Will All the Mariachis Get Priced Out of Boyle Heights?

As he has almost every day for the past 20 years, Arturo Rubalcaba walks about a block from his apartment in Boyle Heights to Mariachi Plaza. It’s mostly empty except for a few mariachis wearing black suits embellished with silver buttons and white embroidery. Rubalcaba sits and waits for clients to arrive. Rubalcaba is a mariachi. And this is a tradition that dates back to the 1930s, but the jump in housing prices is putting that tradition at risk. Aired on KCRW's Morning Edition.

Finding Inspiration and Empowerment at the First All-Women's Mosque in the US

It’s a Friday afternoon at a multicultural center in downtown Los Angeles. Today, volunteers are converting the center into a mosque for a monthly prayer service. They roll out tan prayer mats along the red carpeted floor. There’s a definite buzz in the air — photographers, cameramen, writers and even congregants are marking this moment: the first all women's mosque in the United States. Aired on PRI's America Abroad. This story was part of an episode on Islamic Feminism that won a Gracie Award.

Hollywood Turns to...Taxidermy?

On Sunday morning in Downtown Los Angeles taxidermist Allis Markham immediately cuts into her subject for the day: a bird. She started her studio, Prey Taxidermy, this March and rents her mounted pieces to Hollywood films, television sets, and photoshoots. Aired on APM's Marketplace.

Anthony Quinn Remembered with New Mural

Mexican-American actor Anthony Quinn was Hollywood’s first real Latino star, appearing in films like Lawrence of ArabiaZorba the Greek and Viva Zapata! Thirteen years after his death, he remains an important icon in Hollywood—and now a new mural in Los Angeles is commemorating his career. Aired on NPR's Latino USA. 

Making Music and Memories With a Oaxacan Band

PhD student Daina Sanchez is studying how being in a Oaxacan band (they’re called Banda Juvenil Solaga) in Los Angeles affects young people’s Oaxacan identity. So every week, she attends a youth Oaxacan band practice in Koreatown. The music helps Daina remember her own grandparents who lived in Oaxaca. Aired on KCRW's Sounds LA.

Laughter Means Everything

As a comedic actress, Rebecca’s job is to make people laugh. It’s a contagious sound — whether it’s among casting producers, audience members, or friends. For her, this sound of LA, “means everything”. Aired on KCRW's Sounds LA.

Riding the Metro

When Amelia Taylor-Hochberg commutes to work, she doesn’t have to worry about traffic on the I-10, 110 South, 5 North, 405 South, insert your LA highway here. She is one of the thousands of Angelenos who takes the metro to work every day. When she hears that metro ding and the familiar ‘the doors are closing’, Amelia is simultaneously warned and comforted. It’s a rhythmic reminder, but also a comforting tap on the shoulder — the city is looking out for her. Aired on KCRW's Sounds LA .

The Film Projectionist

Mark Robinson is one of the few of his kind left. He works as a projectionist at the Cinefamily silent film theater in West Hollywood. While box offices are clamoring to play the next CGI, surround sound, digitized blockbuster, Robinson revels in a subtler sound that is slowly going extinct in Los Angeles – the hum of the film projector. Aired on KCRW's Sounds LA

There’s Something Special About The Backyard Chicken Coop

John Dubois begins his morning in Silverlake by grabbing coffee, heading to his backyard, and…feeding chickens. While many cities prevent residents from owning chicken coops, LA proudly allows them. For John, the sound of the chickens is a small way for him to connect with nature and imagine a farm life for himself in the middle of a metropolis. Aired on KCRW's Sounds LA.

There Will Be Less Water

The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913 forever changed the landscape of LA. The 300 mile engineering feat runs from the Sierra Mountains to fill our sinks, glasses, and bathtubs all over town. Artist Rob Reynolds recently completed an exhibit titled ‘Just Add Water’ depicting the LA Aqueduct. What does the water that sustains our city sound like to him? Aired on KCRW's Sounds LA

Pinball Keeps Me Balanced

For many of us, pinball is the old arcade game that evokes nostalgia and good ol’ innocent fun. But for Molly Atkinson, the game, with its chimes and bells, is so much more. Pinball keeps her focused. Aired on KCRW's Sounds LA.

Reclaiming Eastern European Jewish Identity Through Soccer

The teams met again for the first time on a hot, summer day in Krakow, Poland. Amid the usual soccer spectacle was something a little different: Stars of David printed on the right side of Team Warsaw’s black jerseys. Unlike their predecessors in Poland 70 years ago, the Jewish players of  Team Warsaw wore the stars voluntarily. Aired on WBUR & NPR's Only a Game.

Cargoland: 'The Best Job in the World'

Conrad Guzman, now retired, lives in his San Pedro house that overlooks his livelihood: the ocean. He worked as a longshoreman and foreman for over 50 years and witnessed the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach transform from an industry literally dependent on the hands of its men to the largest port complex in the United States. Aired on KCRW's series, Cargoland.

Translating the Mysterious Sound of the Shofar for Deaf Congregants

The Days of Awe is a time of intense soul-searching that begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Jewish communities gather to listen to the trumpet-like blast of the shofar, a ram’s horn, to wake themselves up to the hopes and possibilities of a new year. Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf works to bring this ancient tradition to the deaf world. Aired on KCRW's All Things Considered & KQED's California Report.