Pasifika First Fridays | Buzz Blog
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Pasifika First Fridays

New showcase for Pacific Islander artists kicks off.


Spoken word artist Moana Uluave-Hafoka - COURTESY PASIFIKA FIRST FRIDAYS
  • Courtesy Pasifika First Fridays
  • Spoken word artist Moana Uluave-Hafoka
A monthly showcase for Pacific Islander artists launches March 2, organized in part by a returning Utah native.

Festival Chair Moana Palelei HoChing, a digital artist who graduated from high school locally and attended Harvard University, recently relocated back to Utah after 10 years in Boston and Las Vegas.  Along with two sisters who are also art enthusiasts, as well as other friends and family members, HoChing considered how best to empower youth and local artists to show their work.

"I had previous experience with places that had First Friday festivals," HoChing tells City Weekly. "It's been a conversation we’ve had for a long time, but we made a commitment in 2018 to organize in this capacity. It’s been a dream for all of us, and we really just wanted to carve out and create a space for artists to express themselves."

HoChing and her all-volunteer team reached out to prospective artists via social media, as well as through established organizations, including local Pacific Islander groups, university cultural groups and Pacific Islander-owned businesses. "From that, we’ve received an overwhelming response, and it seems to be all word of mouth," HoChing says.

This week's launch is intended as just the first monthly gathering that will feature both contemporary and traditional live performances, food, a marketplace for artists to sell their work and opportunities for artists to connect with arts organizations. Scheduled performers include spoken word artist Moana Uluave-Hafoka, singer-songwriter Sayloo, Polynesian music and dance group Malialole and graffiti artist Bill Louis. First Fridays in subsequent months will feature a thematic focus, with dance at the center of April's festival.

Ember SLC
623 S. State
Friday, March 2
6-10 p.m.