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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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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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 WXAV 88.3FM, KVNF, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Aug 20, 2015
  • Length: 13:11
  • Purchases: 3
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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 Marfa Public Radio, KVNF, XRAY.fm, and WCAI / WNAN


  • Added: Jul 17, 2015
  • Length: 26:02
  • Purchases: 4
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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 KPIK-LP, XRAY.fm, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 22, 2015
  • Length: 34:05
  • Purchases: 4
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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 KWMR, WABE, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 15, 2015
  • Length: 30:50
  • Purchases: 3
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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 KAAD-LP, Prairie Public, KZMU Moab Community Radio, KVSC, KHNS and more


  • Added: Jun 01, 2015
  • Length: 24:56
  • Purchases: 9
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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
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Potlucks, church picnics, fish fries, family reunions — during the 1930s writers were paid by the government to chronicle local food, eating custom...

Bought by KZYX, XRAY.fm, WABE, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 17, 2015
  • Length: 18:16
  • Purchases: 4
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A look into the life of Taylor Negron— actor, comedian, and telephone message hoarder— told through the voicemails on his machine. We produced thi...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 13, 2015
  • Length: 19:02
  • Purchases: 1
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Before Elvis walked through the door, before Sun Studios put Memphis on the map—Sam Phillips, a young man with a tape recorder, lived by the motto,...

Bought by Prairie Public and WABE


  • Added: Mar 13, 2015
  • Length: 31:12
  • Purchases: 2