Paul Simon will perform a special pair of concerts August 13 and 14 at Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s A&B Amphitheater and Yokouchi Pavilion with all of the artist’s net proceeds to be donated to environmental organizations working in Hawai‘i. Tickets for both shows go on sale to the general public Saturday, June 22 at 10:00 am HST at the MACC Box office, by phone at 808-242-SHOW or online at http://mauiarts.org .
The August concerts mark the first time Paul Simon has ever performed on Maui, and his first Hawaiian shows since Simon & Garfunkel appeared at Honolulu’s HIC Arena (Blaisdell Arena) in 1968. These two performances at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center will also be Simon’s only shows on any of the Hawaiian islands.
While no longer touring, Paul Simon has stated his ongoing commitment to perform the occasional concert and to donate those earnings to philanthropic organizations, particularly those dedicated to environmental welfare and to preserving species biodiversity. Having spent time visiting Maui in recent years, Simon was inspired to contribute to the work being done by The Auwahi Forest Restoration Project and Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo (known as KUA).
Hawai‘i is universally regarded as a “biodiversity hotspot” by conservationists, as it’s one of earth’s most biologically rich, yet threatened, regions. Conservation International lists 36 areas around the globe that qualify as hotspots—they represent just 2.4% of earth’s land surface, but they support more than half of the world’s plant species as endemics.
According to The Nature Conservancy, Hawai‘i itself represents a very small percent of total U.S. landmass, but it also comprises 25% of the endangered species listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since Hawai‘i is one of the biodiversity hotspots, while also being characterized as the most isolated mountainous archipelago on earth, it is also extremely vulnerable to invasive species by global trade and other sources. Over 90% of Hawai‘i’s native plants aren’t found anywhere else on earth.
The Auwahi Forest Restoration Project originated in 1997 as a grassroots, community-based effort working in collaboration with `Ulupalakua Ranch to save tracts of highly endangered dry forest at Auwahi as biological and cultural sanctuaries. Since its inception, the Auwahi project has restored and preserved tracts of native forest by sequentially excluding grazing animals, controlling mats of invasive grass, and working with volunteers from the community to plant over 125,000 native trees. Within their restoration work, non-native species cover declined from 87% to 2%, while native species increased from 20% to 98%. Nearly two-thirds of native tree species at Auwahi are now producing seedlings naturally, signs of a healthy functioning ecosystem, including some species that had not done so in centuries.
Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo (KUA) builds local capacity for community-based management of natural and cultural resources, supporting community-based organizations in identifying their own resource management goals and developing the expertise, knowledge, and skills necessary to accomplish these goals. Combining effective traditional and contemporary resources management methods, communities are restoring their traditional role as caretakers of the lands and waters of their places. KUA is committed to nurturing connective spaces where a growing network of communities can incubate ideas, pursue joint-strategies, learn from one another, and leverage shared strengths.
As previously announced, Paul Simon will also be headlining San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival on August 11, and donating all net proceeds from that performance to local Bay Area organizations San Francisco Parks Alliance and Friends of the Urban Forest.
Tickets are available at the MACC Box Office, by phone at 808-242-SHOW or online at MauiArts.org. The Box Office is open for window and phone sales Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. These concerts are presented by Live Nation and the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.