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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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Stories of mothers and kitchens from playwright Ellen Sebastian Chang, cookbook author Peggy Knickerbocker, designer Cristina Salas-Porras, folklor...

  • Added: May 13, 2016
  • Length: 15:23
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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 WABE and Prairie Public


  • Added: May 13, 2016
  • Length: 15:24
  • Purchases: 2
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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 WABE


  • Added: Mar 14, 2016
  • Length: 18:34
  • Purchases: 1
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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 PRX Remix and WABE


  • Added: Feb 23, 2016
  • Length: 12:24
  • Purchases: 2
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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...

  • Added: Feb 09, 2016
  • Length: 29:53
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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
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In 1948, Bill Hawkins became Cleveland’s first black disc jockey. He had a jiving, rhyming style. People gathered on the street to watch him broadc...

Bought by KALW


  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 24:40
  • Purchases: 1
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Michael Baronowski was a 19-year-old Marine when he landed in Vietnam in 1966. He brought with him a reel-to-reel tape recorder and used it to reco...

  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 27:44
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An all-girl radio station in Memphis—set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the women's movement, Vietnam, and the death of Martin ...

  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 25:27
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When Sam Phillips sold Elvis' contract in 1955 he used the money to start an all girl radio station in Memphis, TN. Set in a pink, plush studio in ...

  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 25:08
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As construction commenced on the largest building project since the pyramids, questions and controversies swirled around Lower Manhattan. How tall?...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM and PRX Remix


  • Added: Sep 09, 2015
  • Length: 30:56
  • Purchases: 2
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Robert King Wilkerson was imprisoned at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana for 31 years. Twenty-nine of those years he was in solita...

Bought by WMMT, PRX Remix, and KVNF


  • Added: Aug 27, 2015
  • Length: 20:27
  • Purchases: 3
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Everyone in San Quentin calls him Wall Street. Curtis Carroll aka Wall Street teaches his fellow prisoners about stocks. Through friends and family...

Bought by KVNF and PRX Remix


  • Added: Aug 20, 2015
  • Length: 13:11
  • Purchases: 2
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Willie Nelson and Dallas-born actress Robin Wright, along with some wild and extraordinary tellers, take us across Texas and share some of their hi...

Bought by KVNF, XRAY.fm, and WCAI / WNAN


  • Added: Jul 17, 2015
  • Length: 26:02
  • Purchases: 3
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The birth of the Main Street of America—songwriter Bobby Troup tells the story of his 1946 hit Get Your Kicks on Route 66; Gladys Cutberth, aka Mr...

Bought by XRAY.fm, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 22, 2015
  • Length: 34:05
  • Purchases: 3
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The Kitchen Sisters take us to a little-known, hidden corner of London — to Eel Pie Island, a tiny slice of land in the middle of the Thames. Now a...

Bought by WABE and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 15, 2015
  • Length: 30:50
  • Purchases: 2
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For Memorial Day —a portrait of life on the homefront during World War II featuring 4 women’s stories, rare home recorded letters sent overseas to ...

Bought by KVSC, KHNS, KPTZ, Port Townsend, WA, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, WXAV 88.3FM and more


  • Added: Jun 01, 2015
  • Length: 24:55
  • Purchases: 6
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Theresa Sparks has lived more than one life. Born a guy’s guy, a man’s man, cowboy boots, motorcycles, a stint in the army, married his childhood s...

Bought by XRAY.fm, KALW, and PRX Remix


  • Added: May 12, 2015
  • Length: 15:06
  • Purchases: 3
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The worlds of a young Canadian immigrant, an Italian pasta-making family, and a 70-year-old survivor of the Armenian Genocide converge in this stor...

Bought by WABE


  • Added: Apr 28, 2015
  • Length: 19:31
  • Purchases: 1