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Hawaii’s street art movement beautifies communities and creates a powerful positive impact, says co-founder of annual urban art festival

landscape shots of murals and street art in Kaka'ako, Hawaii

Taking a stroll in downtown Honolulu, vibrant, colorful murals adorn walls and surfaces surrounding the spectators on the streets.

The Our Kaka‘ako website states much of the street art comes from POW! WOW! Hawaii, an urban art festival that draws in talented local and global artists to paint and refresh murals. Hawaii.com explains the festival’s name refers to the impact art has on people. The annual festival is made up of contemporary artists who demonstrate creativity and celebrate a deep appreciation of art and culture, according to the Our Kaka‘ako website.

Co-founded in 2010 by artists Jasper Wong and Kamea Hadar, the Our Kaka‘ako site explains POW! WOW! Hawaii has expanded into a global phenomenon. In fact, the website says the movement is a street art leader in 17 different cities, where community members participate in workshops, lectures, exhibitions, block parties and Q&A’s with artists.

In an interview with VoyageLA, Wong, a native Hawaiian, he said, “Our mission [as a non-profit] is to beautify communities. [We feel obligated] to educate people about the positive impact and power of public art.” •