KQED Arts and Culture StaffKQED Arts and Culture Staff

KQED Arts and Culture desk brings daily, in-depth cultural commentary and coverage of the Bay Area with a mission to enrich lives and inspire participation.

Cecilia Phillips

Associate Broadcast and Digital Video Producer

Cecilia Phillips is a Broadcast Video Producer for Check, Please! Bay Area and works as a Digital Video Producer for KQED Food. She has been a part of the Bay Area food scene in many roles, including working under several celebrity chefs, and as a food tour guide for many years in San Francisco. She received her B.A. in Communications with concentrations in Broadcast and Video Journalism from Humboldt State University and loves learning about the newest and hottest restaurants in the Bay. Recommend your favorite spots to her on Instagram. 

Gabe Meline

Senior Editor

Gabe Meline is KQED Arts' Senior Editor. He entered journalism at age 15 making photocopied zines, and has since earned awards from the Edward R. Murrow Awards, the Society for Professional Journalists, the Online Journalism Awards, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Prior to KQED, he was the editor of the North Bay Bohemian and a touring musician. He lives with his wife, his daughter, and a 1964 Volvo in his hometown of Santa Rosa, CA.

Kelly Whalen

Senior Video Producer

Kelly Whalen is a multimedia producer for KQED Arts.

Lina Blanco

Digital Manager of Engagement

Lina is the Digital Engagement Manager for KQED Arts & Culture, supporting engagement and community impact efforts on the weekly'Rightnowish' podcast, twice Webby-winning 'If Cities Could Dance' episodic travelogue, daily Arts & Culture reporting, and KQED's bilingual news hub, KQED en Español. She also co-developed community impact work for KQED's documentary 'Dear Homeland.'

Lori Halloran

KQED Contributor

Lori Halloran is a Producer for Check, Please! Bay Area and Taste This. Her work in arts, entertainment, and current affairs programming for KQED has garnered five Emmys from the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences and multiple honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the NorCal RTNDA, the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, and the Los Angeles Press Club.

Luke Tsai

Food Editor

Luke Tsai is KQED's food editor and resident stinky tofu connoisseur. Prior to KQED, he was an editor at Eater SF, San Francisco magazine, and the East Bay Express, and his work has also appeared in TASTE, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Best Food Writing anthology.  When he isn't writing or editing, you'll find him eating most everything he can get his hands on.

Marisol Medina-Cadena

Producer, Rightnowish Podcast

Marisol Medina-Cadena is a radio reporter and podcast producer. Before working at KQED, she produced for PBS member station, KCET, in Los Angeles. In 2017,  Marisol won an Emmy Award for her work on the televised documentary, City Rising, examining California's affordable housing crisis and the historical roots of gentrification.

Masha Pershay

Associate Video Producer

Masha Pershay is an associate video producer for KQED Arts. Masha got her start in media production in 2009, when she joined college station KUSF as a radio host. She holds a B.A. in Broadcasting and Electronic Communication Arts from San Francisco State University and a certificate in sound recording from City College of San Francisco. In her spare time, she's an avid record collector and a DJ in San Francisco's Italo disco DJ collective Galaxy Radio.

Maya Wise

Associate Video & Engagement Producer

Maya is an associate video producer for KQED Food and leads digital engagement for Check, Please! Bay Area. She also produces Bay Area documentary films with a focus on human rights, identity and belonging. In her previous career as a health communications specialist, she led multimedia advocacy campaigns and developed strategies to help patients navigate the healthcare system.

Nastia Voynovskaya

Associate Editor

Nastia Voynovskaya is a Russian-born journalist raised in the Bay Area and Tampa, Florida. She's the associate editor at KQED Arts & Culture. Her work has been published in NPR Music, the San Francisco Chronicle, VICE, Paste Magazine, Bandcamp and SF MoMA Open Space. Previously, she served as music editor at East Bay Express and online editor at Hi-Fructose Magazine. She holds a B.A. in comparative literature from UC Berkeley.

Pendarvis Harshaw

Columnist and Host, Rightnowish

Pendarvis Harshaw is the host of Rightnowish on KQED-FM, a columnist at KQED Arts, and the author of OG Told Me, a memoir about growing up in Oakland.

Rae Alexandra

Staff Writer

Rae Alexandra is Staff Writer for KQED Arts & Culture, and the creator/author of the Rebel Girls From Bay Area History and Bizarre Bay Area series. Born and raised in Wales, she started her career as a music journalist, writing for Kerrang!, SF Weekly and the Village Voice, among many others. She lives in San Francisco.

Samuel Getachew

KQED Contributor

Samuel Getachew is an 18 year old poet and writer from Oakland, California. He is the 2019 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate, a 2020 Finalist for National Youth Poet Laureate, and a 4-time YoungArts Winner. His writing has been published in Teen Vogue, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and more. He will attend Yale University in the fall of 2021.

Sarah Hotchkiss

Senior Associate Editor

Sarah Hotchkiss is a San Francisco-based artist and arts writer. She co-runs the project space Premiere Jr., a 6-by-12-foot billboard in the Inner Sunset. In 2019, she received the Dorothea & Leo Rabkin Foundation grant for visual art journalism. She watches a lot of science fiction, which she reviews in a semi-regular publication called Sci-Fi Sundays.

Sarah Pineda

Engagement Producer

Sarah Pineda is a community engagement journalist working on building trust, deepening relationships and uplifting the work of community members for public media newsrooms. Before KQED, her engagement work contributions with Los Angeles' NPR-member station KPCC-LAist, was awarded ONA's 2019 Gather Award in Engaged Journalism.