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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.

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.






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...


All Chola with Michelle Sena

All Chola kind of happened by accident. “I would have conversations with my friends about chola sayings that we thought were funny, says Michelle Sena, founder of the All Chola lifestyle brand. “I never thought it would actually turn into a business.” All Chola embodies a strong Chicano/Chicana cultural aesthetic. From the low riders, the fashion, and the music, Michelle Sena introduces the long legacy of the culture, which is rooted in the Pachuco culture of the 40’s and 50’s, through her...


A Conversation About Healing During Social Distancing With Nanci Luna Jiménez

The rise of a global pandemic naturally elevates feelings of fear and anxiety. With the spread of coronavirus rising and death tolls across the globe multiplying, it is natural to feel a sense of hopelessness and uncertainty. These are unprecedented times for us. Ironically, it is also it perfect time for healing and transformation. So, how do you approach healing and transformation in times of trauma and isolation? Nanci Luna Jiménez joins the show to offer insights on healing and...


Up in Smoke? The Story Behind Recreational Marijuana Legalization in New Mexico with Rep. Javier Martinez

A bill to legalize recreational marijuana was tabled in the Judiciary Committee during the 2020 New Mexico legislative session. The year-long lead up to the bill created a comprehensive 187 report that laid out economic forecasts and a regulatory framework to enforce intoxicated driving, work place use, and restricted access to youth. Over two thirds of New Mexicans approved of the measure. The bill was a legislative priority of Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham and had strong bipartisan...


Never Really Said: Ryan Montaño

Ryan Montaño recalls learning a valuable lesson from reading legendary producer David Foster’s memoir. The lesson? Compromise breeds mediocrity. It was a lesson that guided his songwriting and production in the early days of his solo career. Admittedly, Ryan says this dictum no longer fully applies and that it actually made him averse to collaboration early on. It also made him second guess himself often when thinking about musical approach, stylings, and overall production of his...


One More Silver Dollar: Marc Quiñones

At age 9, Marc Quiñones was introduced by a family friend to salsa legend Tito Puente. Along with long-time collaborator Bobby Allende, Marc was seen as somewhat of a child prodigy in New York salsa circles. Quiñones comes from an impressive lineage of musicians, including father Tony, late uncle Rafael, and younger brother Camilo. The musical roots run deep. Quiñones and Allende would go on to play several high-profile dates with Puente, including Carnegie Hall before they were even old...


Próspero: Creating Opportunities for BYMOC

What are the possibilities when community-based organizations have the space to be creative and innovative with funding? In this episode of Portraits in Color, you will hear about an interesting collaboration between city government, philanthropy, and nonprofits that create economic opportunities for boys and young men of color (BYMOC). Próspero represents a unique approach to grant making. Instead of releasing a highly-prescriptive request for proposals (RFP), the Albuquerque Community...


The Power of Mentorship: Mentor Me

Mentor Me is a powerful collaborative of grantees, funded by the Albuquerque Community Foundation that pairs young men of color with adult mentors to build healthy relationships, learn valuable leadership skills, and become leaders in their communities. Its origins are rooted in a national movement, spearheaded by President Obama, in response to the tragic murder of Travon Martin. This episode features adult mentors and youth leaders from the Native American Community Academy/NACA Inspired...


Mass Incarceration in America: Isaac Bryan

Since the Reagan-era 'War on Drugs,' which expanded Nixon-era policies, our nation has seen a dramatic increase in the prison population. Despite increasing evidence that large-scale incarceration is not an effective means of achieving public safety, our nation continues to "cage" men and women of color at disproportionate rates. The problem has now extended to the inhumane detainment of immigrants and refugees in and around the border. Episode 16 examines the issue of mass incarceration...