Olelo Community Media

ʻŌlelo Loves Pets

Each year, our staff organizes an internal recycling drive. This year, our staff voted to donate our 2020 recycling drive money to a local non-profit – Hawaiian Humane Society. Upon delivery of the money, we got to take a photo with Hawaiian Humane Society President and CEO Anna Neubauer and our new friend, Sistah!
ʻŌlelo also ran a social media campaign on February 20th for National Love Your Pets Day.  We asked our staff and followers to upload a photo or video of their pet to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. They were instructed to tag @OleloCommunity and two(2) pet-lover friends for a chance to win a pet toy and to have their photo/video featured on our TV channels. We received many adorable pet photos and combined them into three different video collages. Watch them all below.

Mele Aʻe (Raise the Music) is Hawai‘i’s newest music talent television show with new episodes This is a show that provides aspiring local musical performers such as singers, groups and bands to perform on television from the new state-of-the-art video/sound stage, Studio 1122.

The advisory board that selects Mele Aʻe‘s participants is made up of seasoned industry professionals including Grammy-winning audio engineer Donovan Smith, Hawai’i National Music Foundation of the Pacific President Kirk Thompson, Hawaii Loa musician Herb “Kawaipiolani” Lee, Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning producer Alan Yamamoto, and ‘Ōlelo’s President & CEO Sanford Inouye.

As eloquently put by Mr. Kirk Thompson:

Mele grounds us in the tradition of storytelling unique to Hawai‘i.

Mele connects us to life across the generations. It embodies the hopes, dreams and aspirations of all who call Hawai‘i home, inspired by Aloha.

Mele A‘e  – embracing the music to come.

Imagine the possibilities.

Mele A‘e premieres the fourth Sunday of every month at 7:00pm on Spectrum cable channel 53 and Hawaiian Telcom’s channel 1053. Mele Aʻe can also be seen on ʻŌlelo’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

You can watch full episodes here:

Once a month, a dedicated ʻŌlelo production crew spends a day shooting three musical artists in Studio 1122. Our day begins with crew arriving at the studio in the early morning. With most of the heavy-duty video equipment and lighting cues setup the day prior, our team takes this time to do final tech tests and crew briefings.

Once the first scheduled talent arrives, our audio technicians works with them to get their musical instruments on set, plugged in, and leveled out. Pictured here is Mele A’e Advisory Board member and lead audio engineer Donovan Smith (far right) being assisted by sound mixer Lock Lynch and monitor engineer David Naylon, setting up Royce Bailey Ariola’s (of Kennedy Taylor and the Electric Pancakes) drum set.


Typically, performers with 3 or more members are up first since their setup takes the longest. Following the band act are musicians with smaller footprints. Pictured here is DNA Muse during an early rehearsal on our very first day of shooting.

We shoot Mele A’e on 6 cameras: two hand-held, three on “sticks” (tripods), and one on a jib (a projecting crane-like arm). Having this many cameras is necessary to capture every single detail of any given performance, especially for artists with multiple members and instruments. Pictured below is handheld camera operator Wayne Yun getting a low angle of performer Ashton Nicolas.

A view from our certified lighting board operator’s seat as Kalani Puana jams out.



Happy New Year!!! We hope you are healthy and safe during this trying time. 

 We are happy to announce that we will be bringing you some new services and training opportunities in 2021. Detailed information will be coming out about each new offering, so be on the lookout! 

Our Kaimukī and Nānākuli Media Centers have resumed operations on-site at their respective schools.  Kāne’ohe, Māpunapuna, Wahiawā, and Waipahu Media Centers continue to operate out of ourMāpunapunalocation at 1122 Māpunapuna Street.We will let you know when the rest of the Media Centers located on school campuses will reopen.We will continue toofferprogram submissions and equipment checkouts curbside.Availability of Mini Studios and Edit Bays remain limitedat this time. 

As a reminder, the following precautions have been put in place to keep everyone safe. 

Hours of Operations for Media Service Centers: 

  • The Māpunapuna, Kāne’ohe, Wahiawā, and Waipahu MSCs, operating out of Māpunapuna, are open Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM. 
  • The Kaimukī MSC is open Monday through Thursday from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. 
  • The Nānākuli MSC is open Monday through Thursday from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

All services are by Appointment Only – No walk-ins are allowed. 

  • Appointments need to be made at least 24 hours in advance. 
  • Edit bays are available Tuesdays and Thursdays. 
  • Mini Studios are available Wednesdays and Fridays. 
  • Mentoring is available Monday through Friday. 
  • Please contact our Media Services staff for further information. 
  • High touch areas will be sanitized frequently. 
  • In order to access services inside the building, such as the Mini Studio or Edit Bays, everyone is required to: 
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times. 
  • Maintain appropriate social distancing at all times. 
  • Have their temperature taken by a staff member upon entering the building 
  • Answer a brief series of COVID related questions upon entering the building. 

If you have questions about making a reservation or submitting your content for air, please contact your Media Service Center, preferably by email.  

Mahalo and stay safe! 

‘Ōlelo Community Media 

Recently, one of our vans received some body damage and was sent in for repairs at Mobile Fleet Hawaii, LLC.  Not only did their company do an excellent job in repairing the van, they donated the thousands of dollars for the repair to ‘Ōlelo. Such generosity is greatly appreciated and it is heartwarming to know that companies such as Mobile Fleet Hawaii, LLC recognize the value of our mission on O‘ahu.

We recently learned that Lucille Chun, dedicated tai chi instructor, avid producer and member of our ʻŌlelo ʻohana has passed away.

Lucy joined our ʻohana in 2014, and over the past six years, she and her husband Kenneal went on to produce three weekly series—Play Tai Chi, Tai Chi Aloha Around the World, and EveryDay TaiChi by Lucy—all focused on the art and practice of tai chi.

Though petite, Lucyʻs huge heart and ambition shone through in her programs as well as her time with us here in the center. We cherish the moments we shared with Lucy over the years and miss her dearly.

We extend our aloha, thoughts, and condolences to her husband Kenneal Chun, their children, grandchildren, and friends.

Lucille’s family has requested for those interested in offering their sentiments, condolences and support to donate to ‘Ōlelo.  We truly appreciate Lucille’s family continued support of Olelo.

There are three ways to make a contribution*:

  1. Texttogive through your mobile phone by texting Olelo to (808)746-3372
  2. Make a donation online.
  3. By check made payable to:‘Ōlelo Community Media
    1122 Māpunapuna Street
    Honolulu, HI 96819

*Please notate your gift is in memory of Lucy Chun.


Congratulations to the following community members who have been honored as the 2020 Members of the Year by ‘Ōlelo. Each of these members received a commemorative coin from our President and CEO, Sanford Inouye, as well as a certificate of appreciation, and various ‘Ōlelo novelty items.

Nānākuli Member of the Year

At ‘Ōlelo, it is important to create a safe place in which youth and adults alike can learn about media production..

Our Nānākuli Staff truly values all of our clients and volunteers that continue to engage with us. We especially appreciate those who apply the wisdom and knowledge gained to give back to ‘Ōlelo, fellow clients, schools, and our communities.

Marjorie Moore wrote:

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in”

At 14 years of age and too young to vote. She’s a JAM (Junior Academy for Media) participant and has been an ‘Ōlelo Producer since 2016.

We would like to congratulate Treasure Lewis as Nānākuli’s 2020 Member of the Year.

Pictured from left to right: Nānākuli Media Services Manager Jimbo Taylor, Director of Media Services, Training and Volunteers Garrett Mueller, Treasure Lewis, ‘Ōlelo President and CEO Sanford Inouye.


Kāneʻohe Member of the Year

This year, Kāneʻohe would like to recognize a member who has been with us since 2006. She is dedicated to her mission of spreading the good word across the island. She is a producer, director, and editor of two programs, which she diligently turns in on time, and has continued to engage with ʻŌlelo through this difficult time. She is a good friend to ʻŌlelo, and we are blessed to have her.

This year, we would like to honor Sabrina Franks as Kāneʻoheʻs 2020 Member of the Year!

Pictured from left to right: Kāneʻohe Media Services Manager Donna Ylen, Director of Media Services, Training and Volunteers Garrett Mueller, Sabrina Franks, ‘Ōlelo President and CEO Sanford Inouye.


Waipahu Member of the Year

We at Waipahu truly appreciate this member’s continued engagement with ‘Ōlelo since taking her first introduction to production class in 2003.  During the first shutdown back in March of 2020, Shirley Ujimori was able to maintain her weekly series Heart of Christ without missing a beat.

We would like to Congratulate Shirley Ujimori as Waipahu’s 2020 Member of the Year.

Pictured from left to right: Director of Media Services, Training and Volunteers Garrett Mueller, Shriley Ujimori, Waipahu Media Services Manager Neal Rivera, ‘Ōlelo President and CEO Sanford Inouye.


Wahiawā Member of the Year

Wahiawā is all about community. All of our volunteers and members are a valuable part of our Ohana. This year, Wahiawā would like to recognize a member who has been a part of our Ohana for many years. He is a producer, director and editor for his weekly church sermons, and he turns in his shows on time every week. He often drops in just to say “hi” and brighten our day.

This year, we would like to recognize I’u Pasi as Wahiawāʻs 2020 Member of the Year.


Kaimukī Member of the Year

This year, Kaimukī would like to recognize a Member who has diligently submitted his weekly series on time and has continued to engage with ʻŌlelo through this difficult time. This person has been open to adapting and was an integral part of us creating a temporary, online submission system. His positive attitude throughout everything has made him a pleasure to work with.

We would like to recognize Sean Sweet as Kaimukī’s 2020 Member of the Year!

Pictured from left to right: Director of Media Services, Training and Volunteers Garrett Mueller, Kaimukī Media Services Manager Mana Franquez, Sean Sweet, ‘Ōlelo President and CEO Sanford Inouye.


Māpunapuna Member of the Year

Māpunapuna’s Member of the Year is someone we had to say Aloha to in 2020. He was much more than a member of the year, he was like a member of the family for us. For more than 25 years, we at ʻŌlelo have been honored to work with Jim Brewer, someone who exemplified the extraordinary qualities of so many ʻŌlelo producers: passion, optimism, intelligence, kindness and most of all, heart.

Jim passed away earlier this year and our condolences go out to his wife and fellow producer, Renee Ing, and his family.

When Jim started his ʻŌlelo show, called Employees Today, in 1995, the project number was 136. That’s just a number, but consider that projects are in the thousands now and they are created chronologically. His project number was 136. All those years ago, he was producing and hosting ʻŌlelo programs on Medicare for All, Free Trade, Minimum Wage, Energy Independence, Economics, Media Reform…he did it all. He has produced hundreds and hundreds of shows, with the help of many different crew members, volunteering himself on others’ shows.  He was one of our most prolific and certainly one of our longest running producers. Sometimes it’s easy to think of it as just Jim’s show and it was definitely presented from his perspective, but he empowered so many other voices through the years.  A few years ago, he changed the name of Employees Today to Full Democracy, a subject very near and dear to his heart. He even stepped up and ran for office himself, including for governor. Jim believed that “ordinary people working together could do extraordinary things.” He was the very best reflection of that. 

Whenever he visited us here at ʻŌlelo, he showed himself to be a true gentleman and a model community producer. He was a kind soul and could always be counted on to share his perspectives on camera, and off.  We will miss him.  

Thank you for sharing your time and talent with us, Jim, member of the year and member of the family for 25 years. We’ll always feel like it wasn’t quite enough.  

Volunteer of the Year

Mike Hall is a long time client of ʻŌlelo. He has been with Kaneohe since 2009 when they were located at Windward Community College. He has been a dedicated member since the beginning. Not only is he a full time teacher for Koʻolau Baptist Church, he also videotapes and edits their weekly sermons. In addition to his duties at his church and school, Mike has always helped at the Kāneʻohe MSC whenever they need him. He has put together furniture, taken out the trash, sat as talent, and even helped in the office when they are short staffed.

In recent years, he has been a dedicated volunteer and a very good friend to all of our staff. Whenever Kāneʻohe needed help, he would never hesitate to lend a helping hand.

Please help us congratulate Michael Hall as ʻŌleloʻs 2020 Volunteer of the Year.

Pictured from left to right: Director of Media Services, Training and Volunteers Garrett Mueller, Media Services Associates Alex Miyamoto and Corinne Makahilahila, Kāneʻohe Media Services Manager Donna Ylen, Michael Hall, ‘Ōlelo President and CEO Sanford Inouye.

Since 2019, ‘Ōlelo Community Media has been fostering a youth after school media program called Junior Academy for Media (JAM). The Middle and High school aged student participants received assistance with homework, introduction to media literacy, storyboarding and storytelling, basic video production training and certification, and soft skills (resume and interviewing, etc.) training. The program is offered at our six community-based Media Service Centers throughout O‘ahu. Below is an essay written by Waipahu-based JAM student LaRose Colquitt on her experiences with the program.

My JAM Experience 

Aloha I’m LaRose Colquitt, a 2020 graduate from Radford High school. I was born and raised in Hawaii. Some of my interests in school were, and still are: film, art, animation, and acting. Listen, we have a treasure here, Olelo’s youth JAM program.

In the summer of 2019, I started with Olelo’s JAM program. I discovered the youth JAM program when my family attended an orientation that Olelo hosted. Then I got my parents to sign me up for the program. I am excited to let you know where you can find the JAM program, it’s easy, by going to their website or asking your school counselor.

For youth interested in filming, storytelling, editing and any studio work, You want to go to Olelo’s website. You can gain organization and time management skills to complete your projects or tell your story. You can get connected to the people in the industry and to the community through Olelo’s JAM program. You will get hands-on experience and your confidence will go up.

The JAM program is a one year commitment. The Olelo’s JAM instructors are great. They are very knowledgeable and patient, they will help you develop skills with the camera, scriptwriting, editing, and so much more around and outside the studio. You will have a great time meeting new people around your age and working with them as a team. Olelo offers so much, I can’t tell it all so go to the website and check it out.  https://olelo.org/


For more information on Junior Academy for Media, visit olelo.org/jam

Innovative Engagement: Managing a Media Service Center During a Pandemic

At the end of March 2020, just like every other business in Hawai‘i,Ōlelo was forced to radically alter our operations, while still fulfilling our mandated duties as Oahu’s non-profit public, education, and government access provider. In accordance with the lockdown of DOE campuses, Ōlelo’s 5 campus-based Media Service Centers – Kaimukī, Kāneʻohe, Nānākuli, Wahiawā, and Waipahu  have all been temporarily relocated to our Māpunapuna headquarters, utilizing makeshift socially distant office spaces throughout the building.  

With that change came a set of adjustments for both the staff and the public. All of the centers adopted unified, but limited, office hours. Production equipment can still be checked out and hard drives with shows for air can still be turned in. However, members of the public are not allowed inside the building; all interactions are by appointment and “curbside” only. Also, Basic Media Training and one-on-one mentoring are now done mostly virtually via Microsoft Teams 

During down time, Media Services staff are invited to be crewmembers on various facilitated productions to keep their own skills fresh. These productions include Ōlelo’s virtually recorded Signature series Live at the Legislature and Island Focus, as well as the daily legislative hearings recorded at the state capitol.  Some staff members are also given editing duties for our new virtual PSA service for community organizations called Giving Voice. 

Fast forward six months from the lockdown. Our Media Services staff are continuing to strengthen our island voices and advance community engagement through innovative media”, as our mission statement says.  

Ōlelo is currently working with the DOE on creating a plan to get the centers open again by developing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that is in line with each school’s guidelines.  

In the meantime, how can we continue to engage with our clients and still be innovative? 

To keep his Junior Academy for Media (JAM) students active, Waipahu Media Services Manager Neal Rivera has been working on a unique curriculum. Neal states, “Going into JAM: Year 2, we are training students on how to record themselves doing virtual interviews/news programs and ultimately producing a show on their COVID experience.

Neal predicts that when their center finally opens again on the campus of Waipahu Intermediate School, availability of staff and services will still be limited to safely interact with the public. Mentoring over the phone and online submissions will still be the prime method of engagement, which may not be a terrible thing. 

“One positive aspect of this whole new normal is that by having virtual mentoring sessions, we are allowing our clients to engage with all of our staff members as opposed to staff from a specific location,” Neal explains. The clients are getting a vast array of expertise and the staff are experiencing perspectives they’ve never had before.”

For a final message of hope to his clients, Neal says, “Even though our services are limited, we are still here for you. We are working on ways to expand and reach people virtually, which is really speaking to our mission about innovative media.” 

CLICK HERE to read an essay written by one of Neal’s JAM students about the program.

Top: Managers Mana Franquez and Neal Rivera social distancing in the screening room.
Bottom: One of the many safety signs at Māpunapuna.


Every month, ‘Ōlelo Community Media will be joining First Lady of Hawai‘i Dawn Amano-Ige to bring you Conversations with the First Lady, a monthly series for children and families. In this thirty-minute show, she will be reading you some of her favorite children’s stories followed by a conversation with a community leader.

Watch the first episode here:

Below you will find some behind-the-scenes photos from the first day of shooting on location at the historic Washington Place.

PEG (Public, Education, and Government) access television was a portal for information long before the topic of government transparency became trendy. For 30 years, ‘Ōlelo Community Media has been delivering local government and institutional transparency to the television sets, desktop computers, and mobile devices of O‘ahu’s community members. Check out our current programming produced in partnership with the State Legislature.

Daily Legislative Hearings & Meetings 

Through a contract issued by the State of Hawai‘i, ‘Ōlelo has an equipment control room and a dedicated team of staff operating out of the heart of the State Capitol, broadcasting live legislative hearings and meetings on a daily basis. The hearings and meetings that get air time are selected by the State Clerk’s office and are also made available to view online shortly after they have aired.

A schedule of the hearings and meetings to be aired on our channels can be found at olelo.org/leg.

Live at the Legislature

​Live at the Legislature is a live half-hour weekly news program that focuses on the issues, legislation, and topics of importance emerging from this year’s Legislative Session.  Each week, State Senators and Representatives provide a variety of perspectives on the issues from both sides of the aisle. Tune in to Live at the Legislature on Tuesdays at 8:30 AM  (LIVE) and Wednesdays at 7:00 PM on ‘Ōlelo channel 49.

CLICK HERE to view episodes from the previous session.



Talk Story with House Majority

House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti conducts timely virtual interviews with State officials, community leaders, and fellow legislators about how the State is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Some notable guests include Governor David Ige, Brigadier General Moses Kaoiwi, Dr. Melinda Ashton, Dr. Sarah Park and Hawai‘i Attorney General Clare Connors. Rep. Belatti also showcases State departments and community organizations in her “Community Spotlight” segments.

You can catch the show airing on ‘Ōlelo channel 49 every other Friday, beginning on January 22 on Channel 49 from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

CLICK HERE to view all previous episodes of the series.


Want alerts for LIVE government programming? Conveniently watch any these programs anytime, anywhere on your phone by downloading ‘Ōlelo’s mobile app FREE via the App Store or Google Play. Scan this QR code to be directed straight to the App Store or Google Play.