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Downtown Honolulu festival to feature art, crafts, food and live entertainment

Liz Train and the Hawaiʻi Handweavers Hui will be one of the art organizations featured at the street festival.
Jayna Omaye
Liz Train and the Hawaiʻi Handweavers' Hui will be featured at the street festival.

Sandy Pohl enjoys exploring Downtown Honolulu, from the art galleries and entertainment to the shops and restaurants.

“In every great city, that’s why you go to visit a place,” she said. “It has great places to go to, to eat, the theater… and the culture. And that’s what we have in our neighborhood.”

Pohl, executive director of the Downtown Art Center, said she wants more people to appreciate and visit our Downtown arts district.

For the past 10 years, she’s been trying to organize an art festival to highlight that. Now, it’s finally happening.

“We want to showcase who we are as a community of artists and art nonprofits,” she said. “This neighborhood used to be called the arts district. And somehow or another, people have forgotten that.”

Sandy Pohl is the executive director of the Downtown Art Center.
Tracy Chan/Downtown Art Center
Sandy Pohl is the executive director of the Downtown Art Center.

The Downtown Art Center is hosting the HEART of Honolulu Street Festival next weekend. HEART is an acronym for heritage, entertainment, arts and culture, restaurants, and theater and performing arts — all of the things Pohl hopes the event will showcase.

About 50 artists, art organizations and local businesses will participate in the block party. There will also be live entertainment, food and crafts. They are expecting about 1,000 people to attend.

One of those artists is Liz Train from the Hawaiʻi Handweavers’ Hui.

“It’s an old-fashioned art in a way,” Train said. “But it’s had a resurgence.”

Train said this is the first street festival they will participate in. They have about 100 members, and she hopes more people will sign up for their classes.

“I think part of it is just the joy of making,” she said. “As you’re weaving, you’re creating new fabric row by row. It’s a slow process, but it’s kind of meditative.”

The free event will be held next Saturday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nuʻuanu Avenue from King Street to Chaplain Lane.

Editor’s note: The Downtown Art Center is an underwriter of Hawaiʻi Public Radio.

Jayna Omaye was a culture and arts reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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