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Image: tim bostock

HAWAII STATE ART MUSEUM / Judging by the crowd that flocks downtown every month, First Friday is already a hot event. As you stroll the streets of Chinatown, you can view art installations and listen to street performers–all for free. But the next time you attend, venture past the usual First Friday happenings on Hotel Street and walk down the street to the Hawaii State Art Museum (HiSAM) for Live from the Lawn. According the event’s producer, Tim Bostock, “The lawn and the HiSAM lanai are used as stages for music, dance, spoken word opera, and all styles of performance.” Since 2005, HiSAM lawn-goers have been experiencing entertaining events, such as January’s Grammy concert, where all the year’s Grammy-nominated Hawaiian musicians performed on the same bill. In March, the theme is “Hot Latin,” and Rolando Sanchez and his Hot Salsa Band along with Capoeira Besouru and Aloha Brasil are expected to perform. Visitors can park for free after 5pm at St. Andrew’s Cathedral and there is also metered parking on Richards Street. Bostock says attendees can bring a picnic meal but alcohol is not permitted. Even if you miss Live from the Lawn, HiSAM is a fruitful yet frugal destination for its free art exhibits and community events.

Hawaii State Art Museum No. 1 Capitol District Bldg., 250 S. Hotel St. []