Podcast: The Kitchen Sisters Present

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The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. The episodes tell deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse producers The Kitchen Sisters (Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, Fugitive Waves and coming soon… The Keepers). "The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast" —Ira Glass. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced in collaboration with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell and mixed by Jim McKee. A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Present8 months ago
In the late 1930s, during the depths of the Depression, 300 craftspeople came together for two years to build an enormous scale model of the City of San Francisco — a WPA project conceived as a way of putting artists to work and as a planning tool for the City to imagine its future.

The model was meant to remain on public view for all to see. But World War II erupted and the 6,000 piece, hand carved and painted wooden model was put into storage in large wooden crates “all higgledy piggledy,” for almost 80 years.

The story of this almost forgotten, three-dimensional freeze frame of the City in 1938 leads us on a journey through the streets and neighborhoods of San Francisco — contemplating the past and envisioning the future with poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, historian Gary Kamiya, writer Maya Angelou, the current “Keeper of the model,” Stella Lochman, and many more.

In this episode, part two of three, the San Francisco model triggers stories of urban development and identity in a city poised on the edge of the continent, built on landfill, steep hills, and the dreams of immigrants and pioneers. We visit the Fillmore, Irish Hill, North Beach. We hear stories of The Glen Park Freeway Revolt and a plan to pave over the Bay.

The Kitchen Sisters produced this story for SFMOMA’s Raw Material podcast in conjunction with their Public Knowledge program, “Take Part” in which the museum partnered with the San Francisco Public Library and artists Bik Van Der Pol to engage the community in a series of talks and events around the model.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Present8 months ago
In the late 1930s, during the depths of the Depression, 300 craftspeople came together for two years to build an enormous scale model of the City of San Francisco—a WPA project conceived as a way of putting artists to work and as a planning tool for the City to imagine its future.

The Model was meant to remain on public view for all to see. But World War II erupted and the 6,000
piece, hand carved and painted wooden model was put into storage in large wooden crates “all higgledy piggledy,” for almost 80 years.

The story of this almost forgotten, three-dimensional freeze frame of the City in 1938 leads us on a journey through the streets and neighborhoods of San Francisco — contemplating the past and envisioning the future with poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, historian Gary Kamiya, writer Maya Angelou, the current “Keeper of the Model,” Stella Lochman, and many more.

In Part One we travel to the Golden Gate Exposition on Treasure Island where the model was first put on display in 1939. We visit Angel Island with SF Jazz Poet Laureate Genny Lim where her father and other Chinese immigrants were once detained. We ride along with bicycle historians Chris Carlsson and LisaRuth Elliott of Shaping San Francisco as they visit the 1938 model on display at libraries throughout the City. We hear from geographer Gray Brechin who helped save the model from the dumpster at UC Berkeley, and from the Dutch artists, Bik van der Pol, who imagined bringing this this gigantic object back to the people of San Francisco to stimulate conversations and ideas about the future of this City.

The Kitchen Sisters produced this story for SFMOMA’s Raw Material podcast in conjunction with their Public Knowledge program, “Take Part” in which the museum partnered with the San Francisco Public Library and artists Bik Van Der Pol to engage the community in a series of talks and events around
the Model.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Present9 months ago
Nancy Pearl—she’s been called “one of the 10 coolest librarians alive.” She’s the bestselling author of “Book
Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Reason,” and a regular commentator about books on NPR’s Morning Edition. She’s the creator of the much loved and imitated If All Seattle Read The Same Book project, encouraging everyone in the city to read the same book at the same time. And then, of course, there’s the Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure with amazing push-button shushing action.

A brilliant and entertaining storyteller, Nancy reveals how she became the “five-inch tall, plastic, non biodegradable librarian action figure with amazing push button shushing action.” She talks about her childhood library in Detroit—how it changed her life and provided refuge from her dysfunctional family. She gives tips on how to select books for people, and explains her Rule of 50 about when to give up on reading a book. She also talks about how “our leaders should be readers.”

Raised in Detroit, Michigan, Nancy earned her master’s in library science at the University of Michigan and became a children’s librarian at her hometown library. She moved to Oklahoma with her husband, professor Joe Pearl, and raised two daughters while earning a masters degree in history. In Tulsa she worked in an independent book store and the Tulsa City-County Library System. In 1993 she was recruited to join the Seattle Library where she later became executive director of the the library system’s Washington Center for the Book.

In addition to Book Lust, Nancy is the author of several other books including: Now Read This: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction 1978–1998 (and Now Read This II 1990-2001); Book Crush: For Kids and Teens; Book Lust To Go, Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers; and her novel, George and Lizzie.

Among her many awards, including the Library Journal’s 2011 Librarian of the Year Award, Nancy Pearl is the recipient of the coveted Kitchen Sisters’ Keeper of the Day Award (and trophy) presented at the American Library Association’s Conference in January 2019, at a special party sponsored by EveryLibrary, the national political action committee dedicated to the future of libraries, and Biblioteca, which connects libraries and their communities in new and effective ways.

Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure is part of The Kitchen Sisters’ series, The Keepers, about activist archivists, rogue librarians, historians, collectors, curators —keepers of the truth and the free flow of information. Heard on NPR’s Morning Edition, on The Kitchen Sisters Present podcast, and at kitchensisters.org.

The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of PRX’s Radiotopia, a collective of some of the best podcasts and audio storytellers on earth—radiotopia.fm
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Present9 months ago
“From the very beginning the intent was that the American people needed to be able to access the
records so that we would be able to hold the government accountable for its actions.” David Ferriero

We talk with David Ferriero, the 10th Archivist of the United States, about the the beginnings of the National Archives under Franklin Roosevelt, stories of early “Keepers” like Stephen Pleasonton, a brave civil servant who saved the Constitution and Declaration of Independence as the British burned Washington during the War of 1812, and the Map Thief who utilized dental floss to steal treasures from presidential libraries and special collections.

Ferriero talks of some of his favorite artifacts in the National Archives — a letter from Fidel Castro to President Roosevelt requesting a $10 dollar bill, and a letter from Annie Oakley to William McKinley volunteering to rally 50 women sharp shooters to fight in the Spanish Civil War.

Selected as Archivist of the United States in 2010 by President Obama during the time of his Open Government Initiative, Ferriero has worked to make the system more transparent and accessible to the public. He talks about his early career and influences — from his first library experiences in a tiny branch housed in a flower shop in North Beverley Massachusetts, to serving as Director of the New York Public Library.

With a collection of about 13 billion pieces of paper, 43 million photographs and miles and miles of film and video and about 6 billion electronic records, Ferriero believes “we are responsible for documenting what is going on.” He says, “I think my favorite times are twice a year when we do naturalization ceremonies in the Rotunda and between 50 and 200 new citizens are sworn in in front of the Constitution. Just to see them experiencing the documents outlining the rights that are now theirs. Those are powerful moments.”
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Present10 months ago
Dieter Koslick is is one of the film world’s most gregarious, hilarious and controversial Film Festival Directors. He’s put his stamp on the legendary Berlin Film Festival for 18 years and kicked up a lot of dust in the process. The Kitchen Sisters Present a portrait of Dieter, who celebrated his last Festival in 2019, and the Berlinale's dramatic history.

The Berlin International Film Festival, features some 400 films across 14 theaters across 10 days. The Festival unfolds across the first weeks of February and Berlin’s piercing cold is legend. For 18 years Dieter Kosslick, in his black Fedora and red wool scarf on the red carpet at theaters around the city, has been welcoming filmmakers and filmgoers from around the globe to film screenings  film screenings that provoke, pay homage, compete, ignite.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Present10 months ago
It may come as no surprise but Bob Dylan is a Keeper.  Bob and his team have been archiving his music, notebooks, paintings and journey for some five decades. Thousands of artifacts comprise this collection of American treasure. Bob kept just about everything — a massive private archive of a notoriously private person housed in storage facilities in New York, Minneapolis, Malibu and Jersey. So it made headlines when word got out that this secret archive had been sold and was headed to its new permanent, public home in Tulsa, Oklahoma  A curveball nobody saw coming. Some archives are for scholars — devotees of a writer, scientist or historical figure. Some archives are tourist attractions. Few are part of a vision for the civic rejuvenation of a once thriving American city.  Today, The Kitchen Sisters Present… The Bob Dylan Archive: A Curveball Comes To Tulsa…. produced by The Kitchen Sisters — Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva, in collaboration with Olivia Ware and Samuel Shelton Robinson.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
In celebration of National Barbecue Month, which is every month in our book, stories from C.B. “Stubb” Stubblefield and his Blues Cookbook Cassette, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Nick Patoski, Robb Walsh, Tom T. Hall, Willie Nelson’s bass player Bee Spears and more.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
On the gang-ridden streets of Chamelecon in Honduras, artists are protected and respected — exempt from the ongoing war that is driving families to leave their homes and seek asylum in the US. Producer Scott Carrier, under the protection of a hip hop artist, takes us to the outskirts of San Pedro Sula, a city known in 2014 as the Murder Capital of the World. This story is part of Home of the Brave, a podcast produced by Scott Carrier.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
Today we honor pioneering filmmaker Agnés Varda, part of the French New Wave of the 1960s, who died on March 29, 2019 at home at age 90.

Varda broke ground in many mediums — features, documentaries, photography and art installations. Her work often focused on feminist issues and social commentary with a distinctive experimental style. One of her most recent films “Faces Places,” a collaboration with the activist French photographer JR, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. Agnés herself received an honorary Oscar for her life’s work in
2017 and recently the Berlin Film Festival honored her with their highest award.

We interviewed Agnés for our story about Henri Langlois and the Cinémathèque Française, part of “The Keepers,” series — stories of activist archivists and rogue librarians.

Today, the Kitchen Sisters Present a short commemoration we produced for NPR and the full interview Davia did with her in her home in Paris in 2017.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the famed poet of North Beach, San Francisco, creator of City Lights Bookstore, publisher of the beat poets of the 1950s and 60s, champion of free speech and First Amendment rights. Lawrence is turning 100 this year, and we’re celebrating. From an Arbor Day tree planting ceremony in honor of Lawrence across the street from Via Ferlinghetti in North Beach featuring Alice Waters, SF Supervisor Aaron Peskin, and the Italian Consul General — to a sound rich journey with Lawrence to his cabin in Bixby Canyon, Big Sur produced by sound designer Jim McKee — poems, stories and deep history surround this legendary poet and activist celebrating a wild century of life.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
As part of our series, The Keepers, The Kitchen Sisters Present an episode of the New York Public Library’s podcast The Librarian Is In featuring Eric Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People about the power and promise of the public library and its critical role in the future of our society.

Eric Klinenberg believes that the future of democratic societies rests not simply on shared values but on shared spaces: the libraries, childcare centers, bookstores, churches, synagogues places where people gather and linger, making friends across group lines and strengthening the entire community. In his book, Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life, Klinenberg calls this the “social infrastructure.” When it is strong, neighborhoods flourish; when it is neglected, as it has been in recent years, families and individuals must fend for themselves.

Special thanks to The Librarian Is In, the New York Public Library's podcast about books, culture, and what to read next. Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius interview guests, discuss the books they're reading, pop culture and the literary zeitgeist, and the world of libraries.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please write a review on iTunes. It's a great way to help new listeners discover the show. And please say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For more information about The Kitchen Sisters — our podcast, our NPR stories, our events, our workshops, our T-shirt, and other news from The Kitchen Sisterhood — visit kitchensisters.org and sign up for our Newsletter.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
Filmmaker Wim Wenders talks about his early influences — Cinémathèque Française, Henri Langlois, Lotte Eisner — and tells stories of Werner Herzog and the films that have impacted his work.

Ernst Wilhelm “Wim” Wenders, filmmaker, playwright, author, photographer, is a major figure in New German Cinema and global cinema. His films include Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire, The American Friend, Alice in the Cities, Kings of the Road, Buena Vista Social Club, Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, Pina, Until the End of the World, and many more.

We were gathering interviews for The Keepers story, Archive Fever: Henri Langlois and the Cinémathèque Française, about one of the earliest and most important film archives in the world, started in Paris in the 1930s, still thriving today. When we dug in to the filmmakers that had been shaped by this archive and its eccentric archivist, along with all of the French New Wave — Truffaut, Godard, etc. — surfaced the name of a filmmaker we have long admired, whose movies open the door of the lonely, the mystical, the musical, the landscape, with performances that tear your heart. Wim Wenders.

In our interview with Wim he told us about the impact Henri Langlois and the Cinémathèque had on his own filmmaking, but then the stories began to move in new directions — Lotte Eisner, Werner Herzog, and more. On the eve of the Academy Awards — an award Wim Wenders has been nominated for 3 times — we share his story. Produced by Vika Aronson and The Kitchen Sisters. Mixed by Jim McKee.

Special thanks to Tom Luddy, Robb Moss, Homi Bhabha, Haden Guest, Sophia Hoffinger, Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. And most of all, to Wim Wenders who has inspired us across the years.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please write a review on iTunes. It's a great way to help new listeners discover the show. And please say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For more information about The Kitchen Sisters — our podcast, our NPR stories, our events, our workshops, our T-shirt, and other news from The Kitchen Sisterhood — visit kitchensisters.org and sign up for our Newsletter.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
Best selling author Linda Spalding is a keeper. A keeper of her family history, a keeper of words, a keeper of truth. In this episode of The Kitchen Sisters Present, Spalding reads from her new book and talks about how discovering her family's dark history as slave holders inspired her novels A Reckoning and The Purchase.

“Writing historical fiction is a mug’s game,” says Spalding. “Are we recreating the past, or creating it? While writing, I am imagining things that never happened, trying to make it seem like they did, like they were part of the actual pageant of history, like they make as much sense as the history we all learned in school, some of which was also a fiction. While writing, I am leaning backward from my 21st century chair and hoping to smell things that no longer even exist, to create medicines and foods and conversations I have never heard or seen or tasted."

Other books by award winning author Linda Spalding include Who Named the Knife, The Paper Wife, Daughters of Captain Cook, A Dark Place in the Jungle, Mere and Brick a literary magazine she and a group of Canadian writers have been publishing for years.

Born in Topeka, Kansas she lived in Mexico and Hawaii before moving to Toronto in 1982. She has two daughters, Esta and Kristin Spalding, from her first marriage to photographer Philip Spalding. She is currently married to Canadian novelist Michael Ondaajte. A professor of English and writing, Spadling has taught at several universities including University of Hawaii, New York University, University of Toronto. She was writer in residence at Brown University and has taught creative writing at Humber College’s School for Writers.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
Melvil Dewey, the father of library science and the inventor of the most popular library classification system in the world, was a known racist and serial sexual harasser. Forced out of the American Library Association, which he co-founded, his 19th century world view and biases are reflected in the classification system that libraries around the world have inherited.

Molly Schwartz of the Metropolitan New York Library Council and producer of the podcast Library Bytegeist visits Bard High School Early College in Queens to find out about how students there are rebelling against the Dewey Decimal System. She also talks with Greg Cotton (Cornell College), Barbara Fister (Gustavus Adolphus College), and Dorothy Berry (Umbra Search Project).
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
Folklorist and Professor Bill Ferris, a Grammy nominee this year for his "Voices of Mississippi" 3 CD Box set, has committed his life to documenting and expanding the study of the American South. His recordings, photos and films of preachers, quilt makers, blues musicians and more are now online as part of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina.

Bill Ferris grew up on a farm in Warren County, Mississippi along the Black River. His family, the only white family on the farm, worked side by side with the African Americans in the fields. When he was five, a woman named Mary Gordon would take him every first Sunday to Rose Hill Church, the small African American church on the farm. When Bill was a teenager he got a reel-to-reel tape recorder and started recording the hymns and services.

“ I realized that the beautiful hymns were sung from memory—there were no hymnals in the church—and that when those families were no longer there, the hymns would simply disappear.”

These recordings led Bill to a lifetime of documenting the world around him—preachers, workers, storytellers, men in prison, quilt makers, the blues musicians living near his home (including the soon-to-be well known Mississippi Fred McDowell).

Bill became a prolific author, folklorist, filmmaker, professor, and served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a professor of history at UNC–Chapel Hill and an adjunct professor in the Curriculum in
Folklore. He served as the founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of
Mississippi, where he was a faculty member for 18 years. He is associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South.

Bill’s has written and edited 10 books and created 15 documentary films, most dealing with African-American music and other folklore representing the Mississippi Delta. His thousands of photographs, films, audio interviews, and recordings of musicians are now online in the William R. Ferris Collection, part of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina.

This story was produced by Barrett Golding with The Kitchen Sisters for The Keepers series.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
Paper airplanes, photographs of men in rows, birds nests, gay bar matchbooks, dolls hats —an untraditional take on what warrants our attention. As part of The Kitchen Sisters’ series THE KEEPERS, we wander through a curated collection of collections at the Los Angeles Central Library examining the role collections play in telling our stories.

As research for this project, Curator Todd Lerew visited over 600 museums, libraries, archives, and public and private collections, identifying those he felt told the most compelling and memorable stories.

We also hear from callers to THE KEEPERS HOT LINE —The Unofficial Archivist of Mt. Everest—Elizabeth Hawley; The Radio Haiti Archive; 19th & 20th century women scientists at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Glass Plate Collection; Christian Schwartz, 21st century naturalist and collector; Bobby Fulcher recorder and keeper of traditional rural Tennessee folk music and more.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
We've got something extra for you today as part of the Radiotopia fundraiser that is happening now. You can join the Radiotopia community and support The Kitchen Sisters Present… and all of your favorite shows in this beautiful network at radiotopia.fm.

And while you're doing that, here's a little gift from us. A special Radiotopia "Hear the World Differently" bonus feature from our series, The Keepers: The Free-Range Archivist: Jason Scott.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
After a devastating car accident that made his work as a janitor impossible, civil rights activist Eddie McCoy, picked up a scavenged tape recorder and began taping anyone and everyone in his town—from the oldest person on down—piecing together the little known history of the African American community in Oxford, North Carolina. Hidden stories of slavery times, sharecropping, the civil rights era and more.

Eddie McCoy’s recordings and interviewing style are like no others. With energy and passion, Eddie documented the lives of teachers, railroad workers, doctors, sharecroppers and others in his community as far back as the end of the 19th century. A self-taught historian and avid researcher, he jokes, cajoles, and sympathizes with his interviewees drawing out candid stories that provide a window into life in small, southern tobacco town of some 10,000 people.

McCoy’s more than 140 interviews have become part of the Southern Oral History Project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His story is part of The Kitchen Sisters series “The Keepers” — stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians. Keepers of the culture and the cultures and collections they keep. Guardians of history, large and small, protectors of the free flow of information and ideas.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
Deep in the hidden archives of Harvard’s Houghton Library are the butter stained recipes of Emily Dickinson. Who knew? Emily Dickinson was better known by most as a baker than a poet in her lifetime. In this story a beautiful line up of “Keepers”— dedicated archivists, librarians, historians, Thornton Wilder, Patti Smith, and more—lead us through the complex labyrinth of Emily Dickinson’s hidden kitchen. A world of black cake, gingerbread, slant rhyme, secret loves, family scandals, and poems composed on the backs of coconut cake recipes and chocolate wrappers.
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Radiotopiaadded an audiobook to the bookshelfPodcast: The Kitchen Sisters Presentlast year
One of the most controversial, outspoken men of the last century, comedian Lenny Bruce spent much of his life in court defending his freedom of speech and First Amendment rights. His provocative social commentary and “verbal jazz” offended mainstream culture and resulted in countless arrests on obscenity and other charges. Over the decades, since his death from a heroin overdose in1966, Lenny’s only child Kitty Bruce, became his keeper, gathering and preserving everything related to her father’s life. We follow the saga of this collection from daughter Kitty's attic — to archivist, Sarah Shoemaker, who drove a van to Kitty’s house in Pennsylvania to gather this historic collection to take to Brandeis University. With the help of an endowment from Bruce's long time friend and supporter Hugh Hefner, creator of Playboy Magazine, and his daughter Christie Heffner, the collection is now cataloged and open for use by all. The archive comes alive in the story of this brilliant, pioneering, complicated man who paved the way for comedians like George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Lewis Black.
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