Culture and Arts

Culture and Arts at Kalani

Kalani is my spirit home. - Cleo Parker Robinson, contemporary American dance leader

The visual and performing arts at Kalani are a multi-cultural celebration, with classes and events presented in 5 studios with suspended wood floors, totaling 17,000 square feet of available movement space.


Kalani was founded by two professional artists, Earnest Morgan and Richard Koob, MFA, former Hawai'i State Arts Coordinators, and University of Hawai'i instructors versed in dance, drama, painting, drawing, music, Hawaiian, African, Asian and European cultural arts, and yoga. Since Kalani's beginning in 1975, many culture and arts forms have been and continue to be celebrated in the annual and weekly ongoing events.

Kalani's property was at one time a traditional ahupua'a, or land portion, that was cared for by an `ohana, or extended family, who benefited from its stewardship. A halau, or Hawaiian cultural school, graced the ocean frontage of Kalani until 1900. This site, with its paths, lava walls and smooth stone floor, is preserved along with a heiau (temple) site and burial grounds.

Merrie Monarch

In the 1870's, Hawaii's beloved monarch, Kalākaua, reinstated the practice of hula after years of suppression from the missionaries. A renaissance of Hawaiian culture has continued ever since, celebrated annually in Hilo's Merrie Monarch Festival, during which Kalani holds our Hula Heritage Week and the Puna Music Festival.




See the Arts at Kalani in Action!

Click below to see videos of Kalani's Community Arts Program and the final performance of the Kalani Performing Arts Intensive.

click to play Kalani Community Arts Program video           click to play Performing Arts Program video




Kalani has ongoing dance classes including hula, modern dance, and ecstatic dance.

Kalani hosts many dance workshops and festivals, including hula, yoga dance, ecstatic dance, hoop dance, belly dance, bollywood-style dance, and fire-spinning.

Dance at Kalani

Hula Heritage Festival 2016 - March 28 - April 3

Click here to see our current listing of workshops.




Art at Kalani includes paintings and works in other mediums by many local artists.

Art at Kalani

Kalani art activities include numerous classes and events, including weekly live figure drawing classes, Lauhala Weaving, and more.

Kalani hosts many art workshops and festivals.
Click here to see our current listing of workshops.



Music is an ongoing tradition at Kalani. In addition to regular "open-mic" nights, Kalani features live performances by many renowned artists including Krishna Das, Donna De Lory, and Marla Leigh, to mention a few.

Kalani hosts many music workshops and festivals, including:

Click here to see our current listing of workshops