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.

Series

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56 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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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.


Pieces

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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 KZYX, WXAV 88.3FM, KHNS, WCAI / WNAN, PRX Remix and more


  • Added: Feb 23, 2016
  • Length: 12:24
  • Purchases: 6
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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 KWMR and WCAI / WNAN


  • Added: Feb 09, 2016
  • Length: 29:53
  • Purchases: 2
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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 WXAV 88.3FM and KALW


  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 24:40
  • Purchases: 2
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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...

Bought by KWMR, WMPG, KSRQ, WXAV 88.3FM, KMXT and more


  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 27:44
  • Purchases: 8
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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 ...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM and KHNS


  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 25:27
  • Purchases: 2
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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 ...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN, KWMR, KVSC, KVNF, KFCF FM and more


  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 25:08
  • Purchases: 7
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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 Marfa Public Radio, WMMT, PRX Remix, and KVNF


  • Added: Aug 27, 2015
  • Length: 20:27
  • Purchases: 4