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.
The famous — even infamous — producer, known for his "wall of sound," died Saturday. He produced records for The Ronettes, Ike and Tina Turner as well as The Beatles, among many others.
Kasell brought unflappable authority to the news, but he also had a lively sense of humor, revealed late in his career when he became the judge and scorekeeper for Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
The film academy's 54-member board of governors, including Oscar-winning actors Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Hanks, voted to strip the legendary producer of his membership.
Most Americans say public libraries are important to the community — but eight states don't actually support them. Texas has cut budgets drastically; in Vermont, local librarians must go hand in hand to town meetings every year. Neda Ulaby reports on the landscape of library funding across the U.S.
Internet memes used to stick around for months on end (remember "Charlie Bit My Finger"?). But in 2012, the shelf-life of an Internet sensation became increasingly fleeting. Funny videos and games are now enjoying only brief moments in the cultural spotlight before they're forgotten.