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The Kitchen Sisters Present

The Kitchen Sisters & Radiotopia

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The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. Deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse NPR producers The Kitchen Sisters (The Keepers, Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, and Fugitive Waves). "The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast" —Ira Glass. The Kitchen ...
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On February 16, 2024 Russian dissident Alexei Navalny died under unexplained circumstances in a penal colony in the Russian Arctic just weeks before the election that enthroned Vladimir Putin for another six years of near-absolute power. Within days of Navalny’s death his wife Yulia Navalnaya rose up, spoke out and vowed to continue her husband’s s…
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On April 12, 2024, Eleanor Coppola, artist, filmmaker, mother and wife of director Francis Ford Coppola, died at her home in the Napa Valley surrounded by family. She was 87 years old and had lived a most remarkable life. Shortly before her death, Eleanor had completed her third memoir. In it she wrote: “I appreciate how my unexpected life has stre…
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Over the years, The Kitchen Sisters have zeroed in on Memphis, Tennessee in a big way. The inspiration for that and the inspiration for some of our favorite stories is Knox Phillips. Davia met Knox in 1997 in Memphis when she was doing casting for Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Rainmaker. She was on the set standing next to a guy. Cool hair, great…
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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 searching for new food crops to bring back for farmers to grow in the U.S. These men introduced exotic specimens like the mango, the avocado, and the date. In 1900, the USDA sent plant explorer, Walter Swingl…
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Niloufer Ichaporia King lives in a house with three kitchens. She prowls through six farmer’s markets a week in search of unusual greens, roots, seeds, and traditional food plants from every immigrant culture. She is an anthropologist, a kitchen botanist, a one-of-a-kind cook, a Parsi from Bombay living in San Francisco, and the author of My Bombay…
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Little known stories of pioneering architects — Julia Morgan, the first accredited female architect in California, who designed Hearst Castle and was nearly written out of the history books. Natalie de Blois, who helped imagine the first glass skyscrapers on Park Avenue by day and raised four children by night. Amaza Lee Meredith, a Black queer mod…
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A look at the President’s kitchen and some of the first cooks to feed the Founding Fathers—Hercules and James Hemings—the enslaved chefs of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Hercules, described as a “dandy,” had eight assistants—stewards, butlers, undercooks, waiters. He cooked in a huge fireplace—hearth cooking. He walked through the streets…
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Jelly Roll Morton talks of being a “Spy Boy” in the Mardi Gras Indian parades of his youth. Bo Dollis, of the Wild Magnolias, tells of sewing his suit of feathers and beads all night long. Tootie Montana masks for the first time as Mardi Gras starts up again after World War II. Big Queen Ausettua makes connections between the black Mardi Gras India…
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Sarah “Sally” Pillsbury and Jean B. Fletcher were both architects who married architects. The two women and their husbands were founding members of The Architects Collaborative (TAC), a visionary, idealistic architecture firm founded just after WWII. The two women, who had 13 children between them, lived with their families and several other foundi…
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For five years Davia’s father, Lenny Nelson, asked her to go to Rattlesden, England, to visit the Air Force base where he was stationed during WWII and to find an old photograph hanging in the town pub honoring his 8th Air Force squadron. It was still there, over 50 years later, he told her. Finally, one fine Sunday, Davia headed out in search of t…
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Deep in the hidden archives of Harvard’s Houghton Library are the butter stained recipes of Emily Dickinson. Who knew? Emily Dickinson was better known by most as a baker than a poet in her lifetime. In this story a beautiful line up of “Keepers”— dedicated archivists, librarians, historians, poets and more—lead us through the complex labyrinth of …
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Lou Reed, musician, rock icon, poet, leader of the legendary Velvet Underground, was obsessed with tai chi — the practice, the community, the health and spiritual benefits. Lou had been writing a book about this ancient martial art that was unfinished when he died in 2013. Lou’s wife, the artist and musician Laurie Anderson, looked at Lou's unfinis…
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Late autumn is Kimjang season in the Republic of Korea when families and communities come together to make and share large quantities of kimchi to ensure that every household has enough to sustain it through the long, harsh winter. This story is part of series Hidden Kitchens: Kimchi Diplomacy — War & Peace and Food “Kimchi is everywhere in Korea. …
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Anna Wagner Keichline (1889–1943) was the first registered woman architect in Pennsylvania and was among the first registered women architects in the United States. During her long career, she designed dozens of commercial and residential buildings, as well as numerous industrial products. She was awarded seven patents for her innovative residentia…
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In this episode, we borrow a cup of sound from the podcast, What You’re Eating, a production of FoodPrint.org, hosted by Jerusha Klemperer. In the episode, “Coffee: From Seed to Cup,” Jerusha interviewed coffee entrepreneur Bartholomew Jones, who co-founded CxffeeBlack, a "multimedia coffee educational company," with his wife Renata Henderson in Me…
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Since the start of the pandemic, more than 90 colleges have merged or closed permanently. One of these schools, Lincoln College, closed its doors with only about one month’s notice in May of 2022 — after 157 years. Due to the pandemic and a ransomware attack, administrators say the school was unable to retain, recruit, or fundraise. Since then, stu…
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Filmmaker Wim Wenders premiered two new films at Cannes this year — Anselm, a 3-D, cutting edge documentary about the contemporary German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, and Perfect Days, a quiet, meditative film about a toilet cleaner in Kyoto who who drives from job to job, listening to music on cassettes — Patti Smith, the Kinks, Lou Reed… E…
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When Lena Richard cooked her first chicken on television, she beat Julia Child to the screen by over a decade. At a time when most African American women cooks worked behind swinging kitchen doors, Richard claimed her place as a culinary authority, broadcasting in the living rooms of New Orleans’s elite white families. She was an entrepreneur, educ…
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We delve into the story of the founding of the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute at Harvard by Dr. Marcyliena Morgan, Professor of African and African American Studies and Professor Henry Louis Gates to “facilitate and encourage the pursuit of knowledge, art, culture, scholarship and responsible leadership through Hiphop.” You’ll hear from Prof…
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It was top secret. But everyone in Santa Fe knew there was something going on up on the hill in the remote, desert mountains of Los Alamos in 1943. J. Robert Oppenheimer and dozens of the top scientists and thinkers in the world were sequestered away up there — fenced in, with military guard towers all around. But there was one little sanctuary dow…
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In 1981, The Kitchen Sisters interviewed filmmaker Jon Else about his Academy Award nominated documentary, The Day After Trinity, a deeply moving film about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the dramatic story of the creation of the atomic bomb. The film, now showing on the Criterion channel, traces Oppenheimer’s evolution from the architect of the bomb to…
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Behind the scenes at the International Congress of Youth Voices when 131 youth activists,13 to 26 years old, from 37 countries — students, writers, poets, marchers, community leaders all gathered together in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2019, to share and amplify their ideas and energy — to brainstorm possibilities for how to achieve a better world. Th…
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Born in 1895 in Lynchburg, VA, Amaza Lee Meredith was an African American architect, artist and educator who taught at Virginia State College where she founded the art department. Despite the fact she was never a registered architect, she was one of the few Black architects practicing at the time, and one of the country's very few Black women archi…
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In 1983 Prince hired LA sound technician Susan Rogers, one of the few women in the industry, to move to Minneapolis and help upgrade his home recording studio as he began work on the album and the movie Purple Rain. Susan, a trained technician with no sound engineering experience became the engineer of Purple Rain, Parade, Sign o’ the Times, and al…
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Chris was a man possessed. “El Fanatico,” Ry Cooder called him. A song catcher, dedicated to recording the traditional, regional, down home music of America, his adopted home after his family left Germany at the close of WWII. Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Big Mama Thornton, Clifton Chenier, Rose Maddox, Flaco Jimene…
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