Mandalit del Barco

As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Alt.latino, and npr.org.

del Barco's reporting has taken her throughout the United States, including Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco and Miami. Reporting further afield as well, del Barco traveled to Haiti to report on the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. She has chronicled street gangs exported from the U.S. to El Salvador and Honduras, and in Mexico, she reported about immigrant smugglers, musicians, filmmakers and artists. In Argentina, del Barco profiled tango legend Carlos Gardel, and in the Philippines, she reported a feature on balikbayan boxes. From China, del Barco contributed to NPR's coverage of the United Nations' Women's Conference. She also spent a year in her birthplace, Peru, working on a documentary and teaching radio journalism as a Fulbright Fellow and on a fellowship with the Knight International Center For Journalists.

In addition to reporting daily stories, del Barco produced half-hour radio documentaries about gangs in Central America, Latino hip hop, L.A. Homegirls, artist Frida Kahlo, New York's Palladium ballroom and Puerto Rican "Casitas."

Before moving to Los Angeles, del Barco was a reporter for NPR Member station WNYC in New York City. She started her radio career on the production staff of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon. However her first taste for radio came as a teenager, when she and her brother won an award for an NPR children's radio contest.

del Barco's reporting experience extends into newspaper and magazines. She served on the staffs of The Miami Herald and The Village Voice, and has done freelance reporting. She has written articles for Latina magazine and reported for the weekly radio show Latino USA.

Stories written by del Barco have appeared in several books including Las Christmas: Favorite Latino Authors Share their Holiday Memories (Vintage Books) and Las Mamis: Favorite Latino Authors Remember their Mothers (Vintage Books). del Barco contributed to an anthology on rap music and hip hop culture in the book, Droppin' Science (Temple University Press).

Peruvian writer Julio Villanueva Chang profiled del Barco's life and career for the book Se Habla Espanol: Voces Latinas en USA (Alfaguara Press).

She mentors young journalists through NPR's "Next Generation", Global Girl, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and on her own, throughout the U.S. and Latin America.

A fourth generation journalist, del Barco was born in Lima, Peru, to a Peruvian father and Mexican-American mother. She grew up in Baldwin, Kansas, and in Oakland, California, and has lived in Manhattan, Madrid, Miami, Lima and Los Angeles. She began her journalism career as a reporter, columnist and editor for the Daily Californian while studying anthropology and rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University with her thesis, "Breakdancers: Who are they, and why are they spinning on their heads?"

For those who are curious where her name comes from, "Mandalit" is the name of a woman in a song from Carmina Burana, a musical work from the 13th century put to music in the 20th century by composer Carl Orff.

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8:01am

Sat June 13, 2015
Parallels

The Violence Subsides, And Revelers Return To Juarez

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 11:46 am

Concertgoers take photos of the band Intocable at a concert in Juarez, Mexico last year.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

In downtown Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso, Texas, Nelson Armeto and his brothers run a seafood restaurant called Pisces. Like other businesses owners in Juarez, they met with trouble beginning in 2008, when the drug cartels began demanding a monthly extortion fee.

"We received calls telling us we had to pay a quota, otherwise we'd get the business burned down, or a car passing by would be shooting up the place," he says. "They even threatened kidnapping us and even sometimes killing the employees."

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5:22pm

Mon May 18, 2015
Arts & Life

LA County Museum Of Art Presents Last Sculpture By Chris Burden

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 9:26 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Performance artist and sculptor Chris Burden died last week of cancer. He was 69. Today, his final completed work opens to the public at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

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5:04am

Fri May 15, 2015
Movie Interviews

The Women Pull No Punches In Fiery, Feminist 'Mad Max'

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 1:06 pm

Charlize Theron as Furiosa, alongside Tom Hardy's Max Rockatansky in the new Mad Max: Fury Road.
Jasin Boland Warner Bros.

This weekend, moviegoers will return to a legendary fictional landscape, ravaged by war and desperate for water. Mad Max: Fury Road reunites the Road Warrior with original writer and director George Miller. And this time, Max is joined by some very powerful women.

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6:15am

Mon May 11, 2015
Remembrances

Sculptor Chris Burden Dies At 69

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 10:45 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now we remember an artist who never felt he needed to think like everyone else. Chris Burden has died of cancer at the age of 69. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has more.

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4:31am

Mon April 27, 2015
Movie Interviews

Too Scared To Talk To Police, Stalker's Victims Open Up In 'Grim Sleeper'

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 2:05 pm

A woman walks past a memorial for some of the victims who are said to have died at the hands of the serial killer dubbed the "Grim Sleeper."
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, HBO will air Tales of the Grim Sleeper, a documentary about a series of serial killings in South Central Los Angeles that took place from 1985 to 2002. A suspect was arrested in 2010. All these years later, the man accused of the crimes remains in jail and has yet to go on trial. But he — and the L.A. police department — are indicted in this film.

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6:40am

Tue April 21, 2015
Media

Stories Behind This Year's Pulitzer Prize Winners

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 3:13 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And the mission of journalism was celebrated again yesterday. The annual Pulitzer Prizes went to journalists at newspapers both large and small. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has more on three stories that stood out.

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4:34pm

Fri April 17, 2015
Around the Nation

Actors' Equity Minimum Wage Proposal Could Threaten LA's Small Theaters

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 7:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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5:40am

Fri March 13, 2015
Movies

Kenneth Branagh Directs Live-Action Version Of 'Cinderella' For Disney

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:56 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Well, let's talk about Disney then. This weekend, it's looking to cast a spell with a new live-action version of its classic "Cinderella."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "CINDERELLA")

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6:55pm

Sat March 7, 2015
Movies

Movie Chains Balk At Netflix's Plan For Simultaneous Release

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 12:58 pm

Idris Elba stars as an African warlord in the forthcoming film Beasts of No Nation. Netflix recently purchased distribution rights for the film for nearly $12 million.
Jac Cheairs Red Crown Productions/Participant Media/Netflix

Beasts of No Nation is the story of a West African child who is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters. Actor Idris Elba portrays a brutal warlord who recruits the child soldier.

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10:14am

Mon February 23, 2015
Movies

Oscars Get Political, As Acceptance Speeches Wade Into Social Issues

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 3:02 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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