"I heard stories from my mother's mother who was an American Indian. She was spiritual, although she did not go to church, but she had the hum. She used to tell me stories of the rivers." —Tina Turner

Dear Friends,

It's all about the hum. Listening for it, passing it on. Making sure that seldom-heard voices and overlooked stories make it to the air. Stories that hum and inspire people to action. That's what we aspire to here at The Kitchen Sisters. It's your support and collaboration that makes it all hum. We ask for your contribution to make another year of stories and projects possible.

2012 has been a year of firsts and experiments
. It was the first time our stories, or the stories of any public radio producer for that matter, were turned into a symphony. Hidden World of Girls: Stories for Orchestra played to much acclaim this summer and appears to be on the verge of going to London for a performance at the Southbank Centre. We'll keep you posted.

We also produced our first audio book for Audible—a six-hour epic. 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, a collaboration between Alice Waters and The Kitchen Sisters. Alice narrates the saga of her legendary restaurant and the food movement it helped spawn, along with the voices of some 90 of her collaborators mixed with music, sound and field recordings we have been making with her over the last 15 years. The audio book just went up on Audible.

Our main focus this year has been our new series, "The Making Of..." What people make in the Bay Area. And why it matters. A multimedia documentary collaboration between The Kitchen Sisters, the community and KQED FM. The Making Of... is part of a new public radio experiment, The Localore Project—10 independent producers collaborating with 10 public radio stations across the nation, creating new public radio programming and multimedia storytelling techniques for the future. Stories are pouring in and pouring out, and you can find them at kqed.org/makingof.

2013 is full of new projects. At the beginning of the year we launch a new hour-long special—Hidden Kitchens: The Raw and The Cooked, narrated by Academy Award-winning actress, Frances McDormand. We also launch a new season of Hidden Kitchens stories on NPR's Morning Edition—Hidden Kitchens World—kitchen stories that travel the globe. We are just back from Palermo where we have been chronicling the story of Sicilian cooperatives growing organic olives and grapes on confiscated Mafia lands. Other stories chronicle dissident kitchens in Russia, honey hunters in India, the saga of Auntie Beryl Van Oploo in Australia and her Aboriginal Cooking and Culinary Program for at-risk Aboriginal youth. We are also working on a Hidden Kitchens App. We'll be asking for your stories, suggestions and recipes—mapping hidden kitchen cultures from around the world.

Teaching and mentoring grows ever more important to us. Our Kitchen Sisters College of Sonic Knowledge continues to expand. Another 10 young people came and spent between a month to a year with us—learning the craft, creating their first professional works, helping bring our stories to NPR's air. Your contributions enable this internship program and the Interviewing and Recording Workshops we offer around the country to be.

We are just marking 30 years of collaboration together as The Kitchen Sisters. Please help us kick of the next 30 years with as generous a contribution as you can. And please, join our collaboration. {Contributions are tax-deductible}

Many of you have supported our efforts across the years. Deepest thanks. We could not do the work without you. Many of you will consider giving a first time contribution to keep these radio stories and our new multimedia efforts in full flower. We are grateful. No contribution is too large and none too small. All are appreciated.

We wish you and your family well as this year comes to a close.


The Kitchen Sisters


Cinema snowglobe photo by JD Beltran
Workshop illustration by Wendy MacNaughton