KALW's Sights & Sounds project aims to shine a light on creators in Bay Area communities that are often mis- or under-represented in the media. Through community events featuring dance, music, storytelling, and visual art – as well as multimedia presentations based on reporting from KALW’s newsmagazine Crosscurrents and community partners like Oakland Voices, East Oakland Youth Development Center and RYSE Center – we celebrate grassroots creativity and build new connections within and beyond these communities. By highlighting a diverse array of artists from around the Bay through our arts recommendation show Sights & Sounds Weekly, we broaden the reach and amplify the voices of those who need to be heard.

In partnership with many local community organizations, KALW has produced and presented several Sights & Sounds LIVE! events in San Francisco and the East Bay over the past few years. For the 2018 – 2019 season, Sights & Sounds LIVE! will be principally focused in East Oakland, forging partnerships with local community organizations to bring attention to the arts and culture of the distinct neighborhoods between Lake Merritt & San Leandro.

Sights & Sounds LIVE! is made possible by the generous support of the California Arts Council.


Jen Chien

Jen is the executive producer of KALW's Sights & Sounds and managing editor of KALW News. She's done work for NPR's All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, The Stoop podcast, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she has had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.


Ryan nicole austin

Ryan is live events manager for Sights & Sounds. She has served her community as an organizer and activist for nearly 2 decades. She holds the distinction of becoming one of the youngest non-profit executive directors in the Bay Area, where she received a 2-year fellowship in a prestigious leadership master’s level cohort called LeaderSpring. Currently, she supports various community organizations and initiatives as a business consultant, providing counsel in capacity building, fundraising, marketing/branding and program development. She's also a gifted and active artist, actress, and athlete. In her own words, quadruple threat RyanNicole “utilizes every gift available to her for the liberation of black folks.”

Jenee PEERS Pix.jpg

jeneé darden

Jeneé is engagement manager for Hey Area: East Oakland, a branch of Sights & Sounds of East Oakland. She is an award-winning journalist, public speaker, mental health advocate and proud Oakland native. She has reported for NPR, Time, Ebony, The LA Times, KQED, KALW and other outlets. Jenee covers issues related to women, race and wellness on her website and podcast Cocoa Fly and she was the host of the award-winning podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio. The daughter of former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden, Jeneé holds a BA in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. Jeneé lives in the Bay Area where she enjoys dancing, performing spoken word and watching superhero movies.


Jackie Sojico

Jackie is producer and engineer of Sights & Sounds Weekly, KALW's broadcast/podcast guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. She's a radio producer, audio engineer, and sometimes illustrator, and she produces and hosts New Heads For New People, a podcast about how people relate to science.