Viewers get the inside story of the Hawaii State Art Museum during the premiere of "Art Stories" on PBS Hawaii tonight.

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Tonight marks the premiere of "Art Stories," a three-part series focusing on local arts organiztions.

Hosted by Elizabeth Lindsey Buyers, "Art Stories" profiles nine organizations that contribute to the enrichment of the arts in Hawaii.

The first installment, airing 7:30 p.m. today on PBS Hawaii, will feature the Honolulu Academy of Arts, 'Iolani Palace and the new Hawai'i State Art Museum.

The program begins with a look at the academy and its founder, Anna Rice Cooke. In 1882, she and her husband Charles Montague Cooke built a home on Beretania Street, across from Thomas Square Park. Her personal art collection eventually outgrew the family residence, which she eventually turned into a museum for all the people of Hawaii to enjoy.

Segment two features the stately 'Iolani Palace, the stately home of King Kalakaua and his successor Queen Lili'uokalani, with a chance examine its historical treasures and architectural details.

The third segment captures the ceremony of the state museum's opening day and a behind-the-scenes peek at what is possibly the largest collection of works created by Hawaii artists in the state.

Future segments of "Art Stories" will feature a trip to the Steinway piano factory in New York to select the Honolulu Symphony's new grand piano, Hawai'i Opera Theatre's educational artreach program on Molokai, and the Contemporary Art Museum's Biennium Art Show. Air dates episodes have not yet been determined.

"Art Stories" is produced by Stuart Yamane for PBS Hawaii. Funding is provided by the merchants of 2100 Kalakaua Avenue and the Honu Group, Inc.

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