Here’s a surprise: Hawaii’s finest and most comprehensive visual and performing arts complex won’t be found in sophisticated Honolulu. Instead, you have to head to the island of Maui, home of the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC).
When the MACC opened its doors in 1994, it was the culmination of a 30-year dream for many community residents. Located at the foot of Iao Valley and overlooking Kahului Harbor, the MACC is a $32-million complex that has injected new excitement and life to the Magic Isle. More than 220,000 people visit the center annually, attending everything from community events and service club meetings to world-class concerts featuring the likes of Sting, Bob Dylan, Santana, Pearl Jam, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, James Taylor and Ziggy Marley.
Local entertainers who have performed at the MACC include Kealii Reichel, the Brothers Cazimero, Na Leo Pilimehana, Willie K, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro and comedian Frank De Lima.
Facilities include the 1,200-seat Castle Theater, the Center’s principal performance space. The theater’s multi-tiered configuration places no seat further than 90 feet from the stage. The Alexander & Baldwin Amphitheater, meanwhile, is an outdoor theater that’s ideal for festivals, theme parties and gala concerts under the stars.
For more intimate performances, the Center offers the McCoy Studio Theater, featuring “black box” theater seating, a movable stage and omni-directional lighting. The theater is ideal for small-scale performances, seminars and meetings. And the Schaefer International Gallery is Maui’s only museum-quality gallery, hosting a wide range of state, national and international art exhibits.
Besides being a venue for public performances, the MACC is a leading source of education for Maui residents, from schoolchildren to senior citizens. The Center offers a full menu of programs in arts education, teacher training, community activities and more.
When visiting the Magic Isle, be sure to check out what’s happening at the MACC. From hula recitals and symphony performances to slack key guitar concerts and art exhibits, there’s always something going on at this world-class venue.