By Michelle DiMuzio, Communications Coordinator
Lissa Johnson and Nina Rosenberg, Board Members of Slow Food Santa Fe, never expected to become radio hosts, but when a spot opened up at their local radio station, they decided to give it a try. “It took a couple months to think through what direction we wanted to go in and who we wanted to talk to,” Lissa shared. “Ultimately, it was a great opportunity to engage more with our local community.”
“It was mutually beneficial from the start because we were able to talk to people advancing Slow Food principles, while also uplifting voices of people doing great things in the food community,” Nina explained.
The show, Slow Food Santa Fe Out Loud, has been on air since early 2021, featuring 15 guests spanning from food justice organizers like Denisa Livingston to policy official Kendal Chavez to Indigenous chefs such as Ray Naranjo. The show emulates aspects of oral storytelling and cultural exchange, areas of communication Slow Food USA has been focusing on. Lissa described her own experience as a participant in this exchange. “It is really powerful to hear people’s stories, and it is meaningful to get to hear from people you normally wouldn’t; hearing their voices with some spontaneity is different from written word.” Nina also discussed the impact the show has had on engagement. “You get to reach different audiences and have more of a conversation.”
The cultural exchange Nina and Lissa have been engaging in through the radio show has been an ongoing process. While they emphasized the vibrant food community in Santa Fe, it was clear their intentionality around the process was equally important. “It’s really been about building relationships and staying in contact with people; it’s an investment in time, but it’s really worth it,” Lissa shared. “We make an effort to work closely with the Indigenous communities, and it involves a lot of learning back and forth to increase understanding. We engage in their community events and invite them to ours; you meet one person and then learn about other people involved and other aspects of programs and organizations. It’s also important to be conscious about offering something — not just taking — and really making it a partnership.”
Slow Food Santa Fe Out Loud has also provided a means of connection within the multi-faceted local community. “Slow Food Santa Fe is part of a larger ecosystem of organizations; for each of us to do our own thing in isolation is so much less impactful and interesting than if we are part of a larger community,” Nina explained. “We already have organizations working on things like school gardens and cooking education, so one of the roles we see Slow Food Santa Fe playing is bringing organizations together to help with communication and education. The radio show is a great vehicle to promote that.”
Nina and Lissa are inspired to continue hosting guest speakers throughout the Santa Fe community and even hope to expand throughout the state and southwestern region. “The people we talk to are so passionate about what they are doing and we want to promote these people,” Lissa stated. Nina also reflected on the show and what it has meant for her personally. “It has been very hopeful, especially given the world we currently live in.”
Learn more about Slow Food Santa Fe here.
Interested in learning more about cultural exchange? Over the next few months, the Slow Food USA team will be developing resources and guides; if you would like to join the conversation, email us at email@example.com
Photos courtesy of Slow Food Santa Fe