intimate

Distancing While Convening … in This Time of COVID-19

 

CEO Message

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO

We’re all still absorbing the many ways that life has changed since COVID-19 broke into our vocabulary as a double-whammy threat to personal health and the economy.

 

Here’s just one way: The fast-changing seating configurations on our live editions of INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I. Week by week, the program morphed – from an in-person gathering place to a mostly virtual meeting.

 

For decades, the program’s centerpiece was a single table around which the host and guests took seats.

 

The evolution of the INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I seating arrangement: The original one-table set-up, from February; the “V” configuration, from March 19; the individual tables, with one guest via computer screen, from April 16

The evolution of the INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I seating arrangement: The original one-table set-up, from February.

Left: The “V” configuration, from March 19. Right: The individual tables, with one guest via computer screen, from April 16.

 

Then, with new guidelines about social distancing, PBS Hawai‘i TV studio crewmembers carried away the familiar table and placed it in storage. Out came two long tables, with a guest seated at each end, and the moderator in between at a smaller table.

 

Also gone were the small microphones, called lavaliers, that our production crew would clip to participants’ lapels or collars. Instead, to avoid physical contact, the crew rounded up desktop microphone stands, which had mostly fallen into disuse.

 

The following week, more tables appeared, all small – and every participant, host and guests, had his or her own table.

 

Meantime, our production team worked hard to keep a safe environment by disinfecting surfaces.

 

By then, COVID-19 had become the program’s ongoing subject, with discussions reviewing and reflecting on how Hawai‘i is dealing with this devastating situation, how we can do better, and what’s next.

 

Our regular volunteers at the phone bank followed government guidelines and sheltered at home. Staffers at this “essential” media operation replaced the volunteers.

 

However, when forum guests were given the option of participating in person or virtually, most still wanted to be physically present. Pictured above: the guests on April 16, with only State Schools Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto appearing by way of a computer screen.

 

The following week (after the printing deadline for this publication), all guests= were scheduled to appear by way of the Internet: the Mayors of four Hawai‘i counties.

 

So, over these fast-moving weeks of community changes tied to COVID-19, our INSIGHTS program went mostly virtual.

 

And no matter where guests are seated, INSIGHTS is still bringing together participants and perspectives. The program continues to live up to its goal, which is:

 

Convening diverse voices in a trusted space for greater community knowledge and understanding.

 

Aloha nui and be well,

Leslie signature

 

 

 

John Denver:
Country Boy

John Denver: Country Boy

 

At the peak of his fame in the 1970s, John Denver was one of the most popular singers in America. He performed at sold-out concerts, his albums sold more than 100 million copies, his TV specials got top ratings and he was named poet laureate of his adopted Colorado. Yet this man, who brought happiness to millions, was filled with insecurity, suffered from depression and was savaged by the music critics. Exploring the private life and public legacy of “America’s Everyman,” this intimate profile includes exclusive accounts from those closest to him, including former wives and managers, his son and brother, the musicians who toured with him for decades and the friends who knew the real John Denver.

 

 

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Rachel Carson

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Rachel Carson

 

Meet the scientist whose groundbreaking writings revolutionized our relationship to the natural world. Mary-Louise Parker is the voice of Rachel Carson in this moving and intimate portrait.

 

Preview

 

 

 

NATURE
Soul of the Elephant

NATURE: Soul of the Elephant

 

Ironically, every dead elephant with its ivory intact is a reason to celebrate. It means an elephant died of natural causes, not bullets, snares or poison, and a soul was allowed to be celebrated and mourned by its herd. Award-winning filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert start with the remains of two bull elephants and through a series of key flashbacks, look at the lives they would have led, the dramas they may have seen, their great migrations for water with their families, and their encounters with lions and hyenas. This film, shot over two years, is an intimate look at elephants through the lens of two great storytellers of natural history.

 

Preview

 

 

 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Won't You Be My Neighbor? Fred Rogers (left) with Francois Scarborough Clemmons (right) in an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

 

One of the most celebrated theatrical releases of 2018, this feature length documentary takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Fred Rogers. The film tells the story of a soft-spoken minister, puppeteer, writer and producer whose show was beamed daily into homes across America for more than 30 years. In his beloved television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Rogers and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues in a simple, direct fashion. There hadn’t been anything like Mister Rogers on television before, and there hasn’t been since.

 

Preview

 

 

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
Unrest

 

Filmmaker Jennifer Brea was a Harvard PhD student soon to be engaged when she was struck down by a mysterious fever that left her bedridden. As her illness progressed she lost even the ability to sit in a wheelchair, yet her doctors insisted it was “all in her head.” Unable to convey the seriousness and depth of her symptoms to her doctor, Jennifer began a video diary on her phone that eventually became the powerful and intimate documentary, Unrest.

 

MUSIC VOYAGER
The Bahamas: from the Islands to the World

 

Music Voyager explores the impact of music from The Bahamas on popular music around the world. Musician Fred Ferguson gives a tour of downtown Nassau while describing the enduring impact of Bahamian folk music and icons such as Joseph Spence. Discover the important role The Bahamas played during the Calypso era from the 1940s to the 1960s, as well as its essential role in the history of funk, soul and disco. Then meet The Baha Men, whose song “Who Let the Dogs Out” was a worldwide smash.