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On Saturday, June 19, 2021, Downtown Art Center at 1041 Nuʻuanu Ave, Second Floor, in Chinatown Gateway Plaza, will be celebrating its grand opening with a free public reception from 1-6 p.m.


The dream of a downtown community art center in Honolulu was first conceived as early as 1995 by several local artists, businessmen and arts nonprofits. Discussions with the City and County to repurpose its vacant Department of Motor Vehicles and Finance Offices for the arts started nearly five years ago. Sandra Pohl, the former owner of Louis Pohl Gallery on Bethel Street, and one of the founders of First Friday, spearheaded the effort to ask the city for space in Chinatown Gateway Plaza and lobby the state Legislature for grant funding. The goal for her group of artistic movers and shakers was a City-endorsed art center run by a nonprofit, where artists and art organizations could hold exhibitions, art classes and workshops.

Now, the upstairs art space—which includes a 3,700 square-foot exhibition gallery, a performance space, and rooms for art classes, meetings and workshops—is ready to welcome YOU with open arms!


The opening on June 19 will include live art, live music, performances by dance troupe Robena Collective, as well as a Collector’s Afternoon Reception and Pop-Up Store from 2-5 p.m. hosted by June exhibition curators MaryAnne Long and Robert Mace as part of their show, Mace and Long: Artists In Our Collections.

For more information about our Grand Opening, visit downtownarthi.org.

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