the prevailing trade winds, consists of the North Shore and East Side, while the drier, leeward coast encompasses the South Shore and West Side. One main road nearly encircles the island, except for a 15-mi stretch of sheer cliffs called the Napali Coast.

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  • Waioli Mission House

    This 1837 home was built by missionaries William and Mary Alexander. Its tidy New England architecture and formal koa-wood furnishings epitomize the prim and proper missionary influence, while the informative guided tours offer a fascinating peek into the private lives of Kauai's early white residents. Half-hour guided tours are available for $10 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 9 to 3. If no one is there when you arrive, don't despair; just ring the bell by the chimney. COST: $10. OPEN: Tues., Thurs., and Sat. 9--3.

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