The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) recently welcomed its newest exhibit – the Ukulele Experience.
Located in the Hukilau Marketplace at the PCC in a newly renovated exhibit space designed in the shape of an ukulele, the Ukulele Experience is part museum, part educational and a total showcase for the beloved Hawaiian instrument. The exhibit features tours showing how the ukulele is crafted, along with photos, artwork, mementos and a wide variety of ukuleles on display.
Guests learn how a once obscure taro patch and cane field instrument with lineage from Portugal became an internationally recognized symbol of Hawaii’s aloha and musical legacy. The Ukulele Experience shows guests how a rough piece of rare koa wood is transformed, taking them through the five stages of crafting an ukulele – cultivating, milling, assembling, finishing and final assembly. Both guided and interactive digital tours are offered.
The Ukulele Experience features a Keiki Studio, presented as an interactive way for young children to learn about the instrument and spark their interest at an early age. Strumming and basic chords are taught to children daily, and provided complimentary by staff members. Guests can also purchase various brands of ukulele.
Alfred Grace, PCC President and CEO, commented, “Culture is a gift from our ancestors and our responsibility to share with future generations. The Ukulele Experience is a beautiful new exhibit that showcases the history, the woodworking, the artistry and the significance of the ukulele to Hawaii’s culture, and to everyone who enjoys its music.
“We have designed the Ukulele Experience to appeal to all ages, residents and visitors alike. All you need is an appreciation for music and a love for Hawaii.”