The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. The episodes tell deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse producers The Kitchen Sisters (Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, Fugitive Waves and coming soon… The Keepers). "The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast" —Ira Glass. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced in collaboration with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell and mixed by Jim McKee. A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 90 colleges have merged or closed permanently. One of these schools, Lincoln College, closed its doors with only about one month’s notice in May of 2022 — after 157 years. Due to the pandemic and a ransomware attack, administrators say the school was unable to retain, recruit, or fundraise. Since then, students have been left scrambling and many have dropped out.
Alan Jinich and Max Strickberger, recent graduates of the University of Pennsylvania and producers of the Generation Pandemic Project about the impact of Covid on young people around the country, set out to follow this story last year.
Lincoln College was a small private college in central Illinois — the only school named after Abraham Lincoln in his lifetime. But instead of attracting local students, the school drew many from three hours north: Chicago’s south and west sides. More than 40% were first generation college students and, even though the town is 95% white, the university was a Predominantly Black Institution. Students, alumni, and faculty described the community as deeply close-knit and, for many, a “second chance.” For some, it was also a refuge from gun violence.
After the sudden closure announcement, dozens of students confronted President David Gerlach expressing grief, frustration, and concern over what might happen to those who didn’t have a safe home to return to. It was the start of a fundraising predicament that drove a wedge between students’ grassroots efforts and administrators. How much money is enough to stay open? What’s at stake for Lincoln’s brittle economy? We follow voices from across the community — professors, administrators, locals, students dispersed across the Midwest, and a member of Lincoln’s last graduating class. More than a year after closing, many continue to reel. The campus is still up for sale, but a new vision for Lincoln may soon be on the horizon.
Produced by Alan Jinich and Max Strickberger with soundtracks by Reed Rosenbluth and support from the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation. A special thank you to Pati and Danny Jinich for their endless support (and SUV), Deborah and Adam Strickberger for their lifelong role modeling, and for all those who helped along the way: Ron Keller, Tim Rivera, Ms. Linda, Aundrae Williams, Jaylah Bolden, Spencer Davis, David Gerlach, Scott Raper, Seth Goodman, Aaron Butler, David Upchurch, Julia Figueroa, Klaudia Blaszcyk, Dougie Barron, and the Rose family. Thanks also to Nikki Silva and The Kitchen Sisters (and The Kitchen Sisters thank these young producers!)
The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. We’re part of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network of some of the best podcasts out there.
Visit kitchensisters.org for more stories and info about upcoming events — like our annual Bowling with Grace Party and fundraiser at Mission Bowling Club, San Francisco, October 28, 2023, with celebrity guest bowlers Boz Scaggs, Alice Waters, Samin Nostrat, Roman Mars, Roman Coppola, Wendy MacNaughton, Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway, KQED’s Alexis Madrigal, Ear Hustle’s Nigel Poor & Earlonne Woods, Rebecca Solnit… and so many more.