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The Kitchen Sisters

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The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) are producers of the duPont-Columbia Award-winning NPR series Hidden Kitchens, the two Peabody Award-winning NPR series, Lost & Found Sound and The Sonic Memorial Project and most recently, The Hidden World of Girls, a series on NPR that explored the lives of girls and the women they become. Their currenct project is The Making Of…, a production with KQED and AIR.

As independent producers, they are the creators of more than 200 stories for public broadcast about the lives, histories, art and rituals of people who have shaped our diverse cultural heritage.

Hidden Kitchens heard on Morning Edition, explores the world of secret, unexpected, below the radar cooking across America—how communities come together through food. The series inspired their first book, Hidden Kitchens: Stories, Recipes, and More from NPR’s The Kitchen Sisters, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 2005 and nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Writing on Food.

Lost & Found Sound, a national collaboration that went on air in 1999 chronicles American life through recorded sound. In 2001-2002 The Kitchen Sisters created and spearheaded The Sonic Memorial Project, a collection of radio stories and audio artifacts, a website and archive (www.sonicmemorial.org) commemorating the life and history of the World Trade Center and its neighborhood. This nationwide cross-media collaboration was awarded the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York Award for most innovative use of archives and the NFCB Golden Reel for Best Hour-Long Radio Documentary.

Other recent work includes the radio special Hidden Kitchens Texas, narrated by Willie Nelson, which was nominated for a James Beard Award and the inspiration for their second book,Hidden Kitchens Texas: Stories, Recipes and More from the Lone Star State, and Cry Me a River, a portrait of three pioneering river activists and the damming of wild rivers in the West, that aired as part of the series, Stories from the Heart of the Land.

The Kitchen Sisters began their radio lives producing a weekly live radio program in the late 70’s on KUSP-FM in Santa Cruz, California. Their radio documentaries have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition, the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Smithsonian, California Public Radio, Pacifica Radio, Soundprint, and others. Other noted Kitchen Sisters stories include: Waiting for Joe DiMaggio, The Nights of Edith Piaf, Carmen Miranda: The Life and Times of the Brazilian Bombshell, WHER: 1000 Beautiful Watts, Guillermo Cabrera Infante: Memories of an Invented City, Tupperware, The Road Ranger, and War and Separation.

The Kitchen Sisters are also involved in educating and training new voices for public media in an imaginative, artistic and creative approach to storytelling. They have taught at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, University of California Santa Cruz Social Documentary Graduate Program and frequently lecture and provide training at universities, festivals, workshops, radio stations, public forums and events throughout the country and abroad. They also train and work with interns, college students, and youth radio apprentices and participate in the life of the public radio community throughout the country. In addition to producing radio, Davia Nelson is also a screenwriter and casting director. She lives in San Francisco. Nikki Silva is also a museum curator and exhibit consultant. She lives with her family on a commune in Santa Cruz, California.

Pieces

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A string of sonic prayer flags — voices and sounds from New Orleans and Bayou Road, the oldest street in the city. Local visionaries, neighborhood ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 25, 2017
  • Length: 28:59
  • Purchases: 1
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In the 1930s and 40s, hundreds of Basques were brought to the western United States to do the desolate work that no one else would do—herding sheep...

  • Added: Oct 11, 2017
  • Length: 21:14
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Barbecue, burgoo, mopping the mutton, the fellowship of stirring. Stories of conflict, competition and resolution in the backyards and fire pits of...

  • Added: Oct 11, 2017
  • Length: 35:52
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Stories of creativity and invention— the making of a jar of jam, the making of a fashionable 3-D printed covering for an artificial limb, Muttville...

  • Added: Oct 11, 2017
  • Length: 23:24
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Robert King Wilkerson was imprisoned at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola for 31 years, twenty-nine of those years in solitary confinement. Du...

  • Added: Oct 11, 2017
  • Length: 15:55
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Thad Vogler, creator of San Francisco's Bar Agricole and Trou Normand, travels the world in search of hand made spirits — rum, scotch, cognac, mesc...

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  • Added: Oct 11, 2017
  • Length: 13:59
  • Purchases: 1
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The Great Galveston Hurricane arrived on a Saturday, September 8, 1900 — almost without warning. Galveston, the grand dame of Texas, a vibrant port...

  • Added: Oct 10, 2017
  • Length: 21:09
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In 1967, the Esso Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band performed at the Montreal World's Fair and caught the ear of one of the most popular entertainers of ...

  • Added: Oct 10, 2017
  • Length: 19:30
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On January 1, 1999 we began a series on sounds of the century called Lost & Found Sound, a national collaboration of radio producers, artists, soun...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Sep 06, 2017
  • Length: 13:11
  • Purchases: 1
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For the last five years The Golden State Warriors have been going inside San Quentin, the legendary maximum security California State prison, to ta...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 12, 2017
  • Length: 11:40
  • Purchases: 1
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In 1898, the United States Department of Agriculture created a special department of men, called “Agriculture Explorers,” to travel the globe searc...

  • Added: May 12, 2017
  • Length: 15:32
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Cab drivers, children's jump rope rhymes, folk songs, dialects, controversial TV ads, interviews with blacklisted artists and writers during the Mc...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: May 12, 2017
  • Length: 23:13
  • Purchases: 1
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Stories from The Hidden World of Girls with host Tina Fey: Nigerian writer Chris Abani tells about his English-born mother enlisting him at age 8 t...

  • Added: May 12, 2017
  • Length: 25:13
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A hidden Gold Rush kitchen when food was scarce and men died for eggs... We travel out to the forbidding Farallon Islands, 27 miles outside San Fra...

Bought by KALW


  • Added: May 09, 2017
  • Length: 18:24
  • Purchases: 1
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Kimchi in space. The Kimchi Bus. Korean government-sponsored chefs and restaurants spreading the word of Kimchi around the globe. A story of “Gastr...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 14, 2017
  • Length: 21:18
  • Purchases: 2
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We enter the secret, steamy, myth-laden world of Emily Dickinson through her kitchen.

Bought by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation


  • Added: Jan 27, 2017
  • Length: 30:11
  • Purchases: 1
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Manga, the ubiquitous Japanese comic books written on just about every subject—sports, music, sex, shooting pool—represent about 40% of all books p...

Bought by KZYX, WCAI / WNAN, and WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Jan 27, 2017
  • Length: 23:26
  • Purchases: 3
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Carmen Miranda—Brazil's Ambassador of Samba, the highest paid woman entertainer in the world in the 1940s—her iconic turban piled high with fruit, ...

Bought by KHNS and WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Oct 13, 2016
  • Length: 28:47
  • Purchases: 2
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Each fall, the Ojibwe tribes of northern Minnesota harvest wild rice by hand. It's a long process that begins with families in canoes venturing int...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM and PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 13, 2016
  • Length: 22:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Sometimes it's the kitchen that's hidden, sometimes it's the food itself. Blacksmith Angelo Garro forges and forages, recreating in wrought iron an...

Bought by KHNS and PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 13, 2016
  • Length: 17:08
  • Purchases: 2