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 (square - 2015)
Stories By

Mandalit del Barco

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Mandalit del Barco at NPR West in Culver City, California, September 25, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Allison Shelley/NPR

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.

Story Archive

Composers (clockwise from upper left): Antonio Sanchez, Germaine Franco, Camilo Lara, Lalo Schifrin, Maria Grever, Gustavo Santaolalla and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Mike Gallegos for NPR hide caption

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Without these Latino composers, Hollywood wouldn't sound the same

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Leslie Grace (left), Antonio Banderas, Lynda Carter, Xochitl Gomez, Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), El Santo and Xolo Maridueña have played or are in production to play superheroes. Mike Gallegos for NPR hide caption

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Latino superheroes are saving the day in Hollywood

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Carlos Villarías and Lupita Tovar starred in the 1931 Spanish language version of Dracula. Mike Gallegos for NPR hide caption

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Spanish 'Dracula' finds new blood, more than 90 years after its release

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John Leguizamo (left), Rita Moreno, Dolores del Rio, Katy Jurado, Edward James Olmos and Ariana DeBose (top) are Hollywood legends. Mike Gallegos for NPR hide caption

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Latino legends helped pave the way in Hollywood, but the road is still rocky

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A preview of some of the top contenders to walk away with an Emmy

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Cicely Tyson Mandalit del Barco/NPR News hide caption

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A new exhibit in LA explores the complicated history of Black Cinema

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Academy apologizes to Sacheen Littlefeather for mistreatment over 1973 Oscar protest

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Novelist Salman Rushdie is on a ventilator after being stabbed at a speaking event

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Singer and actress Olivia Newton-John has died at age 73

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Olivia Newton-John arrives for G'Day USA's Los Angeles Black Tie Gala January 27, 2018. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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1980s pop goddess Olivia Newton-John has died at age 73

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Nichelle Nichols, trailblazer known for playing Lt. Uhura on 'Star Trek,' dies

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Nichelle Nichols made history for her role as communications officer Lt. Uhura on Star Trek. CBS via Getty Images hide caption

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Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on 'Star Trek,' dies at 89

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