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 ( 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.


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57 Pieces

Fugitive Waves --  Lost recordings and shards of sound, along with new tales of remarkable people from around the world. Stories from the flip side of history.

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16 Pieces

Secret, underground, unexpected, below-the-radar, community cooking across America

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10 Pieces

Lost & Found Sound is an eclectic gathering of stories both historical and entertaining, woven together with lyrical sonic transitions, surprising audio artifacts and musings by the likes of Sun Records producer Sam Phillips. A national collaboration with listeners, produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Jay Allison and NPR.

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2 Pieces

"Lost & Found Sound and Beyond" is the second anthology of greatest hits from the Peabody Award winning Lost & Found Sound radio series, heard over the last five years on NPR's All Things Considered. A collection of eccentric, endangered and undiscovered sounds and oral traditions, this special two-hour program provides a glimpse of the recorded legacy of our country.

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2 Pieces

The Hidden World of Girls is an NPR series exploring the secret life of girls around the world. Girls and the women they become. Stories of coming of age, rituals and rite of passage, secret identities--of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide.

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8 Pieces

The Keepers, two new hour-long Specials from The Kitchen Sisters and PRX with host, Academy Award-winning actress, Frances McDormand. Stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians. Keepers of the culture and the culture and collections they keep. Striking and surprising stories of preservation and civic life. Available soon from PRX. Sound-rich, highly produced, hope-filled — perfect for the holiday season and turn of the year.

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0 Pieces

The making of the Bay Bridge. The making of a jar of jam. The making of the iPhone, an opera, a surfboard… what people make in the Bay Area and why.

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5 Pieces

The Sonic Memorial Project's stories about the World Trade Center as aired on NPR's All Things Considered.


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An hour-long journey into the world of clandestine cooking, kitchen rituals and traditions. Tales of kitchens that suddenly pop up, kitchens that s...

Bought by WGBH Radio Boston, WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., WXAV 88.3FM Chicago, KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio, WHRV and more

  • Added: Jan 22, 2013
  • Length: 54:56
  • Purchases: 56
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She rose every day at dusk and sang, rehearsed, performed, ate and drank until dawn, then slept all day and began to create and unravel again as th...

Bought by WABE, KZYX, KUT, KFAI Minneapolis, and PRX Remix

  • Added: Dec 19, 2011
  • Length: 28:17
  • Purchases: 5
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We delve into the audio archives of radio writer and director Norman Corwin. In 1946, while Corwin was working for CBS, producing very popular radi...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago, Troy Public Radio, The Story, and PRX Remix

  • Added: Oct 19, 2011
  • Length: 13:07
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Host, Tina Fey
Groundbreaking writer, actress and comedian, Tina Fey comes to Public Radio to host The Hidden World of Girls, two new hour-long Specials inspired ...

Bought by KCUR, New England Public Media, WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., Radio Catskill, 90.1 WFYI Public Radio and more

  • Added: Oct 03, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 132
Caption: Host, Tina Fey
Groundbreaking writer, actress and comedian, Tina Fey comes to Public Radio to host The Hidden World of Girls, two new hour-long Specials inspired ...

Bought by KCUR, New England Public Media, Radio Catskill, 90.1 WFYI Public Radio, Northern Community Radio - KAXE & KBXE, Minnesota and more

  • Added: Oct 03, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 159
Caption: Host, Tina Fey
FULL PROGRAM AVAILABLE HERE: (HOUR 1) and (HOUR 2). Groundbreaking writer, actress...

Bought by WMNF, KWMR, KALW, Maine Public Radio, WRST-FM Oshkosh and more

  • Added: Sep 14, 2011
  • Length: 12:29
  • Purchases: 7
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In honor of the 40th anniversary of Chez Panisse, we present an excerpt from "The Power of Gathering (Audio)." Alice Waters, Calvin Trillin, Ruth R...

Bought by KFAI Minneapolis and KUT

  • Added: Aug 25, 2011
  • Length: 29:10
  • Purchases: 2
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To commemorate the tenth Anniversary of 9/11 we bring you the Peabody Award-winning Sonic Memorial Project, narrated by New York writer Paul Auster...

Bought by KZYX, 90.5 WSNC, WMMT, Northern Community Radio - KAXE & KBXE, Minnesota, KHEN-LP and more

  • Added: Aug 16, 2011
  • Length: 59:01
  • Purchases: 30
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Mothers and kitchens. The food they cooked or didn’t. The stories they told or couldn’t. In honor of Mother’s Day we linger in the kitchen.

Bought by KWMR,, WABE, PRX Remix, WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass. and more

  • Added: May 04, 2010
  • Length: 08:23
  • Purchases: 11
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The secret saga of a Texas corn chip, and C.E. Doolin, the can-do kitchen visionary behind it. The Kitchen Sisters travel to Dallas and discover an...

Bought by Boise State Public Radio, WABE, New Hampshire Public Radio, Connecticut Public (WNPR), The Story and more

  • Added: Mar 20, 2009
  • Length: 07:19
  • Purchases: 11