Neda_Ulaby i
Doby Photography/NPR
Neda_Ulaby
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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Lupita Nyong'o says it was "a very discombobulating thing," to go from obscurity to the Academy Awards. Alex Lubomirski/Lancôme hide caption

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After Very Visible Roles, Lupita Nyong'o Looks To Disappear Into Character
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Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley star in the film adaptation of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, a book that's been celebrated for its depiction of positive consent. James Bridges/20th Century Fox/AP Photo hide caption

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When Talking About Sexual Consent, YA Books Can Be A Parent's Best Friend
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Rare Tape Of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-Point Game To Be Archived
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Actors onstage during a performance of Fallujah. The Long Beach Opera production is based on the combat experiences of a U.S. Marine in Iraq, and was co-written with an Iraqi-American. Keith Ian Polakoff/Long Beach Opera hide caption

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An Iraq War Opera Finds A Vein Of Empathy
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Michelle Obama Promotes All-Star Song 'This Is For My Girls' At SXSW
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Actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell plays Rosalee, a housemaid who runs for freedom in the new WGN show Underground. She says the drama unfolds like a spy thriller. Sony Pictures Television hide caption

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New TV Drama Recounts Heroic Escapes On The Underground Railroad
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Louis Armstrong and Barbra Streisand have a laugh on the set of Hello, Dolly! The 1969 musical comedy won an Oscar for its score, co-composed by Lionel Newman. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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What Musical Family Has The Oscars On Lock? Hello, Newmans.
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As legend has it, women's film careers are "cursed" by winning the best supporting actress Academy Award. (From left) winners Marisa Tomei in 1993, Jennifer Hudson in 2007 and Mira Sorvino in 1996. Barry King/Liaison/Getty Images; Dan MacMedan/WireImage/Getty Images; Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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What's Behind The Best Supporting Actress Curse? Plain, Old, Unmagical Sexism
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The Weeknd —€” known for his falsetto range —€” performs in Las Vegas earlier this year. Bryan Steffy/Getty Images hide caption

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Why Are There So Many Tough Guys Who Sound Like Ladies On The Radio?
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Diane Warren co-wrote the song "Til It Happens to You" with Lady Gaga. It has been nominated for a Grammy and an Oscar for Best Song. Emily Shur/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Diane Warren On 'Til It Happens To You,' A Modern Anthem For A Hard Truth
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Guillermo & Joaquin, 2013. Catherine Opie/Courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles hide caption

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'I Do Like To Stare': Catherine Opie On Her Portraits Of Modern America
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Comedian and actress Grace Helbig is a star on YouTube. "Having an audience that listens to and resonates with your creative ideas is invaluable," she says. Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP hide caption

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How Do You Measure Passion? Figuring The Value Of Social Media Followers
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2016 Pritzker Prize Goes To Chilean Architect Alejandro Aravena
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Amanda Saab cracked jokes, showed her creative side and even cooked bacon (which she didn't eat) during her time as a contestant on MasterChef. Greg Gayne/FOX hide caption

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In 2015, TV Broke Ground By Showing Relatable Women In Hijab
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