Mana’o Radio welcomes worldwide audiences to connect with Maui on a whole new level as they celebrate two decades of enriching lives through the power of music.
For many Maui visitors, the moment when you hop into your rental car, turn on the local radio station and drive out of the airport marks the beginning of a memorable Maui vacation. Whether you’re listening to Hawaiian music or getting in the groove with a more eclectic mix of songs, the music brings you into the present moment so you can soak in all that Maui has to offer. But, did you know Maui’s community radio station also has a rich history dating back to when the FCC first opened the airways to public applications? It’s true!
History of Mana’o Radio
While relying solely on donations and volunteers to operate, the station is breaking barriers and tradition to stay relevant. This year marks their 20th anniversary. “We were the 13th applicant in the nation to file our application,” remarked Kathy Collins, Co-founder of Mana’o Radio, Maui’s community radio station.
“We got a couple of investors and found some used equipment,” explains Collins, “We went on air on March 11, 2002 at 6am from my teenage son’s bedroom. A team of 5 volunteers helped us put an antenna up on the roof.” Maui residents Kathy Collins and Barry Shannon were inspired to create an alternative to corporate radio and to bring music to the Wailuku neighbors. Mana’o means thought, opinion, knowledge –and their vision was to share Mana’o not just through music but through all forms of audio. On June 11, 2014, Mana’o Radio was granted a new FCC High power license under Maui Media Initiative KMNO 91.7FM which expanded their reach to most populated areas on the island.
New Ways of Connecting with Mana’o Radio
Current Mana’o Radio Board President Michael Elam noted, “our mission has stayed the same, but how we achieve it has changed. We’ve grown beyond just an FM broadcast to now include all sorts of digital tools and live music production.”
As a Maui visitor, you may come into contact with Mana’o Radio through their radio station 91.7FM, by attending a live music event on island, or streaming their shows from anywhere in the world when you want to feel connected to the island.
At Mana’o Radio, no one receives compensation including DJs, engineering, operations management, board members and community partners. Every person is involved for the love of sharing eclectic music with FM listeners on Maui and growing an internet audience worldwide.
Livestream Mana’o Radio from Anywhere in the World
“We are an island with limited FM signal. Our broadcast range is maxed out. All major population centers in Maui have access.” explained Elam. “Our growth is going to come from reaching people worldwide.”
When COVID hit and Maui shut down, the station turned to social media to keep the music flowing. These livestreams have stuck around as new ways of enriching the lives of the community, musicians and DJs.
One such program is Mana’o@Home. Maui radio personality and community journalist, Trish da Dish hosts an hour-long talk story, interview, and live music experience featuring a respected Maui artist/band.
Over 50 episodes later, Mana’o@Home continues to provide a platform for musicians to share their music. The program is available on Facebook and YouTube.
Use Music2Nite to Find Live Music on Maui
The latest in the line up of offerings is Music2Nite, a website where residents and tourists can easily search for live music events throughout the island by genre. Musicians and venues can post live music events at no charge. The station promotes the event on air and through their social media partnerships with a combined reach of nearly 1,000,000 people.
“It has always been part of the mission to support local musicians,” commented David Rose, volunteer Web Developer with Mana’o Radio. “This site is another tool to help us do that.”
Tune into 91.7FM During Your Maui Vacation
The future of community radio lies in enriching lives. With music-loving volunteers at the heart of the station, they will keep the music flowing through the FM broadcast, live music productions, live streaming, and adapting to a new world of digital tools.
The future of this community radio station lies in enriching the lives of the listeners, DJs, and musicians. Tune into 91.7FM during your next Maui vacation or livestream from manaoradio.com as you get ready for your trip.
I love listening to Mana’o Radio. Even after moving off-island it’s been awesome to stay connected through the music and Djs. So glad they have listen on demand now. Thanks for sharing all about them.