Painting the picture

HPA students tell the story of volunteers at Mele Murals on HIKI NŌ episode

Madison Hughes ’22 will host HPA’s HIKI NŌ story on PBS Hawaii.

It is lights, camera, action time for a group of HPA student storytellers who are ready to make their primetime debut on HIKI NŌ on PBS Hawaii with the top story on the broadcast, joining “Hawai’i’s New Wave of Storytellers.”

The HPA student-produced segment will profile volunteers from an arts organization known as Mele Murals, who taught Waimea area students how to use meditation to guide them through the painting of a mural at the Waimea Community Center. The students were told the stories of Waimea by Kumu Kuulei Keakealani, and used the meditation to focus on which symbolic images from each story to paint. There will also be a shorter segment on HPA’s vaunted cross-country course, which is known state-wide for its difficulty.

The broadcast will premier at 7:30 p.m. on PBS Hawaii, and simultaneously on The show will air again on Saturday at noon and Sunday at 3 p.m.

HIKI NŌ is a weekly student news show with a statewide network of schools. Under their teachers’ guidance, students from 90 public, private, and charter schools from across the islands share stories from their communities to Hawai’i and the world.

HPA is one of the founding members of HIKI NŌ, signing on for the program over a decade ago. HPA digital cinema instructor Ari Bernstein ’94 organized the production, guiding his students as they executed all aspects of the production—from interviews to shooting B-roll footage, and lighting. 

HIKI NŌ holds all stories to professional news gathering guidelines. And by having an outside producer critique the story, it helps all the students push their work to another level.”

— Ari Bernstein ’94

“This raises the bar of the production quality they have to deliver,” says Bernstein. “HIKI NŌ holds all stories to professional news gathering guidelines. And by having an outside producer critique the story, it helps all the students push their work to another level.”

Madison Hughes ’22 is the host of the HPA segments, taking the audience through the stories. Hughes said she was taken aback at how involved the process is to pull off a production of this scale.

“I can be on stage, and I’m pretty good on camera, so it was a really fun experience. But still, it can take a lot of attempts to get a good take,” Hughes says with a laugh. “I did not realize how many people worked behind the scenes. As the host, it’s a little intimidating because there are so many people watching you. It’s a full team effort to make something like this happen.”

Hughes said among the career routes she could see for herself is as a newscaster, and that the real-world experience will pay huge dividends in the future.

“This is something I’d love to do again,” says Hughes.

HPA students paint a mural for Waimea
A photo of the finished Mele Murals project Waimea Community Center

Here are some other stories that will be on the program:

  • Students from Waiakea High School tell the story of an inventive program launched at the Hawaii Island Humane Society—Kitten Yoga. Kittens for whom the Humane Society is trying to find forever homes are allowed to roam around during a yoga class attended by potential cat owners.
  • Students from Kapaa Middle School show us how to make a type of musubi unique to Kauaʻi—the Goteborg Musubi, made with a smoked sausage introduced to the island by a German stonewall builder during the plantation era.
  • Students from Iao School tell the story of a Maui-based artist who started a family before going to college for art training, and has made up for the delay by teaching art to young and old on the Valley Island.
  • Students from Farrington High School tell the story of an immigrant from the Philippines who works three jobs in order to make ends meet, much to the chagrin of her teenaged son, who feels his mother is not able to spend enough time with him.

Click here for more information on HIKI NŌ.

Students taking the September 19 ACT

Check-in will begin at 7:30 am at Rutgers Tennis Center. Students must have been on the Big Island for at least 15 consecutive days prior to testing or they will not be admitted, per the governor's mandate. Any student from an off-island school must bring a copy of their airline ticket showing their date of arrival on the Big Island — no exceptions.

Students will be required to fill out a COVID-19 questionnaire and have a touchless temperature taken upon arrival. Anyone with a temperature over 99.9 degrees will not be admitted. All examinees must have a mask, photo ID, and No. 2 pencils. Please do not forget an approved calculator. It is recommended that students bring a water bottle and snack. No water fountains are available on campus.