Platform Americas

  • Hosted by Ray Rinaldi and Elaine Appleton Grant

Platform Americas explores the issues, people, culture and art of the Americas. Hosts Ray Rinaldi and Elaine Grant guide this collaboration between the nonprofit Platform Americas and KUNC public radio.  Shows will appear monthly, ahead of the Biennial of the Americas, a week-long festival of ideas, arts and culture that will take place in Denver from Sept. 12-16, 2017.

Courtesy Sarukhan and Associates

On this episode of Platform Americas: a conversation with Arturo Sarukhan, a former ambassador to the U.S. from Mexico. He warns that the U.S. neglects its souring relationship with Mexico at the peril of both countries. Then we chat with Tijuana-born, punk-turned-pop singer Ceci Bastida in her L.A. studio. 

Courtesy of The Flobots

Jamie Laurie, better known as Jonny 5, of the Flobots, and Isaac Slade of the Fray both use their music for social activism. The two visited with Platform Americas host Elaine Appleton Grant backstage at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

U.S Department of Agriculture

Tom Vilsack leads water and food initiatives at Colorado State University. He's also the former agriculture secretary, former governor of Iowa, and a champion of rural America. His new organization, New Democracy, intends to create a bigger, more inclusive Democratic party - one he says will appeal to rural Americans who feel neglected by the current Democratic message.

Platform Americas: Brazil, New and Old

Sep 4, 2017
Courtesy Americas Quarterly/Calé Merage

Brazil new and old: We examine the lives of teens, like Sabrina, in Brazil, who have high expectations for their futures. Then we take a peek at the hidden, magical world of the penitents, a Christian sect that spun off from Catholicism several centuries ago. There are penitents in Brazil, Colorado and New Mexico. And we bring you a song from singer/songwriter Michele Castro, who moved to Denver from a favela in Rio de Janeiro two years ago, now sells out her shows regularly on Colorado's Front Range.

Eric Rothaus / Platform Americas

James Beard award-winning food writer Adrian Miller (“Soul Food: The Surprising Story of An American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time" and "The President’s Kitchen Cabinet,”) joins artist and Latinos Who Lunch podcast host Justin Favela and Platform Americas host Elaine Appleton Grant for a surprising meal in the Platform Americas studios. Through fried catfish, mojarra frita, a “red drink,” and agua de Jamaica, they explore the common roots of soul food and Mexican food -- and have a grand old time.

Platform Americas: Filmmaker Denise Soler Cox; Artist Dmitri Obergfell

May 19, 2017
Andrea Flanagan

Episode 2 of Platform Americas is all about the immigrant experience and identity. Filmmaker Denise Soler Cox talks about the unique identity of the “ñ,” American-born children of at least one parent from a Spanish-speaking country. Then we visit Dmitri Obergfell, a multimedia artist exploring his roots -- and his tenuous relationship with his estranged Mexican father -- through a unique, layered exhibition at the Denver Art Museum.

Mexican-American artist Ana Teresa Fernández. The ocean and sky play significant roles in her work exploring the boundaries between Mexico and America.
Travis Jensen / Courtesy of the artist

Platform Americas explores the artistic, cultural, business, and political connections — and disconnections — between the Americas.

In Episode 1, Mexican-American artist Ana Teresa Fernández talks about borders, gender, identity, and her superwoman outfit (note: stiletto heels). Colombian Amb. Juan Carlos Pinzón is on a mission to tell a new story about his country, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper talks trade and reawakens his entrepreneurial roots on a visit to Cuba.