Alumna honored for excellence in the arts
in Santa Fe
Mary-Charlotte Domandi (SFGI91) is earning accolades for her Santa Fe-based talk show, The Radio Café on KSFR-FM. An advocate for the local Santa Fe arts community, Domandi received the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center on October 18. It is the first time the award has been given to someone in radio.
Five days a week for nine years, Domandi has broadcast out of the Santa Fe Baking Company, where she interviews local artists, writers, musicians, scientists, and community organizers, as well as guests scheduled to present or perform in town. “A St. John’s education should be required vocational training for anyone who wants to be a talk show host,” says Domandi, who also produces, edits, and does sound for the show. Domandi credits the college’s curriculum for giving her a wealth of knowledge to pull from when interviewing all manner of guests on a wide variety of topics. And seminar taught her to really listen and prepared her to guide fruitful conversations. “The best way to honor your guest and your audience is to prepare,” she says. “If there’s a play, I go to a rehearsal. If there’s a movie, I see the screener. If there’s a social service agency, I Google it. If there’s a book, I read it.”
In addition to her show, Domandi does freelance writing for the Huffington Post, and she has hosted several panel discussions. For the Lannan Foundation’s In Pursuit of Cultural Freedom podcast series, she interviewed journalist, Maria Hinojosa, and Michael Ratner, a constitutional lawyer currently defending Julian Assange. Domandi hopes to eventually syndicate The Radio Café once a week with a show about scientific topics. “There’s a loss of science journalism. A lot of newspaper science sections have shut down,” explains Domandi. “There is especially a need for science journalism that people can understand. This is where my St. John’s background is very helpful because I can really get at the ideas that are inherent in scientists’ work.”