Are the Arts Alive in Your Area?

Misc., Musings

Aloha! I just got back from a wonderful family vacation in Oahu, Hawaii. This was my second time in Hawaii and boy, it’s always hard to leave. Our first day there we decided would be our “shopping” day. We hit a farmers market, the big swap meet and the mall.

While at the Ala Moana Center (the 7th largest open-air shopping center in the world and largest mall in Hawaii) and some other shopping plaza’s during the week, I noticed that there was always some sort of live musical entertainment going on. It didn’t matter if it was the weekend or the middle of the week.

The first musical group we came upon was a military band. They were so fun to listen to. I even found myself singing along. Then we came upon a couple Polynesian musicians singing and playing the ukulele. The falsetto being sung by one was unbelievable! (My daughter and I were shocked when we saw that it was not a woman singing.) We also saw a group of Chinese dragon dancers celebrating Chinese New Year and later in the week a Michael Jackson look a like.

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Military band- they were so good. Check out the cool stage! Wow!

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Chinese Dragon dancers- so fun!

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They walked around the mall after doing their stage show. Fun!

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This one cracked me up. Who knew I would see a Michael Jackson impersonator in Hawaii?

Experiencing all the music and arts definitely helped bring in the spirit of Aloha. The spirit of music and the arts. The spirit of sharing and love.

While I loved experiencing all these performances in Hawaii, this made me kind of sad that my mall didn’t have a nice stage and entertainment on a regular basis. Our music teachers association is able to hold a performance event for our students at the mall once a year during Christmas time and I know of another group who also does this around Halloween time. It’s always a favorite event among many students and their families. But other than that, seeing a musical performance in the mall is a rarity.

When I was younger, it was much more common to see performers at the mall, which made me wonder, why are we not seeing these performances as often? There are plenty of musical groups out there that want to share. They are always looking for venues to perform at, but often find it so hard to find places to perform.

It is my understanding with the mall close to my area that they don’t like to hold very many performances because musical groups are taking up the space where they can place a paying vendor. What they are not considering or perhaps understanding is the performances bring in more people. People who will watch the performances and spend some money in the mall while they are there.

Over the years I have seen malls suffer. And sadly, I have even seen malls die. It is my opinion that in order to save a mall, one must do what it takes to gather people together. To give them a reason to come. And that reason is NOT shopping. Really, think about it… anyone can go shopping online. You can find anything online nowadays. So unless you are trying to get your 10,000 steps in, want something to do or just like shopping, what is making you step inside the mall nowadays? Now add in good musical performances on a regular basis and wouldn’t’ you be drawn to visit more often? I know I would.

Music and the arts unite us together and in turn help support one another. So now I want to know…

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By the way, I’m really excited because the “Play Me I’m Yours” is coming to Arizona in Mesa February 27th-April 9th. You can read more about it here. I’ve heard about this project before and thought it was really neat and now AZ gets to experience a bit of it.


If you are patiently waiting for my online summer course, thank you! It’s coming along and I cannot wait until it’s released! More info to come soon!

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