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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why a festival?
  2. Who's behind the festival?
  3. What is the difference between this and the Henry Allen Steel Guitar Festival?
  4. What is AECG?
  5. What is HIMELE?
  6. How are schools and education involved?
  7. How was the festival location chosen?
  8. Is there any cost associated with this festival?
  9. Is there a schedule of workshops and presentations?
  10. Can I or my steel guitar group perform at the festival?
  11. Who do I contact for more information?

1. Why a festival?
The Hawaiian Steel Guitar almost became extinct because of mysteries surrounding the instrument and because players did not share their playing secrets with anyone. Fortunately, its popularity has been resurrected due in part to events such as the Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival that are held to raise public awareness about the instrument. In addition, various educational efforts are being made to introduce this instrument to today's youth who will become the next generation of Hawaiian steel guitar players.

2. Who's behind the festival?
The Arts Education for Children Group has presented this festival since its inception. A major partner is the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, the festival site. Non-profit corporation HIMELE produces the event. Funding for the festival comes from various grants, in-kind donations, and corporate sponsorships. See the Festival Staff section below for the individuals responsible for the festival.

3. What is the difference between this and the Henry Allen Steel Guitar Festival?
While Henry Allen's name was previously associated with this festival, organizers are now focusing on an instrument-centric festival instead of attaching artist names to the festival. The festival has always been presented by AECG and has always existed to promote, educate and perpetuate the Hawaiian steel guitar.

4. What is AECG?
AECG Logo Arts Education for Children Group is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Lahaina, HI. AECG is dedicated to providing opportunities for artistic and cultural enrichment and is committed to improving the quality of education in schools by restoring music programs and restoring public awareness about the importance of participation in music and the arts.

5. What is HIMELE?
HIMELE Logo HIMELE is The Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences, a Hawai'i Non-Profit Corporation that supports music education and enrichment for people of all ages. HIMELE"s purpose is to educate, promote and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments.

6. How are schools and education involved?
A major component of the festival features educational presentations and performances by teams of major festival performers. These school visits embrace students of all grades in both public and private Maui schools. These visits are done to educate and inform the students about the Hawaiian steel guitar and to encourage interest and support of the instrument. Also, students of Hawaiian Steel Guitar schools from the University of Hawaii Maui College, Ke Kula Mele Hawaii School of Hawaiian Music, and steel guitar schools from Japan regularly perform in Open Stage programs.

7. How was the festival location chosen?
The Ka'anapali Beach Hotel has hosted previous festivals and provides an excellent and appropriate setting for this cultural event.

8. Is there any cost associated with this festival?
The festival's events are free and open to the public. Attendees are responsible for their personal transportation, lodging, and meal costs, including the Sunday brunch which will feature festival entertainment.

9. Is there a schedule of workshops and presentations?
The festival workshops and presentations, including free concerts and jam sessions, will be published here when details are finalized.

10. Can I or my Hawaiian steel guitar group perform at the festival?
Yes! The festival is making available 30-minute Open Stage time slots on Friday and Saturday to any Hawaiian steel guitarist or Hawaiian steel guitar group interested in performing at the festival. The uncompensated performances will be on the festival main stage, run concurrent to some workshops, and are open to the public. Back-up musicians will be available if needed – be sure to bring your music charts or choose songs that the back-up musicians would likely be familiar with (such as traditional Hawaiian mele.) Please arrange your 30-minute program to include set-up, performance, and break-down. If you are interested, please visit the contact page and submit an interest form. Please indicate in the comments if you need back-up musicians.

11. Who do I contact for more information?
Please see the Reservations Page for information about travel and hotel reservations.
 
Please see the Contact Page to request additional festival information, to sign up for a playing time slot, or to make a contribution.

Festival Staff

Arts Education for Children Group
Bryant Neal, Executive Director
Ka'anapali Beach Hotel
John White, Director of Sales and Marketing
Kristin Molina, Catering Sales Manager
HIMELE
Alan Akaka, President and Executive Director
Addison Ching, Vice-President and Festival Coordinator