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Portraits in Color

Arts & Culture Podcasts

A unique look at race in America through the stories of artists, entrepreneurs, educators and culture creators. The series takes a provocative look at what it's really like to survive and thrive in a society that has been built without people of color in mind. Dr. Frank Mirabal’s experience as an artist, academic, political appointee, and cultural critic brings a unique aesthetic to the conversation.


United States


A unique look at race in America through the stories of artists, entrepreneurs, educators and culture creators. The series takes a provocative look at what it's really like to survive and thrive in a society that has been built without people of color in mind. Dr. Frank Mirabal’s experience as an artist, academic, political appointee, and cultural critic brings a unique aesthetic to the conversation.






Breaking Glass Ceilings: Latina Women and Their Leadership Journeys

Dr. Frank recently had the opportunity to talk with three Latina leaders working in the Albuquerque area about their leadership journeys. Marisa Magallanez, Roberta Ricci , and Meriah Heredia Griego faced significant challenges and showed great resiliency in the face of racial and gender discrimination that has kept the doors of opportunity closed to many women, particularly women of color. Learn about their stories and their commitment to opening doors for other women of color.


Soul Divine Uncovered

Soul Divine has been a staple of the Albuquerque music scene since 1997. In this episode, Dr. Frank and the members of Soul Divine share their history from the early days forming the group to opening up for the legendary James Brown. They also discuss their upcoming show "Uncovered", where they will be sharing their catalog of original music with their long-time supporters. The show on November 20, 2021 will also feature singer, songwriter Isaac Aragon and his band The Healing. Soul Divine...


The Story of Downtown

Downtown Albuquerque. Along historic Route 66 lies a community at the intersection of what once was, and what could be. Like most places, it has seen its ups and downs. A once in a generation pandemic, a struggling economy, and issues of crime and homelessness are issues downtown residents grapple with every day. Many businesses have boarded up, opting for more economically viable and safer parts of the city. But, I spoke to 5 area business owners who embody the fighting spirit of the city...


Stop the Asian Hate

The recent mass shooting in Atlanta remind us of the deep divides that exist in our country. Naturally, given what we know about the case, we have to ask the question: "were the shootings racially motivated." Dr. Frank explores this question and gives insight to why we can't ignore the history of racism against Asian Americans in this country, the hateful speech that flowed as a result of the coronavirus, and the racist tropes of Asian women in particular. This episode also sheds light on...


Can White Evangelical Church Leaders Eradicate the Racism the Church Helped Create?

The insurrection at the Capitol Building on January 6th will be forever etched in the minds of Americans. On full display that day were White nationalists with their American and Trump 2020 flags, showing their undying love for a president who promotes hate, while also proudly carrying signs with quotes from scripture. Jer Swigart, Co-Founder of the Global Immersion Project is a peacemaker and pastor who confronts the racist past of the evangelical church and seeks to build church leaders...


The Reciprocity Project

What would schooling look like if the school had a symbiotic relationship with the community? What would student engagement look like if we actually asked the students themselves how they wanted to be involved in their school and school community? These are some of the big questions guiding The Reciprocity Project, which is a pilot project of Future Focused Education in Albuquerque, NM. In the wake of high-stakes testing, The Reciprocity Project seeks to engage voices outside of the...


The Vespa Diaries

You never fully appreciate life's simple pleasures until they are gone. For Greg Webb, a world traveler that has visited over 60 countries, COVID-19 has grounded his travel for almost a year now. As he will quickly acknowledge, travel restrictions are a necessary step towards getting a once in a lifetime pandemic under control. However, the itch to travel is at an all-time high. In this episode, Greg talks about his many travel adventures, including trips to Cuba, Serbia, and a hilarious...


Finding Family Trees

In May of 2018, Tess took a DNA test and submitted it to Ancestry. A sealed adoption at birth left her with no details of her birth parents. However, submitting her DNA test was more about learning her ethnicity than finding new family members. Lacey submitted her DNA to Ancestry in 2015 at the urging of her sister Amy, who is the family historian. Unlike Tess, she was not adopted and wanted to learn more about her family history. Little did they know their worlds would collide. Their DNA...


Movement Music with Baracutanga

Baracutanga is a seven-piece band representing four countries: Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and the United States. The band was born out of a mutual love for traditional South American music, and a now legendary jam session. Their music is a reflection of the times covering social justice issues, such as immigration and women’s rights. This episode was recorded using COVID safe practices at Studio 519 in Albuquerque, NM. It also features two, live studio performances from the band. Links to...


Latino Decisions 2020

In perfect 2020 fashion, this year’s presidential election has been filled with conspiracy theories, allegations of voter fraud, and unprecedented voter counts and recounts in battleground states. As we near the deadline for states to certify their results, one thing is clear: voter engagement during this election cycle--pandemic and all--was at an all time high. As the saying goes, victory has many mothers and fathers. There has been no shortage of groups that feel confident that they put...


The Worldwide Appeal of Lowrider Culture

Historians trace Lowrider culture back to the early 30’s and 40’s as an extension of pachuco culture. If you’re unfamiliar with pachuco culture, check out Edward James Olmos in Zoot Suit. Yes, he was in other movies beyond Stand and Deliver! Some historians trace its origins to the El Paso/Juarez region, while others say it originated in the barrios of East LA. We’ll leave that debate to the Tejanos and the East Los crowd. Post World War II, many ex-military men from the southwest migrated...


Achieving Equity in the Workplace

Only 1% of Fortune 500 companies have a Black CEO. Aside from the huge racial gaps in leadership positions, even getting a job for people of color can be a huge challenge. For example, studies have found that when Native Americans are similar to whites in terms of factors such as age, sex, education level, marital status, and state of residence, their odds of being employed are 31 percent lower than those of whites. Dr. Frank recently had the opportunity to speak with Kara Bobroff, Founder...


#MaskUp: Are Masks Effective in Mitigating the Spread of COVID-19?

Medical mask wearing has a long history that can be traced back as far as the 17th century. During the Flu Pandemic of 1918, cities around the world passed mandatory mask-wearing orders to help prevent spread and protect doctors and nurses from contagious patients. Historians suggest that Americans widely embraced mask wearing as an “emblem of public spiritedness and discipline.” Even our pop culture icons like Batman and the Lone Ranger were celebrated mask wearers…..OK, that’s a bit of a...


Decolonizing Wealth with Edgar Villanueva

It’s the inconvenient truth. Wealth in the United States has been accumulated through the ownership and exploitation of Black and Indigenous bodies and the outright theft of land. We are in the midst of a national reckoning with this past. A past that has celebrated oppressors by highlighting nobility, honor, and perseverance in statuesque form, while minimizing and even ignoring the unspeakable acts of violence committed at the hands of these “celebrated” individuals. Edgar Villanueva,...


Breaking Down Walls with Dana Cortez

Disruption is the name of the game. When it comes to media, people of color represent a very small proportion of people in all facets of the industry from radio/TV personalities to people behind the camera. Dana Cortez, host of the nationally syndicated Dana Cortez Show is a trailblazer when it comes to disrupting the radio industry. She is one of the only Latina, syndicated radio hosts in a male dominated industry. Born in Big Spring, Texas, Dana was destined for a career in radio. Her...


The Fight for Economic Justice

According to the Urban Institute, the median wealth for a White family is $171,000. For a Black family, it’s $17,000. That’s a ten-fold difference in median wealth. As we know, home ownership is a key driver to building wealth. It’s part of the American dream. Recent data suggests that White families are almost 25% more likely to own a home than Black and Hispanic families. Economic Inequality is a really broad topic with a number historical factors, including colonization, slavery,...


I'm Fed Up! Black Lives Matter, Silent Protests, and the Work Ahead for Racial Justice

Some would say that the last two weeks have awakened the masses to the injustices Black Americans have been facing for centuries. The peaceful protests combined with the anger, rage, and frustration of the Black community is sparking a civil and human rights revolution unlike anything we have seen in recent decades. While the Black Lives Matter movement has grown internationally, decisions on policing, prosecution, and sentencing happen at the local level. Communities have the power to...


Always in My Head: Our Family's Story of Living with Borderline Personality Disorder

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are releasing the most deeply personal episode of Portraits in Color yet. This episode is a candid conversation between a father and daughter about how mental illness impacts an entire family. Analisse, daughter of Portraits in Color host Dr. Frank Mirabal opens up about her every day challenges living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). In her bravery, she decided that nothing was off limits. She openly discusses the deep scars...


The Story of Elias: How a Community is Tackling Opioid Addiction and Treatment

Elias was a joker and a prankster. He loved getting a "rise" out of people by playing practical jokes. He had an intellectual curiosity that could be both a blessing and a curse. Like most kids, if he wasn’t being challenged in school, he could easily turn the classroom into his personal performance space. He definitely knew how to command a room. However, things dramatically changed for Elias the very first time he tried opioids. “He referred to the sensation he felt as ‘the affinity...


The Many Faces of CloudFace

We live in an age where artists are becoming adept at using all of the tools at their disposal to express themselves. Cloudface is no different. In fact, Cloudface has also been able to integrate B-Boy, Hip Hop, and dance culture with his native roots to create an interesting amalgam of visual, sonic, and rhythmic art. Coming from a family of artists and jewelers, Patrick Burnham aka Cloudface was delivered to us as an artist. To him, art is just as essential as air and water. It lives...