Don’t get fooled by Dulce Mora’s heavy-weight title as the News and Public Affairs Director for Radio Arte 90.5fm Chicago. The 26-year old is in charge of producing news segments every day for the public radio station. That means her important duties include researching and being up-to date with everything happening in the world, as well as being an on-air personality. You can catch this bad-ass (i.e. very knowledgeable) producer on any day of the week chatting it up about the latest news from around the world and our local hoods. CHIRemezcla took a closer look at the life of this very important lady and asked her to spill more about herself – who knew she had a never-ending Beatles obsession?
Roots: Born and semi-raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. 100% Jalisciense since both sides of the family are from Ocotlán and various pueblitos en los Altos de Jalisco.
Where do you live now? In Forest Park (a 20 minute EL ride from Chicago) which is full circle for me since this is where I initially moved to in March of ’88 when my mother and I first came to the US. I actually live about 10 blocks from my childhood home.
Where are you answering these questions from? I’m at my desk at work having lunch. As of yet I don’t have Internet at home. I keep meaning to set it up but I’m really frugal (cheap). Plus, it keeps me from being on-line 24/7.
Day job: I’m the News and Public Affairs Director at Radio Arte. I create 5-minute news segments in Spanish that air throughout our daytime programming. I’m also in charge of coordinating with staff, students, and volunteers as well as our national partners when we do special news coverage, for example the May Day March, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions and of course the Presidential Elections.
Where were you and what were you doing 5 years ago? I was a little farther west around Melrose Park and Maywood, working at warehouses and factories mainly through a temp agency getting paid minimum wage. I was also trying to learn German at the Goethe Institut.
Guilty pleasure(s): Sing-a-longs and karaoke. I’m that annoying girl behind you at a concert that knows every verse and isn’t afraid to bellow it out. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good voice but a decent sense of rhythm.
Recent musical discovery: I’m an Anglophile so pretty much anything and everything from the UK. Lately it’s been Lucky Soul and Friends of the Bride (both from London). I’m really digging the latest from Travis, Ode to J. Smith. On this side of the pond, as they say, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (Dap Tone Records in general) and Detroit’s The Singles. As for music in Spanish, I love Los Fancy Free and was pleasantly surprised with Ximena Sariñana.
Best recent meal: I’ve told everyone I know about an African restaurant I went to in Minneapolis called Safari. It has the most delicious food I’ve ever had (aside from my mother’s) and it was super affordable. The staff was too nice and at the end of the meal everyone got a banana. The funniest thing is the banana had a little sticker with Mickey Mouse, turns out Disney is in the produce business.
Movie that best represents your life: I can’t think of any right now but I’ve always though my family’s story would make a good “Mujer Casos de la Vida Real” episode; we’re not salacious enough for a telenovela yet.
Last book you read: Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration by Deepa Fernandes and Not like us : immigrants and minorities in America, 1890-1924 by Roger Daniels. Notice a trend?
Do you have any tattoos? No, and the only way I see myself getting one is if I’m in some faraway country as part of some backpacking trip around the world. A permanent tchotchke if you will.
How did you end up at Radio Arte? I started at Radio Arte as a student of its training program in 2004. I was 21 so barely made the cut-off age. After about 6 months I was offered the chance to produce a weekly local public affairs program called 905 Community. From there I produced Primera Voz-First Voice for about 1 year and a half. It’s our longest running almost-daily program (Monday -Thursday). In March I began my new position as News and Public Affairs Director.
Tells us about your your radio show La Caverna. It’s a show where I get to play Beatles music for an hour and share some of the the totally useless Beatle information and trivia I’ve accumulated over the years, in Spanish. The name comes from a club in Liverpool where they played over 200 times and where the whole Beatlemania phenomenon began. In keeping with Radio Arte’s themes of community, civic engagement and empowerment, I tie in stories about the activist work and social justice issues that they championed. It airs Fridays at 5pm.
What is it about the Beatles that you are so passionate about? I don’t know really. It started of like just another teen obsession and just progressed, I guess because as in the 60s the music evolved as the fans got older and matured. It could have been worse, like the Backstreet Boys or Ricky Martin.
Worst interview? I’m afraid it’d have to be Carlos Monsivais by a long shot. He didn’t like some of my questions and is apparently very temperamental as it is. He dismissed one of my questions and when I tried to press the point further he “harrumphed” and left us standing there. It reminded me of the elitism I encountered in Mexico.
Other projects with RA? I’ve only been in this position since March so there’s other things in the works, such as creating a Community Advisory Board. They would be people from the areas we serve that would meet a few times each year to review our work as well as give us suggestions for future projects.
What are you working on with 10 de Marzo? As an organization we’re currently working on challenging policies within the Chicago police and Cook County system that ultimately get people arrested for simple misdemeanors put on “immigration hold”, where ICE then has 48 hours to initiate a deportation process. Also, I’m really excited to see what actions we come up with to pressure the new president. Not only on immigration but on issues like the economy, the war, workers rights, health care and education, all of this in alliance with grassroots groups around the country that work on all these fronts.
Biggest challenges? Making time to do longer more in-depth documentaries. It sounds effortless and easy on the air but it usually means hours and hours of listening to the same 30 seconds of audio trying to get it just right. Sometimes its hard to stay motivated when you don’t have that immediate gratification.
Plans for the future? Finally going back to college. Most people think I haven’t gone because I’m a big anti-establishment person but that couldn’t be further from the truth, I’ve always loved going to school. Yes, I’m that big of a nerd. I’ll probably study Liberal Arts, because what I hated about college in Mexico is that its so restrictive. You choose a career and the rest of your courses are all planned out. I like that you have to take a math or a music course even if your major has nothing to do with these areas. I’m all about broading your scope, plus I think its necessary to have some knowledge about a variety of concepts, as it provides context for everything you do.
For more of Dulce’s work visit www.wrte.org