Olelo Community Media

Project Search

Since April 2021, ‘Ōlelo staff members have been working with students from Project Search to create PSAs as part of our JAM (Junior Academy for Media) program. Project Search is a year-long, fully immersive vocational internship program for students with special needs. As part of Project Search training, interns are placed in participating businesses to help develop their vocational, social and communication skills. The goal is to help prepare the students for successful entry into the workforce, while in turn developing relationships with local businesses.

Within that curriculum, ‘Ōlelo had the honor of training the students to give voice and vibrancy to their creativity in the service of creating COVID-related PSAs. Check out their efforts now playing on the channels!

Hoʻomaikaiʻi to each of the students for graduating from the Project Search program: James, Skylar, Justice, Keahi, Jhobel and Kay Lien!

For more information visit the Project Search website: www.projectsearch.us

On Saturday, May 15, ʻŌlelo exhibited a true sense of normalcy as our first major on-location Electronic Field Production (EFP) van shoot took place. The event was an in-season track meet with the following participating Oʻahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) high schools: Farrington, Kailua, Kaimukī, Kalaheo, McKinley, and Moanalua.

A total of 24 crew members participating in the production included 13 students from ʻŌlelo’s Junior Academy for Media (JAM) program serving as camera operators and one shadowing director. 5 volunteer community members assisted the 6 ʻŌlelo staff in mentoring the students on camera setup, operation, and breaking down.

Neal Rivera, the manager of the Waipahu and Wahiawā Media Service Centers who oversaw the personnel aspect of the production, was stoked to be out in the field again. “It felt good to stretch our video legs again. When we announced to the JAM students that we were doing the Moanalua Track production in person, instant excitement from them. That feeling carried throughout the training and the production day. It was amazing to see an event for youth being documented by youth during a pandemic where we see our State slowly opening. Students left that day asking when the next production event they can assist on would be!”

The final program airs on ʻŌlelo channel 53 on the following days:

Friday, June 11 at 10:00 PM
Sunday, June 13 at 3:00 PM
Tuesday, June 15 at 8:00 AM

You can also stream this program on our mobile app.





‘Ōlelo presents Basic Animation. Learn how to create moving objects through the art of animation! Join our virtual class on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  CLICK HERE to register.

There are a wealth of freedoms we all enjoy on a daily basis. From what we wear to what we say, from who we vote for to who we love.   At this time when we celebrate freedom, ‘Ōlelo Community Media invites you to utilize our open mic service, O‘ahu Free Speech, to exercise your First Amendment right by creating a 1-minute self-taped video message answering the following question:

What are the Freedoms you appreciate most and why?

For details, visit olelo.org/ofs 



‘Ōlelo’s Māpunapuna Media Center recently welcomed cadets from the Hawaii National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy. The cadets enjoyed a tour and settled in for a mentoring session on Final Cut Pro as part of ‘Ōlelo’s Junior Academy for Media. The cadets are currently in the post production phase of creating PSAs on the subject of wellness as it relates to COVID-19.

Youth Challenge Academy serves 16-18 year old “At-Promise” youth with a vision of inspiring future leaders to strive for greatness. That growth and leadership mindset has been on full display from the cadets throughout the production training.  Mahalo to the cadets and Academy staff  and we look forward to seeing the PSAs on our channels soon!

We at ‘Ōlelo celebrate the life of Delores Harris, the producer of the inspirational program, In Times Like These. Delores has graced ‘Ōlelo with her presence since 2008, producing countless Mini Studio shows and bringing in many others, helping them to spread their message as well.  If you had the pleasure of knowing Delores you would see someone who practices what she preaches. She was kind and generous to all and we will greatly miss her beautiful smile and sunny disposition. We feel her loss deeply and we send our deepest condolences to her family who will have to go on without her bright light. We will miss you, Delores, in times like these and beyond.

‘Ōlelo has been working diligently for years to acquire HD channels for all 4 channels on both Spectrum and Hawaiian Telcom.  As of today, Hawaiian Telcom has come through. All four ‘Ōlelo channels are now broadcasting in full HD on Hawaiian Telcom!

‘Ōlelo channel 49 is now in HD on Hawaiian Telcom channel 1049
‘Ōlelo channel 53 is now in HD on Hawaiian Telcom channel 1053
‘Ōlelo channel 54 is now in HD on Hawaiian Telcom channel 1054
‘Ōlelo channel 55 is now in HD on Hawaiian Telcom channel 1055

Additional ‘Ōlelo programming is also available on Hawaiian Telcom channel 808.

Visit olelo.org/channels for more information.


The ‘Ōlelo Community Media Board of Directors has appointed Roger McKeague incoming president and chief executive officer. He will officially take the leadership helm on April 2 upon the retirement of current President and CEO Sanford Inouye.

As president and CEO, McKeague will lead ‘Ōlelo’s efforts to expand and broaden quality services, programs, initiatives and innovative media. Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing media landscape, he will oversee the organization as it continues to evolve, while still ensuring the community’s free access to its media outlets for expression without censorship.

The longtime attorney and strategic organizational leader is a returning islander who left in 2013 after serving as the executive director of the Hawai‘i State Charter School Commission Administrative Office.

Other previous Hawai‘i positions include special assistant to Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the State Department of Health, and lead policy analyst in the Office of Governor Linda Lingle. McKeague also served as development, legal and external affairs’ consultant to Forest City Hawai‘i. He started his legal career as an associate at Dwyer Imanaka Schraff Kido Meyer & Fujimoto.

Most recently, McKeague lived in Seattle, where he has served as a business consultant and attorney. He also held executive positions at Sector 5 and Tekvisions, both IT equipment companies, primarily serving public school districts.

“Roger is an experienced organizational leader who brings a wealth of experience managing legal, technical and business issues. With deep roots in Hawai‘i and a commitment to community access to media, he is the right person to lead ‘Ōlelo and ensure that O‘ahu’s voices will always be heard,” said Nelson Lau, chair of the non-profit’s Board of Directors.

McKeague received a Juris Doctor from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Now that he has returned, the Hawaiian waterman is rediscovering his treasured pastimes: paddling canoe, sailing and martial arts. He is accompanied by his wife, Teresa and daughters, Kyra and Mia.

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 ‘Ōlelo’s new monthly series hosted by ukulele virtuoso and composer Jake Shimabukuro. Mele Aʻe allows aspiring local musical talent to introduce themselves – and their own original compositions – to audiences in Hawai‘i and far beyond.

Mele Aʻe premiered in January and is wrapping up its first season in April. The second season is scheduled to run between July and October of this year. Mele Aʻe can also be seen on ʻŌlelo’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Each show features three performing acts at ‘Ōlelo’s new state-of-the-art video/sound stage Studio 1122 with its professional concert-style lighting grid, audio system and backdrop.

The 12 groups or individuals showcased in this inaugural season of Mele Aʻe were selected by an advisory board that includes:

  • Herb Lee, Jr., president & CEO of the Pacific American Foundation
  • Donovan Smith, president & CEO, Audio Achievements, Inc. and Award Winning Audio Engineer/Producer
  • Kirk Thompson, president of the Hawai‘i National Music Foundation of the Pacific and Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2011 as a founding member of Kalapana
  • Alan Yamamoto, national sales manager at Summit Media Hawai‘i and former president of the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Artists.
  • Sanford Inouye, former President and CEO, ‘Ōlelo Community Media

Interested in learning how Mele Aʻe is put together? Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of our production…

Once a month, a dedicated ʻŌlelo production crew spends a day shooting several musical acts 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 Aʻe Advisory Board member and lead audio engineer Donovan Smith (far right) being assisted by sound mixer Lock Lynch and studio 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.

Before the cameras roll, our amazing hair/makeup artist Chris Jose ensures that each talent looks their best. Pictured from left to right: Jenuine Leigh and Fungi Queen’s Ben Robinson.

We shoot Mele Aʻe 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. Justin Kuwamura checks the settings on another handheld camera.

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

From the opposite view (left to right) is jib operator Thomas Collins, studio monitor engineer David Naylon, and lighting board operator Sisto Domingo.

Here is a view inside our control room. Justin Kuwamura keeps an eye on the brightness of each of our 6 cameras and “shades” them when necessary and switcher Angela Angel utilizes our Tricaster to switch between recorded camera angles.


After recording several takes of each performing act, our host Jake Shimabukuro has a conversation with the talent, delving into their background, their inspirations, and where they see themselves in the future. Pictured below is Jake on set with Jenuine Leigh and Kennedy Taylor and the Electric Pancakes’ guitarist Sebastian Longorio.

At the end of the shoot day, Jake Shimabukuro treats us all by performing one of his original ukulele compositions which is included at the close of each episode. Pictured below, Jake rocks it out and stage manager Scott Nordquist holds up a clapboard or “slate” to visually communicate camera-specific information to the editor.

But wait…there’s more! After the recording, the footage is delivered to our Senior Video Editor Deron Kamisato, who assembles a broadcast-ready version of the show. Throughout the edit, Deron works closely with audio engineer Donovan Smith to ensure that the audio recorded on the shoot day is mastered and synced with the appropriate video footage.

‘Ōlelo’s marketing team also assembles various digital ads for social media, promoting the upcoming shows and the featured performers.



It takes a small army to put a show like Mele Aʻe together and ʻŌlelo does it with teamwork and Aloha. You can watch all episodes of Mele Aʻe here:

Think you have what it takes to be a Mele A‘e star? Visit olelo.org/auditions for more information.


Behind-the-scenes photos taken by Dane Neves and Ed Tsang.