Leilani Patao‘s “Mauna Kea” is about Ailani has lived in Hilo, Hawai’i her entire life. In the summer of 2019, the Mauna Kea protests begin against the building of a 30- story telescope on sacred Hawaiian land on the mountain of Mauna Kea. At the same time, Ailani moves to New York to study literature at college. But she is deeply disillusioned when she learns that her college isn’t interested in the kinds of stories she has to tell about her Hawaiian people. Once she realizes that she doesn’t have to compromise her writing for the sake of a professor, she leaves school and returns to Hawaii. Now, it is December 2019 and Ailani sits down to write the story she has wanted to the whole time. Ailani sings about her people, their spirit, and their mountain.