In HAWAII, you’ll meet characters you’ll never forget—Amelia Whipple, the missionary; the sea captain who founded a dynasty of sugar barons; the Chinese concubine who became a great banker; the gigolo beach boy who might have been king, and hundreds—literally hundreds—more!

The excerpt from a review above appears on the inside sleeve of HAWAII, a novel I’m currently reading that tells the island’s history through a motley crew of characters. Unconventional as the story’s cast is, the author, James Michener portrays them as the figures who came to live in Hawaii during World War II. During those critical times, Hawaii was a promising place (and still is!) that attracted people from all walks of life.

Kind of like the optimistic characters mentioned in the book, I’ve converged upon Hawaii with family and friends—the ones in my circle of media professionals. We’re attending the Pow Wow festival in Honolulu this week, a five-day gathering where press will observe and document visual artists painting new pieces throughout the community. Already the fabric of Hawaii is weaved together by ethnicities of Polynesian, Japanese and Filipino, so imagine what Honolulu will look like when the artwork matches the city’s blanket of diversity.

Check back for my updates from Pow Wow. “Like” Pow Wow on Facebook here and follow their celebration of art, music and culture on Twitter and Tumblr. Big up all the sponsors. Pow!

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