As supervising editor for Arts and Culture at NPR based at NPR West in Culver City, Ted Robbins plans coverage across NPR shows and online, focusing on TV at a time when there's never been so much content. He thinks "arts and culture" encompasses a lot of human creativity — from traditional museum offerings to popular culture, and out-of-the-way people and events.
Robbins also supervises obituaries or, as NPR prefers to call them, "appreciations," of people in the arts.
Robbins joined the Arts Desk in 2015, after a decade on air as a NPR National Desk correspondent based in Tucson, Arizona. From there, he covered the Southwest, including Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada.
Robbins reported on a range of issues, from immigration and border security to water issues and wildfires. He covered the economy in the West with an emphasis on the housing market and Las Vegas development. He reported on the January 2011 shooting in Tucson that killed six and injured many, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Robbins' reporting has been honored with numerous accolades, including two Emmy Awards—one for his story on sex education in schools, and another for his series on women in the workforce. He received a CINE Golden Eagle for a 1995 documentary on Mexican agriculture called "Tomatoes for the North."
In 2006, Robbins wrote an article for the Nieman Reports at Harvard about journalism and immigration. He was chosen for a 2009 French-American Foundation Fellowship focused on comparing European and U.S. immigration issues.
Raised in Los Angeles, Robbins became an avid NPR listener while spending hours driving (or stopped in traffic) on congested freeways. He is delighted to now be covering stories for his favorite news source.
Prior to coming to NPR in 2004, Robbins spent five years as a regular contributor to The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, 15 years at the PBS affiliate in Tucson, and working as a field producer for CBS News. He worked for NBC affiliates in Tucson and Salt Lake City, where he also did some radio reporting and print reporting for USA Today.
Robbins earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and his master's degree in journalism, both from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught journalism at the University of Arizona for a decade.
Kay Oxendine of the Haliwa Saponi Tribe in North Carolina, was set to serve as the first woman to emcee of the tribe's annual powwow — until the event was canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.