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Three Questions with Marisa Charpentier

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JULIA REIHS / KUT
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Digital producer Marisa Charpentier.

You may not hear her voice on the air, but if you’ve visited our website, you’ve likely seen some of Digital Producer Marisa Charpentier’s work.

Marisa, who joined KUT in January, writes breaking news posts for KUT.org, as well as longer feature stories, such as this story about COVID-19 testing. She also produces online resources, like maps and timelines, to help readers understand the issues KUT is reporting on. Additionally, she helps edit web stories from other reporters and post stories on our social media channels.

She works Sunday through Thursday evenings to ensure we have news staff available to cover breaking news.

Marisa graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and Plan II Honors in 2018. Before joining KUT, she worked as a reporter for Community Impact Newspaper, covering the Central Texas communities of Cedar Park and Leander. She grew up in Flower Mound, Texas.

Connect with Marisa on Twitter @MarisaCharp

What are you listening to these days?
Lately, I’ve been listening to this “New York Times” podcast called “Sugar Calling.” The author Cheryl Strayed calls famous writers over the age of 60 to discuss life during the pandemic. It’s been interesting to hear some of the authors I grew up with, like Judy Blume, share wisdom and talk about how they’re getting along in these uncertain times. 

Music-wise, I’ve been turning to folk and country a lot recently — Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, John Prine, Joni Mitchell. But in terms of more recent artists, I’ve been listening to the Black Pumas, Phoebe Bridgers’ new album and Car Seat Headrest. There’s this one Car Seat Headrest song “Bodys” that’s been sort of my pandemic anthem. It came out several years ago but feels like it was written for this moment, like this verse: “Don't you realize our bodies could fall apart any second?”

Read anything interesting lately?
I recently read Nikole Hannah-Jones’ New York Times Magazine essay What is Owed,” which makes a case for reparations. Amid protests over police killings and racial injustice, she takes a comprehensive look at violence and government policies throughout history that have prevented Black Americans from building wealth. It’s very informative, and I’d definitely recommend to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

I’m also reading the book “Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest” by Hanif Abdurraqib. It’s sort of part memoir, part love letter. I first encountered Abdurraqib when he wrote this beautiful essay about one of my favorite songs. He writes about memory and music in a really lovely and compelling way.

What are you loving about the ATX lately?
I don’t stray much from home these days, except to go on walks and for trips to the store. But I do love walking around my neighborhood. I recently moved to Hyde Park, so there are a lot of old houses (and random farm animals), historic buildings and big trees. My favorite place in Austin is Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery, so I walk there for a to-go coffee or snack every so often, a little reminder of normalcy.

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