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)
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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

Norm Macdonald speaks during a panel discussion of reality television talent show Last Comic Standing in 2015. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images hide caption

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Comedian Norm Macdonald Has Died At 61

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A scene from Francisco Negrin's production of Verdi's Il Trovatore, shown in a performance from the Opera de Monte Carlo. Alain Hanel/courtesy of LA Opera hide caption

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Faced With Deadline Drama, LA Opera Stages A Construction Sprint

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CinemaCon Managing Director Mitch Neuhauser speaks on stage at the 2021 event. David Becker/Getty Images for CinemaCon hide caption

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David Becker/Getty Images for CinemaCon

For Movie Theaters, A Pivotal Fall Season Begins at CinemaCon

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Time's Up CEO Tina Tchen — seen here at an event in July — has stepped down. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Care Can't Wait hide caption

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Time's Up CEO Resigns Over Cuomo Fallout

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Team USA topped the medals list at the Tokyo Games, narrowly edging China in golds. Here, track stars Sydney McLaughlin (left) and Dalilah Muhammad celebrate winning gold and silver respectively in the women's 400-meter hurdles in Tokyo. Andrej Isakovic /Pool / Getty Images hide caption

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Andrej Isakovic /Pool / Getty Images

Emilia Jones and Troy Kotsur in CODA Apple TV+ hide caption

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How Troy Kotsur Broke Barriers As A Deaf Actor, On Stage, On Screen And Now In 'CODA'

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Azerbaijan's Rafael Aghayev (L) competes against Hungary's Karoly Gabor Harspataki in the men's kumite -75kg semi-final of the karate competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Friday. Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images

Ancient Japanese Martial Art Karate Strikes For First Time At Tokyo Olympics

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The Olympic Debut Of Karate In Tokyo Is A Nod To Its 700-Year-Ago Origins

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Ryotaro Mori says he's been bus spotting for 30 years, since he was 12 years old. When he's not working as a commercial photographer, he snaps the buses using a camera with a long zoom lens. Mandalit del Barco/NPR hide caption

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For Tokyo's Bus Spotters, The Olympics Really Are All About The Journey

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Sakura Yosozumi of Japan competes in the women's park skateboarding finals at the Summer Olympics on Wednesday. She won gold and continued Japan's dominance in the new sport. Ben Curtis/AP hide caption

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Ben Curtis/AP

Olympics-Level Skateboarding Isn't All 13-Year-Old Sky Brown Can Do

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Pedestrians cross the landmark Shibuya Crossing intersection in the shopping and entertainment district of Shibuya in Tokyo on June 27, 2021. Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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The Japanese Public Begins To Embrace The Tokyo Olympics

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USA's Sylvia Fowles goes to the basket past Japan's Evelyn Mawuli (R) in the women's preliminary round between Japan and USA during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Friday. Gregory Shamus/POOL/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Gregory Shamus/POOL/AFP via Getty Images