Honolulu gets another shot at arts stardom
The gauntlet has been thrown.
Fortunately, no combatants need duel at dawn with deadly devices double-checked by their seconds.
AmericanStyle magazine has opened balloting for its 2008 Top Arts Destinations readers' poll -- and as Editor-in-Chief Hope Daniels said to TheBuzz earlier this year, Star-Bulletin readers should "get out the vote and push Honolulu to the top one, two or three."
She didn't mean nationwide. We don't have MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) and we're not competing against seven-time No. 1 winner New York City anyway -- the magazine divides art destinations by city size.
AmericanStyle readers voted Honolulu a top 10 arts destination among midsized cities for 2007.
On that list, Honolulu was No. 7 behind Pittsburgh; Albuquerque, N.M.; Las Vegas; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Atlanta and New Orleans.
We had been No. 19 in 2001 and No. 5 in 2005, when the magazine inaugurated citysize categories.
We may not have the Guggenheim Museum SoHo, but we do have SoBe, short for South of Beretania Street.
We've got First Friday and Third Thursday downtown, we have the Kailua Second Sunday Art Walk.
In fact, you can't throw a stick without hitting a fine arts event, as the Star-Bulletin's Art Week calendars regularly reveal.
Colleague Nina Wu reported in our recent Boomtown special that attendance at the First Friday art gallery walk has grown to about 2,500 since its 2003 debut, according to Rich Richardson, of the Arts at Marks Garage.
The number of new galleries, shops and restaurants in Chinatown has grown by more than a dozen, anchored by the bustling Hawaii Theatre, she reported.
The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts also has an online calendar of events it helps fund; and more players in the local arts scene can be found elsewhere online.
To vote, you can use the paper ballot in AmericanStyle's now-on-newsstands December issue or you can vote online, but it all ends Jan. 31. One voter will win a $500 travel gift certificate.
Results will be revealed in late April when the June issue is released.
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is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org