Do-it-yourself Celebration Of The Arts Returning To Paliku

A pair of unlikely pirates in masks enjoy last year’s Paliku Arts Festival at Windward Community College. Photo by Peter Tully Owen.

Before Windward Community College drama professor Ben Moffat retired last year, one of his dreams came true: to have a free art festival where the community comes together for a hands-on celebration of art.

About 4,000 people attended that inaugural event last spring, and his legacy continues this year, with Moffat as the event chairman. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 31 in Paliku Theatre and the surrounding grounds.

“This festival has an open and adventurous ‘learn-by-doing’ vibe,” explained Moffat. “People love the comfortable feel of the courtyard and arts buildings. They love that folks of all ages are participating, stretching themselves and are being surprised at what they discover.”

For anyone who has ever wanted to try their hand at painting, sculpting, playing the ukulele or any number of creative activities, WCC professors and their students will be available as guides. They will assist in creating ceramics, sculptures, prints, acting and much more. Art supplies are provided for free.

Community experts also will share their talents with the public, such as learning how to start a garage band (and making music on the computer), raku firing, photography, drawing (or having your portrait done), poetry, stage combat, mask making, screen printing, tie dye and glass blowing. Attendees also can visit open studios in Hale Palanakila to observe art in the painting, piano, ceramics and photography laboratories and studios.

Free entertainment in Paliku Theatre will include How I Became a Pirate, directed by Ron Bright. Based on the children’s book, the musical show plays at 2 p.m. Nearby, Hokulani Imaginarium will offer fulldome showings of Secrets of the Dragon at $3 a person. Also on view are photos of Kalaupapa by Wayne Levin in Gallery ‘Iolani. Levin, who has a new book of photographs of the Hansen’s disease settlement on Molokai, will discuss the subject and give tours of the gallery.

Food booths will sell crepes, curries, shave ice and other ono preparations throughout the day.

For more information, email Rob Molyneux at