Rightnowish Lifelong Oakland resident Pendarvis Harshaw takes listeners on a brief but memorable trip to a Bay Area artist's home turf, speaking to them about their passions and inspirations, and linking their work to larger societal issues.



Lifelong Oakland resident Pendarvis Harshaw takes listeners on a brief but memorable trip to a Bay Area artist's home turf, speaking to them about their passions and inspirations, and linking their work to larger societal issues.

Most Recent Episodes

Filmmaker Maya Cueva Focuses on Reproductive Rights and Immigration

Maya Cueva makes documentary films that cover the heavy topics: immigration, reproductive justice and xenophobia. Her latest, On The Divide, follows the stories of three Latinx people whose lives interconnect through the last abortion clinic on the U.S./Mexico border. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2021, and is available to stream free of charge through July 18, 2022 at POV. Cueva says her journey into professional storytelling began after covering current events at Youth Radio (now YR Media) as a teen. While attending Ithaca College in New York, she began work on her first film, The Provider, which follows Dr. Shannon Carr as she performs abortions in Texas in the midst of a heated battle for reproductive rights. She's also made Ale Libre, which follows reproductive rights organizer and undocumented activist Alejandra Pablos in her fight against deportation, and Only the Moon/ Solamente La Luna, an animated film about her father's immigration experience to the U.S. from Peru.

Searching For A Kiki: The Next Generation of Black and Queer Bars

Nenna Joiner owns Feelmore, a queer-friendly sex toy shop with locations in Berkeley and Oakland. Noticing the lack of Black queer spaces beyond the monthly "RnB nights" at many local clubs, they decided to open the Feelmore Social Club in Downtown Oakland, a bar slated to open in 2022. "This energy that they feel in Feelmore is akin to the energy that they're going to feel here," Joiner assures, "We want to be open a long time." Joiner speaks about re-imagining the Black queer space, and the role of the Black queer dollar in the community. This series was produced and reported by Corey Antonio Rose. For more information, visit Rightnowish.

Searching for a Kiki: The World's First Transgender Cultural District

The rich LGBT history of the Tenderloin goes back farther than any bricks thrown at Stonewall, and Transgender Cultural District President and Chief Strategist Aria Sa'id makes it her job to preserve that history. Her work in securing tenant protections, workforce development, arts and cultural heritage preservation, and cultural competency for the residents of the historic Tenderloin neighborhood has taken the idea of 'safe space' beyond the bars and into our daily lives. Sa'id speaks with us about what makes a space 'safe,' and the effect that empowering the most vulnerable within a community has on the rest of us. This series was produced and reported by Corey Antonio Rose. For more information, visit Rightnowish.

Searching for a Kiki: SF's First Black-Owned Gay Bar

When Rodney Barnette first moved to San Francisco in 1969, he noticed that "it wasn't all rah rah gay capital of the world." His experiences with racism in San Francisco's historic gay community led him to open the New Eagle Creek Saloon, the city's first Black-owned gay bar, in 1990. Over 30 years later, Barnette speaks about why Black-affirming queer spaces are still needed, and what he took away from his experience operating one. This series was produced and reported by Corey Antonio Rose. For more information, visit Rightnowish.

On Friendships and Basketball Shorts: Adult ISH x Rightnowish

Friendships can be hard for anyone. As an adult you need to navigate staying in contact with old friends, getting past the awkward early stage of new friends, and deciding if certain friendships are healthy or unhealthy. This doesn't even touch on time constraints, and the difficulty of hangs since the beginning of the pandemic. But maybe we make friendships harder than they have to be? This week on Rightnowish, we're making new friends! This is a special crossover episode with YR Media's Adult ISH podcast. After spending a day riding around with Adult ISH host Nyge Turner's hometown of Richmond, we jump into a conversation about how some friendships are as old as our collection of basketball shorts, while new friendships are hidden behind different social barriers of adulthood. We hope you enjoy, friend.

'Love me Before the City Disappears' from The Bay Podcast

I met Mu'min years ago through creative Bay Area circles, now I count her as a friend, and she's flourished in her craft. From her film, Jinn, winning the SXSW Special Jury Recognition Award for Writing to writing for acclaimed shows, Queen Sugar, the Blindspotting series, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, and Insecure. But way before all of that, Nijla attended UC Berkeley, where her experiences in June Jordan's Poetry for the People Program left an indelible mark. She still writes poetry to this day. In late April Mu'min shared some of her work with the Bay Podcast's Maria Esquinca in celebration of National Poetry Month. This week we're sharing that episode with you.

Raw Material: 'Visions of Black Futurity'

Babette Thomas is searching for artistic Black utopias. Thomas is the host of the latest season of SFMOMA's Raw Material podcast. In their series, "Visions of Black Futurity," they look at representation, identity and different historical through-lines in Black Art. Woven into the podcast is the story of curator Evangeline "EJ" Montgomery, a major player in the Black Arts scene. And EJ began her storied career in the 60s, right here in California, creating influential exhibits in the East Bay. This week on Rightnowish, we're featuring an episode that also dives into the stories of the famed Sci-Fi author Octavia Butler, landscape painter Richard Mayhew, and local visual artist Sydney Cain aka Sage Stargate (who has also been featured on Rightnowish). Throughout, Thomas hones in on the question, "Where will we host our Black art spaces of the future?" Listen to the full series on the "Raw Material" page.

The Mission's Mother and Son Painting Duo

Mission District-based muralist Josué Rojas and his mother, Esther García are a dynamic duo. Josué has painted murals across San Francisco and beyond, often using images that celebrate culture and community. Esther picked up painting during the pandemic, but she's been leaving her mark on the neighborhood for decades. As she sold small goods on the street, Esther built a reputation for her sage-like presence around the way. Josué remembers times when she'd be asked to pray over people, and she'd kindly oblige. Her presence is so strong that she got in good with local artists collectives, like the Chulita Vinyl Club. And the artist JR incorporated Esther's image into The Chronicles of San Francisco, a gigantic mural that was in the main entrance to the San Francisco Musuem of Modern Art. Although Esther didn't understand Josué's art career at first, she watched Josue's journey as he earned a Masters of Fine Arts from Boston University, served as the executive director of Acción Latina and became a well-respected muralists on the streets of his hometown. Now, at 75, Esther has been learning how to paint under the tutelage of one very demanding teacher: her son. And she tells me that she doesn't like what they paint-- she loves it.

High Schoolers Rock the Mic


We All Come From Water: Poetry from the Edge

Terisa's poetry emerges from climate change and its impact on marginalized communities. She also writes poems from the perspective of her hyphenated identity: raised in San Francisco with deep Samoan roots. In our conversation, Terisa looks back at January's underwater eruption that caused massive tsunamis in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and other nations in Oceania. Initially, the disaster made headlines and relief efforts filled social media feeds, but Terisa questions what sustained care looks like for those impacted by a changing global climate. After speaking on this topic at venues across the country and around the world, even addressing members of the United Nations, Terisa Siagatonu discusses climate justice and how she "languages" her experience.