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KQED Launches Rightnowish Podcast with Pendarvis Harshaw

PRESS RELEASE — November 6, 2019

What can you learn about the past, present, and future of a place through art? ​Rightnowish a​ims to answer this question by talking with artists, creators and culture keepers.

Rightnowish​ digs into life in the San Francisco Bay Area right now… ish. Journalist Pendarvis Harshaw takes us to galleries painted on the sides of liquor stores in West Oakland. We’ll dance in warehouses in the Bayview, make smoothies with kids in South Berkeley, and listen to classical music in a 1984 Cutlass Supreme in Richmond. Every week, Pen talks to movers and shakers who remind us that creativity lives not just in museums and theaters, but on street corners, in classrooms, and during civic protest.

“Rightnowish is all about highlighting the now, taking a look at the past and being informed about what’s coming next” says Pen. “All through having casual conversations with Bay Area folks about their lives. In many ways, it’s about capturing the ​zeitgeist​ of the moment — without having to say ‘​zeitgeist​,’ because who says that in a casual conversation?”

A teacher and journalist, Pen’s been covering arts and culture in his hometown of Oakland for 15 years, bringing his gift for storytelling to the forefront with projects like ​OG Told Me,​ a coming of age memoir, his new podcast ​Rightnowish​ and his weekly column on ​KQED​ where he offers a singular perspective on how local communities respond to change with resilience. His distinct ability to find joy in an experience by shifting the narrative from something tragic or painful, to something the community can reclaim is evident in his reporting. ​Audience members and fans talk about Pen as as a ‘culture keeper’ and griot — ​the traveling poets, singers and storytellers of West Africa known for ​keeping h​istory alive and circulating news.

At its core, Rightnowish is for people who are experiencing monumental change in their cities and towns because of gentrification, displacement, changing demographics. People are looking for solutions and Rightnowish​ reminds us that communities can heal and survive through storytelling, shared histories and the simple act of saying hello to your neighbors.

Explore the past, present and future of Bay Area arts every Friday with Rightnowish. Subscribe for free on ​Apple Podcasts​, ​NPR One,​ ​Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Or visit:

About the Team

Pendarvis Harshaw is a journalist from Oakland, California. He’s a graduate of Howard University’s School of Communications and UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. He is the director of the documentary film, TDK: The Dream Kontinues. And the author of OG Told Me, a coming of age memoir about Harshaw’s upbringing in Oakland. He currently works as a columnist for KQED Arts and the host of ​Rightnowish.​ @OGpenn

Ashleyanne Krigbaum is the producer of Rightnowish. Ashleyanne has created podcasts for Salon and Noise Pop and radio programs for KALW. She still writes and sound designs audio tours for art museums around the country, including: SFMOMA, MCA Chicago, and MoMA. You can also find her spinning records at clubs around the Bay Area. ​@wambamash

Jessica Placzek makes podcasts shine. At KQED she edits Rightnowish and produces Bay Curious. She also edits Uncuffed, a show made by men incarcerated in California State Prisons. In 2017, she co-hosted and produced a podcast for SFMOMA. She’s a podcast consultant, teaches podcast workshops, and is newly obsessed with plants.​ ​@jessicazyp

About KQED

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

This is a press release which we link to from our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions. Press releases can be sent to




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