Kitchen Sisters Launch UAlbany Capital Voices Project

Contact: Lisa James Goldsberry (518) 437-4989

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 16, 2003) -- The University at Albany’s “Capital Voices - Capital Lives Aural History Project,” an effort to gather and preserve the sounds, voices, and stories of the historically rich Albany region, will be officially launched at a kick-off event “A Century of Sound: Listening in with the Kitchen Sisters.” The kick-off, on Tuesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. in the Linda Norris Performing Arts Center of WAMC, 339 Central Ave., is free and open to the public.

The “Capital Voices - Capital Lives Aural History Project” owes its inspiration to National Public Radio producers Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, the Kitchen Sisters. The two, who took the name from two Santa Cruz stone masons from the 1940's who called themselves the Kitchen Brothers, have been honored with numerous broadcasting awards for their work on National Public Radio’s “Lost & Found Sound,” a series that explores history through recorded sound. During the kick-off event, they will highlight their radio shows and discuss their ongoing work.

The “Capital Voices - Capital Lives Aural History Project” is the latest effort by the University’s History Department to focus on the importance of aural history and to make publicly available the sounds and stories of the past related to the Capital Region. The project will produce radio documentaries and short features around them.

UAlbany history professor Gerald Zahavi and doctoral student Susan McCormick won a $10,000 media consultation grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop the model regional aural and oral history project and a pilot radio documentary series. The documentary programs produced under the project will be available to National Public Radio affiliates both locally and nationally.

The effort grew out of planning for the Albany Heritage project, a year-long series of programs sponsored by the partnership of more than 40 educational, cultural and governmental agencies to celebrate Albany’s 350 years as a civic community.

Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges.

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