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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

Caption: PRX default Piece image
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...

  • Added: May 12, 2017
  • Length: 23:13
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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...

  • Added: May 09, 2017
  • Length: 18:24
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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 WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Jan 27, 2017
  • Length: 23:26
  • Purchases: 1
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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
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A Hidden Kitchens story about London’s long tradition of urban garden allotments — and the story of Manor Garden Allotments, a 100 year old commun...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 13, 2016
  • Length: 17:58
  • Purchases: 1
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The "Hummus Wars" and the battle for the Guinness World Record title for the world’s largest plate of hummus and the deeper meanings of this Middle...

  • Added: Oct 13, 2016
  • Length: 31:00
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A road trip through the hidden kitchens of Lebanon, with kitchen activist, Kamal Mouzawak, a man with a vision of re-building and uniting this war-...

Bought by KPTZ, Port Townsend, WA


  • Added: Sep 27, 2016
  • Length: 25:42
  • Purchases: 1
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Stories of mothers and kitchens from playwright Ellen Sebastian Chang, cookbook author Peggy Knickerbocker, designer Cristina Salas-Porras, folklor...

Bought by KHNS


  • Added: May 13, 2016
  • Length: 15:23
  • Purchases: 1
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C.B. “Stubb” Stubblefield, namesake of the legendary club in Austin, Texas, had a mission to feed the world—especially the people who sang in it. W...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM, Marfa Public Radio, WCAI / WNAN, WABE, and Prairie Public


  • Added: May 13, 2016
  • Length: 15:24
  • Purchases: 5
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Stories of young Irish Traveller women. Travellers —the people of walking, sometimes called the gypsies of Ireland. Exploring ancient and modern T...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM and WABE


  • Added: Mar 14, 2016
  • Length: 18:34
  • Purchases: 2
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In the 1950s, a group of Montgomery, Alabama women baked goods to help fund the Montgomery bus boycott. Known as the Club from Nowhere the group wa...

Bought by KHNS, WCAI / WNAN, PRX Remix, and WABE


  • Added: Feb 23, 2016
  • Length: 12:24
  • Purchases: 4
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Convict cooking at the Angola Prison Rodeo, Tootie Montana and the legendary Mardi Gras Indians, Tennessee Williams, Two Sisters Cafe, The Court of...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN


  • Added: Feb 09, 2016
  • Length: 29:53
  • Purchases: 1
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"Somewhere in the world there's a Tupperware Party starting every 10 seconds." And we're going to one with The Kitchen Sisters.

  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 19:02
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We go behind the scenes, into rehearsals, sound checks, and the making of Way to Blue, a tribute to Nick Drake.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 20:25
  • Purchases: 1