A&E Wrap-Up: July 24, 2020

  • The "big bugs" stand with James and Ladahlord by the giant peach in the Waimea Community Theatre production of James and the Giant Peach in 2019. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file photo)

‘Lip Sync’ fundraiser benefits Waimea Community Theatre

The Waimea Community Theatre, which has entertained generations of Big Island audiences since 1964, has fallen on hard times. When Parker Ranch Center heard that the volunteer-driven organization was in danger of shutting down, it decided to help the nonprofit, while also rallying others around the worthy cause.


The center recently launched the #SaveWaimeaCommunityTheatrePRC campaign. From now until Aug. 15, center will donate $10 to the Waimea Community Theatre organization, each time a short (30 seconds or less) lip sync video featuring a family friendly, popular song is posted with the hashtag #SaveWaimeaCommunityTheatrePRC on Instagram and Facebook.

The center’s goal is to raise up to $5,000 for the organization through this fundraising and awareness campaign.

Participants are also encouraged to donate directly to the theater by contacting admin@waimeacommunitytheatre.org. Donations are tax deductible.

One of Hawaii’s longest-lived community theaters, Waimea Community Theatre is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. From staged readings, variety shows, one-acts, musicals, seasonal choral events, Shakespeare, classical theater, comedies, dramas, stand up acts, orchestras and more, the organization has provided nearly 164 local programs.

In recent times, WCT has faced growing financial challenges as a result of changing venues, participants, and reduced productions. Also, due to COVID-19, a planned production of “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,” has ceased, making it difficult to fund any future productions.

Kolohe Kai announces new single

Pacific reggae star Kolohe Kai announces a new single “Catching Lightning” to be released today. This bright reggae-infused R&B ditty is the first single from Kolohe Kai’s forthcoming EP.

Singer-songwriter Roman De Peralta, also known as Kolohe Kai, has made immense waves in the Pacific reggae scene, testing the waters with his irresistible hits “Ehu Girl” and “Cool Down” before making his big splash with the long-awaited single “Heartstrings.” That was followed by “Round and Around,” a 2018 single that flooded the stages of at least 10 different Hawaii high school graduation ceremonies in 2019.

In February 2019, Kolohe Kai released his fourth studio album, “Summer To Winter,” earning an “Album of the Year” award at the Island Music Awards.

For more information, visit www.kolohekaimusic.com.

Big Island Art Fair this weekend

The Big Island Art Fair will be held this weekend at Anna Ranch Heritage Center in Waimea.

Entry to the fair, which will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, is free and no reservation is needed.

Additional workshops and classes are also offered (with a fee) and will require a reservation. Ten percent of all art sales go to support the ongoing restoration of the Anna Ranch Historical Home.

Visit www.bigislandartfair.com for all the details.

Nonfiction book club Tuesday

Kona Stories book store hosts its nonfiction book club via Zoom at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

This week’s book is “Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World’s Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West” by David Wolman and Julian Smith.

The nonfiction book tells the triumphant true story of the native Hawaiian cowboys who crossed the Pacific to shock America at the 1908 world rodeo championships.

Books can be purchased online for home delivery or at the store, which is open for business 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Instructions for the Zoom meetings will be included in the weekly newsletter. Those who do not receive the newsletter should contact KS@konastories.com no later than the Monday before the meeting by 3 p.m. to sign up.

CARES Act funds headed to Hawaii Island organizations

Seven Hawaii Island arts and culture organizations recently received CARES Act grants of up to $15,000 to “help save jobs in the arts sector and keep the doors open to organizations that add value to our economy and creative life of our communities.”

The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Hawaii’s state government arts agency, is distributing $427,500 to 36 arts and culture organizations impacted by COVID-19 across the state. These funds are provided by the National Endowment for the Arts with grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.

Hawaii Island organizations receiving grant funding are: Aloha Performing Arts Company, dba Aloha Theatre ($14,301); Friends of the Palace Theatre ($14,789); Holualoa Foundation for Arts &Culture dba Donkey Mill Art Center ($11,457); Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society ($10,279); Society for Kona’s Education &Art ($8,613); Volcano Art Center ($13,976); and the West Hawaii Dance Theatre ($8,424)

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included $75 million in COVID-19 relief funds to be distributed through the National Endowment for the Arts. Congress requires that 40% of the NEA’s grant budget goes to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations; this also applies to CARES Act resources.

Podcast features Big Island musicians

Big Island Music Magazine is now offering weekly podcasts featuring interviewsoom with local musicians.

The 30-minute audio podcast, Songs &Stories, is hosted by the magazine’s editor Steve Roby.

“It’s a great opportunity for musicians to discuss their songwriting process, share new material, and reach a larger audience beyond the island,” said Roby. “Guests are interviewed to give listeners a chance to hear the backstory behind the artist’s music.”


Season One has 10 episodes and features a wide variety of the island’s talent, including Brother Noland, Bending Elbows (a country trio from Hilo), and Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winner Mark Yamanaka.

Songs &Stories is available on all major podcast platforms. New episodes are available every Thursday.

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