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Doby Photography/NPR
Doby Photography/NPR

Neda Ulaby

Reporter, Arts Desk

Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR's Arts Desk.

Scouring the various and often overlapping worlds of art, music, television, film, new media and literature, Ulaby's radio and online stories reflect political and economic realities, cultural issues, obsessions and transitions, as well as artistic adventurousness— and awesomeness.

Over the last few years, Ulaby has strengthened NPR's television coverage both in terms of programming and industry coverage and profiled breakout artists such as Ellen Page and Skylar Grey and behind-the-scenes tastemakers ranging from super producer Timbaland to James Schamus, CEO of Focus Features. Her stories have included a series on women record producers, an investigation into exhibitions of plastinated human bodies, and a look at the legacy of gay activist Harvey Milk. Her profiles have brought listeners into the worlds of such performers as Tyler Perry, Ryan Seacrest, Mark Ruffalo, and Courtney Love.

Ulaby has earned multiple fellowships at the Getty Arts Journalism Program at USC Annenberg as well as a fellowship at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism to study youth culture. In addition, Ulaby's weekly podcast of NPR's best arts stories. Culturetopia, won a Gracie award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.

Joining NPR in 2000, Ulaby was recruited through NPR's Next Generation Radio, and landed a temporary position on the cultural desk as an editorial assistant. She started reporting regularly, augmenting her work with arts coverage for D.C.'s Washington City Paper.

Before coming to NPR, Ulaby worked as managing editor of Chicago's Windy City Times and co-hosted a local radio program, What's Coming Out at the Movies. Her film reviews and academic articles have been published across the country and internationally. For a time, she edited fiction for The Chicago Review and served on the editing staff of the leading academic journal Critical Inquiry. Ulaby taught classes in the humanities at the University of Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University and at high schools serving at-risk students.

A former doctoral student in English literature, Ulaby worked as an intern for the features desk of the Topeka Capital-Journal after graduating from Bryn Mawr College. She was born in Amman, Jordan, and grew up in the idyllic Midwestern college towns of Lawrence, Kansas and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Mattel's Michelle Chidoni says there wasn't any trepidation over casting a boy in a recent Barbie ad. "Barbie is a brand that's all about imagination and storytelling, whether you're a boy or a girl," she says. Moschino via YouTube hide caption

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Mimi Cheng's Dumplings, a restaurant in New York City, has a November special: Thanksgiving dumplings filled with turkey, stuffing and gravy and served with cranberry sauce. Courtesy of Mimi Cheng's hide caption

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First-time Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven tells the story of five sisters from a contemporary Turkish village in Mustang. (From left) Tugba Sunguroglu, Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Elit Iscan, Ilayda Akdogan and Güneş Şensoy. Cohen Media Group hide caption

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George Takei and Lea Salonga in a scene from the musical Allegiance. Matt Murphy hide caption

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George Takei Debuts On Broadway In 'Allegiance'

Inspired by Takei's own childhood experiences, the musical spotlights a dark era in American history: The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

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The Assassin isn't just a change of form for its director, Hou Hsiao-Hsien; it also puts a twist on the classic story of the roaming swordsman — or swordswoman — in medieval China. Courtesy of Well Go USA hide caption

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In the new Deaf West production of Spring Awakening, the deaf lead actors have doubles in the background who speak and sing for them, and everyone signs. Joan Marcus hide caption

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Former New York Times restaurant critic and Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl speaks in New York City in 2013. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The New York Times hide caption

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Camille Brown performs a solo from Black Girl: Linguistic Play at a 2015 TED talk. Ryan Lash/TED hide caption

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After Superstorm Sandy, Saucedo used aid materials from the Red Cross to create Red Cross Blanket (Family Portrait as Water). Courtesy of Christopher Saucedo and LeMieux Gallery, New Orleans hide caption

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