Lu Olkowski

Lu Olkowski used to work a stressful and boring job at a huge cable television channel. She would listen to the radio and think, "that sounds like a lot more fun." Lu produced her very first radio story for Studio 360: it was about an artist who sent the sound of vaginal contractions into deep space to communicate with aliens. She immediately become a regular contributor.

Her profile of documentary director Zana Briski won a Gracie Award in 2006. Lu has also produced stories for All Things Considered, Day to Day, Radio Lab, This American Life, and Weekend America. Her radio work has been honored by the American Women in Radio & Television, the international competition New York Festivals, the literary magazine The Missouri Review and the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Lu Olkowski appears in the following:

American Icons: "The Autobiography of Malcolm X"

Monday, February 22, 2021

When Malcolm X was assassinated at 39, his book nearly died with him. Today it stands as a milestone in America’s struggle with race.

Comments [8]

American Icons: 'The Outsiders'

Thursday, May 05, 2016

S.E. Hinton was a teenager herself when she wrote a novel that broke all the rules of young adult fiction.


Cargoland: Automation Threatens Dockworkers

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Independent producer Lu Olkowski continues her tour of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with a look at automation moving to supplant the human dockworker.

Comments [1]

Cargoland: Inside America's Busiest Waterfront

Monday, December 15, 2014

About 40 percent of everything that the United States imports comes through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Together, they are the busiest port complex in the United States.


Ally's Choice

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The complex racial history of two towns in Ohio leads members of the same family to disagree strongly about whether they're black or white.
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Comments [82]

American Icons: The Outsiders

Friday, May 04, 2012

Susan Eloise Hinton was a teenager when she wrote The Outsiders, the story of rival gangs in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She used the pen name “S.E.” so readers wouldn’t know she was a girl, an...

Comments [11]

Science Tattoos

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tattoos are the defining fashion statement of the present generation. A few years ago, the writer Carl Zimmer was at a pool party and found that a young scientist friend of his, a ne...

Comments [3]

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Friday, August 26, 2011

When Malcolm X was assassinated at 39, his book nearly died with him.  Today it stands as a milestone in America’s struggle with race.

Comments [36]

Christopher Alexander: A Pattern Language

Friday, April 01, 2011

Just over 30 years ago, an Englishman named Christopher Alexander tried to revolutionize architecture. In A Pattern Language, Alexander told architects and planners to design homes on emotional and spiritual principles – not on traffic flow. The revolution didn’t quite come. But the book had a ...

Comments [9]

The Science of Sculpture

Friday, July 09, 2010

Don Ingber is a cell biologist from Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital. One day he saw a piece of modern sculpture, Kenneth Snelson's "Needle Tower" — and Eureka! — it inspired a scientific breakthrough. Produced by

Comments [3]

In Verse: Congregation

Friday, November 13, 2009

In Gulfport, Mississippi, Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Natasha Trethewey visits her cousin Tamara Jones, still battling financial problems triggered by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It inspired Trethewey's poem "Believer," and the visit was documented by photographer Joshua Cogan. Produced by Studio 360's Lu ...


In Verse: Women of Troy, Continued

Friday, November 06, 2009

Susan B.A. Somers-Willet wrote a poem about DJ Guerrin, another one of Troy's single mothers struggling to get by. "In Verse" is Studio 360's series documenting the lives of the working poor through poetry and photography. It was created by Lu ...


In Verse: Women of Troy

Friday, November 06, 2009

A century ago, Troy, New York, was a thriving industrial capital. Today many of its residents live in poverty. Studio 360's Lu Olkowski went to Troy with poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willet and photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally to document some of Troy's stories. They ...

Comments [3]

Waiting for Godot in New Jersey

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Lillian Booth Home in Englewood, New Jersey is a retirement home for former entertainers. Studio 360 met some residents that are not done performing. Produced by Pejk Malinovski with Lu Olkowski and Nick Heling.

Comments [6]


Monday, December 29, 2008

Humans love to solve problems. This hour, Diagnosis -- our attempt to find out what's wrong, and give it a label.

Comments [41]

Putting Together the Puzzle

Monday, December 29, 2008

A young woman's apartment goes up in flames and a dashing young man saves the day! But to firefighter Louis Garcia, evidence at the scene didn't quite add least, they didn't quite add up to that. He hunts down the source of the blaze.

Family X ...

Comments [9]

Christopher Alexander

Friday, August 15, 2008

His groundbreaking book A Pattern Language urged architects consider emotional and spiritual ideas when designing. It was the beginning of an elaborate, nuts-and-bolts philosophical system. Christopher Alexander failed to revolutionize the practice of architecture, but he inspired a movement in computer programming that affects how ...

Comments [3]

Overseas Chinese

Friday, August 08, 2008

A generation of Chinese artists left the country in the 1980s and 90s. Some found great success in the west, but China still looms large in their minds. Lu Olkowski talks with artists about why calligraphy and ink drawing seem so 21st century.


Min Xiao-Fen

Friday, May 09, 2008

The pipa, or Chinese lute, has been part of traditional music in China for more than 2,000 years. These days, a few intrepid players have been incorporating the pipa’s sound into jazz, bluegrass, and modern classical music. Pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-Fen finds it impossible to stick to ...


Depicting Abu Ghraib

Friday, April 25, 2008

Studio 360’s Lu Olkowski talked to artists (including painter Fernando Botero), writers, and a former soldier who have spent years trying to figure out what the Abu Ghraib photos really mean, and how seeing torture changes us.

Comments [3]