Symphony Fair is affordable fun


POSTED: Thursday, May 21, 2009

In many cities across America, nonprofit organizations are struggling. It's a challenging time for arts and cultural nonprofits, which depend on ticket sales and admission fees for a portion of their revenue. Many organizations have taken a double hit this year as businesses have canceled or reduced sponsorships.





        Family-oriented fair with music, art and other entertainment:

» Place: Waikiki Shell


» When: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday


» Admission: $3 per adult; free for children under 12


» Call: 524-0815 ext. 245


» Note: Bring blankets and tents to stay for the afternoon




On the mainland, the 58-year-old Baltimore Opera Company has closed its doors, permanently. Here in Hawaii, many of us are concerned about the future of our own Honolulu Symphony, which has enriched our community for more than 100 years.

Those who follow the news know the Honolulu Symphony has been struggling financially. Like many nonprofits, the symphony has seen revenues and sponsorships decline as operating costs continue to rise. The current economy has hit the organization hard, especially as it has operated on a “;shoe string”; budget for years.

But, symphony supporters aren't sitting idle. We're working to keep high-quality music education programs in our schools. We want to make sure our communities continue to have such events as free, family concerts with the symphony. We're working to keep symphony musicians in Hawaii because they are the artistic engine that powers many other local arts groups and educational programs. Now is the time to demonstrate our belief in the value having a full-time symphony in the islands.

This weekend, the community will have an opportunity to support the symphony while having fun. That's what music is all about. Volunteers teams have organized the first Symphony Fair on the grounds of the Waikiki Shell from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. We're spreading the message that we can work together to keep the symphony here for generations to come.

THE SYMPHONY FAIR will have something for everyone. Kids under age 12 will be able to enter free, and one of the first places they'll want to go is the instrument “;petting zoo”; with symphony musician “;zookeepers.”;

More than 20 performing arts organizations, such as the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus and Mass Horn Choir, will perform throughout the afternoon on three stages. Jake Shimabukuro and Jimmy Borges will also be there to chat with fans and sign autographs.

The event takes place before the Honolulu Symphony Toyota Pops season finale with smooth jazz star Dave Koz. The season finale kicks off at 7:30 p.m. under the stars at the Shell. Tickets are available on the lawn at $15 each.

We urge each of you to support the arts in Hawaii. Join us this weekend to show your appreciation for the Honolulu Symphony.


Kimberly Miyazawa Frank is vice-chair of the Honolulu Symphony Society Board of Directors.