art | KALW


Courtesy of Amy Kisch

Amy Kisch is the founder of Art+Action Coalition. She’s working with other artists and the Yerba Buena Center to urgently get the word out about the census. She shares why it’s important for everyone to be counted.

Philosophy Talk: Walter Benjamin and the Re-Enchanted World

Jul 14, 2020

Can we find enchantment without sacrificing reason?

'Unearth [The Flowers]' Talks Grief And Celebrates Life

Jun 22, 2020

While we're sheltered in place, we’re bringing Bay Area author readings to you as part of our "New Arrivals" series. This one features Thea Matthews, San Francisco author whose debut book of poetry "Unearth [The Flowers]" just came out.

While we're sheltered in place, we’re bringing Bay Area author readings to you as part of our "New Arrivals" series. This one features Berkeley’s Johanna Silver, the former garden editor of Sunset Magazine whose book Growing Weed in the Garden came out in March. 

A Quest To Understand Rap

Mar 16, 2020



Hip-hop is one of the most popular genres in the country. Matthew Policarpio, a senior at Abraham Lincoln High School, wanted to understand why so many of his friends are die-hard rap fans.

Richard Dowing / Courtesy of Sins Invalid

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Antoine Hunter is an Oakland-based dancer, choreographer, director, and advocate for the Deaf community — that’s Deaf with a capital D, which refers to Deaf culture. When Antoine was growing up, dance became a lifeline to the world around him.

Courtesy of Jaimel Hemphill

Jaimel Hemphill’s comic book hobby grew into a passion. He and his friends launched National Press Comics, a publishing company in Oakland with diverse characters and genres. He stopped by to talk comics and wound up sharing a funny wrestling story.

Two Artists Fall In Love: StoryCorps

Jan 21, 2020

Jena McRae, a dancer with the Embodiment Project, first met David "Dublin" Schwirtz, a vocalist with the Shotgun Wedding Quintet, during a rehearsal at the Treat Street Social Club. They sat down with StoryCorps and shared a few highlights of how their relationship evolved over time, into love.

THE INTERSECTION looks at changing cities through physical intersections. This time we’re doing something different: The city is temporary and the intersections are conceptual. We’re going to a remote corner of Nevada for Burning Man. Producer David Boyer has been going to since 1996. He's heading back with a mission: to capture the event before it's over or loses all connection to its origins.

Porfirio Rangel / KALW

If you take BART often, your ride has probably been interrupted by folks playing instruments, rapping, dancing — or all of the above. This month, BART’s Board of Directors will be considering a ban on aggressive panhandling, which might effectively put an end to busking on board.

  An alumni group has sued to challenge the San Francisco school board’s decision to cover a controversial mural displayed in a public high school that some criticized as racist.

courtesy of Brendon Chan


Brendon Chan’s dancing talents have taken him to many countries. Now, he’s back home in San Francisco performing in the hit musical Hamilton. Brendon spoke to KALW’s Jenee Darden about what it took to reach this point of his career.

Zakiya Harris On Music, Motherhood, And Moving On

Jul 31, 2019

Oakland singer-songwriter Zakiya Harris performs under the name Sh8peshifter. She came to that name and her musical career when her personal and professional life fell apart.

Courtesy of Sabreena Haque

As a young girl, henna artist Sabreena Haque learned about her culture’s ancient traditions during family visits to Pakistan. She became fascinated with the intricacy of henna designs at a family wedding and saw the art form as a way to share her culture with others.

The Stoop: Black Enough

Jul 22, 2019
Neema Iyer / The Stoop

From The Stoop:

Whether it's the music we hear, the clothes we wear, or the way we talk, a lot of us at some point were made to feel 'not black enough.' In this episode, we go deep with comedian W. Kamau Bell who's felt awkward in black circles and before black audiences, and we'll meet Black Benatar, a drag queen who struggles with performing blackness.

Courtesy of Illuminaries (cropped)

The Golden State Warriors season ended last week with a dramatic loss to the Toronto Raptors. It’s not the send-off Oakland fans were hoping for as the team bids farewell to Oracle Arena. Now, a season of promise turns into an off-season of uncertainty. There are still signs of the team all over the Town and that’s not going to change any time soon. In fact, the logo for this podcast is the iconic Warriors’ bridge image dripping off a brick wall, and that’s from a mural in Oakland by Illuminaries. In this edition of Bounce, we catch up with Illuminaries co-founder Tim Hon whose crew are painting for the Dubs. 

Poet and college professor Daniel B. Summerhill grew up in Oakland and first picked took an interest in creative writing when he was in high school. Since then, Daniel has performed spoken word all over the world and he’s helping the next generation of Bay Area wordsmiths find their voices.

Peter Prato

For actor and playwright Dan Hoyle, theatre is part of his DNA. His father is veteran stage performer Geoff Hoyle, and Dan has had several acclaimed one-man shows that not only make audiences laugh but think. He’s back at the Marsh for his latest production "Border People."

Mia Nakano is documenting queer Asian Pacific American experiences one snapshot at a time

May 23, 2019
Andria Lo

Mia Nakano is a photographer and archivist with an interest in LGBTQ stories. But she used to struggle to find resources on queer and trans Asian American history. So she took it upon herself to begin documenting their experiences.

Philosophy Talk: This Is Your Brain on Art

May 17, 2019
"Your Brain on Rainbows" by garlandcannon used under CC license

If you could see inside my brain when I was looking at a piece of art, would you know what it was like for me to look at that art?

Lisa Keating

In his memoir "Paper Sons," award-winning author Dickson Lam takes readers to the North Beach projects of San Francisco, where he grew up in the early 90s.

Courtesy of Karen Gutfreund

Fahrenheit 213 is a group art exhibit made by feminist artists and writers, dozens of them from around the Bay. It spotlights works inspired by feminist protest. The exhibit is co-curated by artist-activist Karen Gutfreund. 

Fahrenheit 213 is showing at the Arc Gallery in San Francisco through May 11.

Courtesy of Theatre of Yugen

More than forty years ago, San Francisco’s Theatre of Yugen became one of the first American theater companies to feature classical Japanese theater arts.

Philosophy Talk: The Mystery of Music

Mar 22, 2019
"Music" by crayon27 used under CC license

What does it mean to have good (or bad) taste in music?

Courtesy of Nathan Tan

In the Bay Area’s Independent Clothing Market, it’s not uncommon for the worlds of fashion and art to intersect. One artist who has made the transition from the spray can to garments is San Francisco’s Nathan Tan

Diego Rivera Mural Project

Vickie Simms is a docent for the Pan American Unity Mural, painted by 20th-century artist Diego Rivera. Vickie gave up a business career to study art history, and this is a plum gig. The artwork is extraordinary. And Vickie’s pretty amazing, herself.

Where are all the Diego Rivera murals in San Francisco?

Feb 21, 2019
Joaquín Martínez, used under CC BY 2.0 / cropped

Have you ever wondered where you can find the murals by Mexican artist Diego Rivera in San Francisco? KALW listener Monzerrath Gonzalez has. So, KALW Reporter Sara Nora Koust went with her to San Francisco Art Institute to check one out.

Page Hodel

Today is Valentine’s Day. To celebrate we want to share with you a love story set here in the Bay Area.

Photo by Sandip Roy

Sandip Roy experiences a testiment to resiliance.... at the Pavlov Mental Hospital.

Courtesy of Mel Waters

From the Carlos Santana tribute wall in the Mission District to his Jerry Garcia piece in the Haight, much of Water’s work celebrates the iconic figures of San Francisco’s past.