December, 2017
Coming in 2018: The Keepers / Help Meet Our Match

Coming in 2018: The Keepers / Help Meet Our Match


“People are always like, ‘Tell us why you like libraries.’ And it’s like why you like food — because it keeps you alive.”   — Colson Whitehead

Dear Friends,

Greetings at year’s end. We write to wish you well and to thank you for your support and spirit. We are about to embark on a new NPR and podcast series, The Keepers — stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians. Keepers of the culture and the cultures and collections they keep. Guardians of history, large and small, protectors of the free flow of information and ideas, eccentric individuals who take it upon themselves to preserve some part of our cultural heritage. The Keepers will premiere on Morning Edition, with a listenership of some 14 million people, early in 2018.

A generous group of donors, The Council of Keepers, including Susan Sillins, Susie Franklin, Barbara & Howard Wollner, has committed a matching challenge of $30,000 to bring these stories to air and inspire our supporters. Please help us raise this match.

This new series promises to be one of our most timely and powerful — a series of truth-seeking, richly layered, lushly produced stories that you, our community, make possible. We ask for your support for this new, compelling collection of stories and invite your tips and suggestions for who and what needs chronicling.

Please make a tax-deductible contribution to The Kitchen Sisters Productions today. With The Council of Keepers match your gift will be doubled.

Thank you for supporting the stories.

Nikki & Davia



Photo courtesy of Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County

Ep #84: Levee Stream Live from New Orleans

Ep #84: Levee Stream Live from New Orleans

Subscribe to the podcast: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS


Nikki, Davia, host Cole Williams, Jamal Cyrus from Otabenga Jones & Associates


Levee Stream— a live neighborhood pop-up, Cadillac, radio station installation in New Orleans. Presented by Otabenga Jones & Associates and The Kitchen Sisters in collaboration with Project& as part of Prospect.4 New Orleans, an international exhibit of 73 artists creating artworks and events throughout New Orleans.

Part block party, part soap box—Levee Stream is a lively mix of music, DJs, and conversations with artists, activists, civil rights leaders, neighborhood entrepreneurs and visionaries taking place in the back seat of a cut-in-half 1959 pink Cadillac Coup de Ville with giant speakers in the trunk on Bayou Road, one of the oldest roads in the city.

Hosted by WWOZ DJ Cole Williams the show features interviews with Robert King and Albert Woodfox, members of the Angola 3 who were released from prison after decades of living in solitary confinement. Civil Rights pioneers Leona Tate and A.P. Tureaud Jr. Prospect.4 curator Trevor Schoonmaker and artists Hank Willis Thomas, Maria Berrio, and Jeff Whetstone. With music by legendary Hammond B3 organ player Joe Krown, contemporary jazz luminaries Kidd and Marlon Jordan,The Jones Sisters, DJ RQ Away and DJ Flash Gordon Parks.



DJ RQ Away


Davia with Jeff Whetstone


Davia with Prospect.4 Artistic Director Trevor Schoonmaker


The Jones Sisters


Houston’s DJ Flash Gordon Parks


Joe Krown


Marlon Jordan


Jamal Cyrus from Otabenga Jones & Associates with Hank Willis Thomas


History of Conquest by Hank Willis Thomas


Wildflowers by Maria Berrio

Support the Stories / An Archival Calling

Support the Stories / An Archival Calling

Photo postcard of Annie Wooten, circa 1920s from the Amistad Research Center, Tulane University

Photo postcard of Annie Wooten, circa 1920s from the Amistad Research Center, Tulane University

“My archival calling was, I believe, part of my spiritual calling.”
-Brenda Billups Square

Last week, we shared a story from New Orleans. The story of Leona Tate, who as a six-year-old was one of the first African American children to integrate an all-white school in New Orleans. Today we share a moment from a story about Brenda Billups Square, co-pastor of Beecher Memorial Congregational United Church of Christ and an archivist documenting New Orleans.

In 2018, we will be spending many hours with people like Brenda, as we embark on a new series for NPR called The Keepers — stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, collectors, curators and historians — keepers of the culture and the culture and collections they keep.

We are asking for your support to help create this rich, surprising, timely series about the people and stories behind collecting and protecting our history and culture.