Immigrant voices harmonize storytelling, music, humor in ‘Where I’m From’ radio show

On Saturday, April 20th, 2013, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism will host a radio show onstage in the Marlin Room of NYC’s historic Webster Hall.

Where I’m From” will mix entertainment, journalism, and commentary in a big-hearted mash-up that reflects the talents, experiences, and contributions of New York’s diaspora populations. The program will be taped before a live audience and present a range of guests, essayists, and performers–including journalist and immigration reform advocate Jose Antonio Vargas,

Kinshasa-born musician Isaac Katalay and his “Lifelong Project” band, and Annie Ling, whose photographic work of Manhattan Chinatown’s tenement housing was recently featured in the New York Times.

“’Where I’m From’ is a natural extension of CUNY’s effort to develop new voices in public media. Part of doing that is developing new audiences and conscientiously serving and including them,” explains Tina Pamintuan, the J-School’s radio program director.

“We’ve seen a number of live shows hit stages across New York City in the last few years, but none that serve diverse audiences, so we decided to do something about that.”

Pamintuan is overseeing the project with public radio journalist Jesse Hardman, who will host the first episode.

Tina Pamintuan

Tina Pamintuan

Hardman teaches radio news and international reporting at the CUNY J-School and has worked as a media developer in 15 countries. He says this project directly addresses the need for public media to expand its reach and appeal to culturally, economically, and ethnically diverse audiences.

“Public media has a mandate to provide quality information and programming that speaks to the lives and experiences of local audiences. The quality is there, but the diversity of voices isn’t,” says Hardman.

“The U.S. is now a majority minority society, with 40 million immigrants living here. We should hear this reflected every morning when we turn on the radio.”

Storytelling, music, humor, and reporting will collide in this live onstage cultural exchange, which is perfectly timed to take place during NYC’s Immigrant Heritage Week.

Tickets are available at $5 online in advance, $10 at the door. Tickets are available here. Space is limited. An after-party follows at the upstairs Balcony Lounge.

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