Ted Robbins

As supervising editor for Arts and Culture at NPR, Ted Robbins plans coverage across NPR shows and online. He thinks "arts and culture" encompasses a lot of human creativity—from traditional museum offerings to popular culture to 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 Neiman 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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Let's pause now to remember a British actor best known for playing a Spanish waiter in a 1970s BBC series that lasted only 12 episodes - Andrew Sachs. He died at age 86. As NPR's Ted Robbins tells us, his relatively small role left a big impression. TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: For decades, if you turned on PBS, you were bound to come across a rerun of the 1970s British comedy "Fawlty Towers." (SOUNDBITE OF DENNIS WILSON...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The morning after a gunman targeted and killed five law enforcement officers, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings called it "ironic" that his city was the target of the worst police loss-of-life since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Ironic because the police department says it has taken great strides to avoid the kind of confrontations and incidents that have led to distrust and frayed race relations in some communities. "This police department trained in de-escalation far before cities...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: The founder of Earth, Wind and Fire has died. Maurice White has Parkinson's disease for many years. He died at his home here in Los Angeles at the age of 74. NPR's Ted Robbins has this appreciation. TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Earth, Wind and Fire's lush sound and upbeat lyrics were the essence of R and B and disco in the 1970s and '80s. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHINING STAR") EARTH, WIND AND FIRE: (Singing) When...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: And now let's take a moment to remember Glenn Frey, who has died at the age of 67. His music as part of the Eagles has been part of the national soundtrack, if you will, for decades. Here's NPR's Ted Robbins. (SOUNDBITE OF EAGLES SONG, "TAKE IT EASY") TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: With those opening chords of their first hit single in 1972, the Eagles announced their arrival. Glenn Frey played guitar, sang lead...

This summer, NPR is getting crafty in the kitchen. As part of Weekend Edition 's Do Try This At Home series, top chefs are sharing their cleverest hacks and tips — taking expensive, exhausting or intimidating recipes and tweaking them to work in any home kitchen. First up: making magically moist sous vide chicken without the fancy equipment. The Chef Christina Tosi knows a thing or two about elaborate cooking techniques. In fact, she's invented quite a few of them as founder of Milk Bar, the...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lpytcTqaAs Mad Men had nothing on Stan Freberg, a genius of American advertising. In the 1950s and '60s, he created countless memorable ads using pointed humor. Freberg was one of the first to inject satire into commercials. Here he appears off-screen, trying to persuade a snob to eat a prune: "Has Sunsweet managed to change your mind with their brand-new pitted prunes?" he asks. The snob says, "Possibly. They're still rather badly wrinkled, you know." Freberg...

Derek Lucas Reyes, 20, went from being undocumented in the U.S. to undocumented in his native Mexico. He sits at a table after breakfast in a shelter filled with people recently deported from the U.S. to Nogales, Sonora. At his feet is a paper shopping bag the Department of Homeland Security gave him for his belongings. Inside the bag: his deportation paperwork, a toothbrush, toothpaste and some other necessities he got from Mexican aid workers. Lucas Reyes just finished serving a 30-day...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBr7EhL6Jpg What would you give to watch someone else play what's arguably the world's worst video game — for nearly a week? It turns out, people have given millions, as part of a fundraiser called Desert Bus for Hope . Desert Bus is the game in question. Sitting in a La-Z-Boy in a room in Victoria, British Columbia, Kathleen de Vere, driving the virtual vehicle, says that playing it is awful. "You are driving down a long, featureless stretch of highway," she...

When Arizona State University graduates hear their names announced, they have Peter Lafford to thank. It's his job to ensure students' names are pronounced correctly — and it's not always an easy task. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: A church in Tucson is reviving an old approach to fight the Obama administration's deportation policy. Back in the 1980s, Southside Presbyterian Church founded what became the Sanctuary Movement. It protected Central American refugees from removal. Last night, the congregation welcomed a 36-year-old Mexican man who is facing deportation. NPR's Ted Robbins has the story. (APPLAUSE) TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Southside Presbyterian Church was filled with people...

Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: And I'm Steve Inskeep. In the past three weeks, a man named Cliven Bundy went from anonymity to national fame to notoriety. Bundy is the Nevada rancher who stopped the Bureau of Land Management from removing his cattle from federal land. He hadn't paid his grazing fees. Bundy lost many allies when he started marking remarks about slavery, but there's a deeper story here. Bundy's...

Just a few blocks from the OK Corral in Tombstone, Ariz., a former hotel and boarding house hides a treasure. A sign in front says "World's Largest Rosebush," but most people have no sense of its size until they walk through the building and into the backyard. The bush, a Lady Banksia Rose, was planted in 1885, back when Tombstone was a boomtown for silver mining. The tree officially covers 9,000 square feet, and its gnarled trunk is about 12 feet around. The whole thing is so big that its...

Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. A standoff between federal agents and a Nevada rancher is over for now. Over the weekend, the Bureau of Land Management released about 400 head of cattle it had rounded up, fearing a violent confrontation. Militia members, including many with guns, had rallied in support of the rancher, Cliven Bundy, and his family. NPR's Ted Robbins has the story. UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: No BLM. No BLM. No BLM. TED...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: The Justice Department issued a scathing report today on the Albuquerque Police Department's use of force. Albuquerque officers have shot and killed 23 people in the last four years. Many of the victims were mentally or emotionally unstable. The report says the department has systemic deficiencies that caused the deaths and many other incidents. NPR's Ted Robbins has the story. TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: The...

Millions of gallons of water used to flow every day from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. Now, the Colorado River ends at Morelos Dam on the U.S.-Mexico border. Below it, one of North America's largest wetlands is dry. Karl Flessa, a geoscientist at the University of Arizona, began researching the damage two decades ago. Then he started asking how much water it would take to bring back some of the habitats. That push for restoration paid off. Mexico is releasing part of its...

Border Patrol checkpoints aren't always near the border. Some aren't even on roads that go to the border. Take Arivaca Road; it's an East-West route 25 miles north of the Mexican border in Southern Arizona. A Border Patrol checkpoint has been operating there around the clock for seven years. Some residents of the town of Arivaca say agents at the checkpoint go well beyond their legal authority; searching vehicles and questioning citizens without cause. So they've begun their own monitoring —...

In 2010, Arizona passed laws aimed at undocumented immigrants. As a result, business relations with Mexico — Arizona's biggest trading partner — began to suffer.

Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer is being pressured to veto a bill that would allow business owners in the state to deny service to gays and lesbians. To deny service, the business owner has to have sincerely held religious beliefs. That's the legislation's wording. It's become so controversial that even some lawmakers who voted for it are now regretting it. NPR's Ted Robbins has more. UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Equal rights. UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: When do we...

Let's say you're skiing in the backcountry, looking for some powder — but instead, you trigger an avalanche. If you have an avalanche air bag pack strapped to your back, you just yank the cord. That deploys the air bag, which keeps you close to the surface and easier to dig out, says Andy Wenberg with Backcountry Access, one of several companies making the devices. When deployed, his company's version of the air bag comes out like wings. "The whole idea when you deploy that thing in an...

Las Vegas depends on Lake Mead for its water and the reservoir is dropping. The city's water officials long ago instituted water conservation measures. Critics say they are not nearly enough.

Freestyle aerial skier Mac Bohonnon recently finished second at the Val St. Come World Cup in Quebec, and that helped him qualify for the Olympics in Sochi. But when he's not doing triple-twisting double backflips, he's taking Advanced Placement classes at Team Academy in Park City, Utah. It's tough to be a normal high school senior and manage constant training and competition. But Mac doesn't go to a normal high school. He is one of 36 students at an invitation-only high school located on...

As the U.S. government has militarized the California and Arizona segment of the Southwest border over the last two decades, illegal crossers have moved to another area. South Texas has become the new border hot spot. The Rio Grande Valley is also the closest route to Central America. Two-thirds of those caught crossing are from that troubled region. The Border Patrol and local authorities are straining to keep up. Fleeing Poverty And Murder In Reynosa, Mexico, just across the Rio Grande from...

A years-in-the-making, top-secret engineering and design project for a superaerodynamic suit to be worn by U.S. speedskaters at next month's Winter Olympics was finally unveiled Thursday. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin and sporting goods company Under Armour released photos of the suit they're calling "Mach 39." It has been kept so tightly under wraps that the sport's governing body wouldn't even allow it to be worn at the Olympic trials in Salt Lake City. What's so revolutionary about...

Walk through the produce section of your supermarket and you'll see things you'd never have seen years ago — like fresh raspberries or green beans in the dead of winter. Much of that produce comes from Mexico, and it's the result of the North American Free Trade Agreement — NAFTA — which took effect 20 years ago this month. In the years since, NAFTA radically changed the way we get our fruits and vegetables. For starters, the volume of produce from Mexico to the U.S. has tripled since 1994....

The North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA, turns 20 next week. Hailed as a boon for regional trade, it had some undesirable effects. It hastened a trend away from small farmers, and speeded illegal immigration to the U.S.

Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. DAVID GREENE, HOST: And I'm David Greene. The Obama administration has released a figure that caught our attention. It's the number of people deported from the United States during the past fiscal year. For the first time, since the President Obama took office, that number is smaller than the year before. NPR's Ted Robbins has a look at why. TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Three hundred sixty-eight immigrants were...

A relic of the Cold War met its end on Thursday. The Air Force destroyed the last B-52 bomber required under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia. A crew used a circular saw to cut through the plane's aluminum skin, the tail section separating from the fuselage with a loud thunk and officially rendering the bomber useless. Truth is, this particular bomber hadn't flown in more than 20 years. It's been sitting with thousands of aircraft in the desert at what's known as the...

As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year. Numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we're living in, right now. Over the next two weeks, you'll hear the stories behind these numbers, which range from zero to 1 trillion. Today's figure: Half a million. That's how many people there are who likely qualify but have yet to apply for the Obama administration's program known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood...

The last desert bighorn sheep that roamed the mountains above Tucson, Ariz., died in the 1990s, the victim of human encroachment, mountain lions, and fire suppression. Now, the iconic Southwest animal — picture the Dodge Ram's grille — is back. A herd of 31 was released Monday morning after being transplanted over the weekend from the Yuma area in the far west of the state. Why would the sheep survive this time?

Pages