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.

Mandalit del Barco

Correspondent, Arts Desk, NPR West

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.

[+] read more[-] less

Story Archive

Md. Teens' 'Step' Journey Unfolds Amid Aftermath Of Freddie Gray's Death

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/541304518/541304519" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Art Exhibit Features Chagall's Works For Ballet And Opera

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/540515346/540515347" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

George Romero, Creator Of 'Night Of The Living Dead,' Dies At 77

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/537754596/537754597" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

From left to right: Emin Agalarov, Donald Trump and Aras Agalarov (Emin's father) on the red carpet at the Miss Universe Pageant Competition 2013 in Moscow, Russia. Victor Boyko/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Victor Boyko/Getty Images

Meet Emin Agalarov, Trump-Connected Russian Pop Star

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/537105712/537291349" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Director's Struggle With Anorexia In 'To The Bone'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/536974748/536974749" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Bookstore Owner Sues California Over Law Regulating Autographed Items

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/533556252/533556265" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

'When Time Was New': 'Wonder Woman' Brings Sunlight To The DC Universe

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/531269060/531269061" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Michael Parks arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Tusk on Sept. 16, 2014, in Los Angeles. Richard Shotwell/Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Richard Shotwell/Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Michael Parks, TV And Movie Character Actor, Dies At 77

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/527890814/527895067" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Barmecide Feast, by Simon Birch and KplusK associates (which was co-founded by Paul Kember), recreates the bedroom from the final scene of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Courtesy of the 14th Factory hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the 14th Factory

LA's 14th Factory Offers A Warehouse Full Of Art And 'Otherworldly' Experiences

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/526724982/526779575" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Gas Station Cashier Remembers 1992 Los Angeles Riots

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/526005520/526012151" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Chef Jeremy Fox's inventive dish: double-chucked spring peas sprinkled with white chocolate and roasted macadamia nuts. It's served with a bit of pea broth poured on the side, "to retain the crunch." Each pea is shucked, blanched and squeezed to get the halves out. It's a labor preparation that he serves only on special occasions, like Valentine's day. Oriana Koren for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Oriana Koren for NPR

'Vegetable Whisperer' Chef Plants The Seeds Of His Own Reinvention

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/523743160/524569252" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Carl And Rob Reiner Leave Hand And Footprints In Concrete

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/523103238/523103239" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Getty Museum Acquires Collection Of Architect Frank Gehry

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/522284700/522284701" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Mr. Rotten's Songbook hosts every lyric from John Lydon's 40-plus year career in punk. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the artist

John Lydon On Anarchy, Politics And 'Mr. Rotten's Songbook'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/521816347/522151977" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Konner, pictured here in 2015, helped Lena Dunham create, write and produce her HBO series. Larry Busacca/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Meet Jenni Konner, The Off-Screen 'Grown-Up' Who Helped Make 'Girls'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/520824854/521414832" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript