The League of Women Voters’ community event, Lunch with a Leader, features Monitor reporter, Arin McKenna Tuesday, Feb. 16. The event is 11:40 a.m. upstairs at Mesa Library upstairs. McKenna joined the Los Alamos Monitor as county reporter in 2011 where she sheds light on the workings of county government and on other topics of interest to local readers.
She earned her MFA at the University of Southern California after completing her undergraduate degree at University of Michigan and Wayne State. Her journalism career began on 2002 as host/producer of Art Tour Santa Fe on KTRC Radio, an interview program on the arts and culture of New Mexico. The hour-long program aired five nights a week, during which McKenna interviewed both locally and nationally recognized guests ranging from artists, writers and musicians to museum directors, state historians and others. Over the years she has covered assignments for New Mexico Magazine, Native Peoples, the Santa Fe Monthly and other publications.
McKenna began writing professionally in 2004, freelancing for the Santa Fe New Mexican’s special issues, something she continues to do to this day. Her first article was for Indian Market Magazine, an interview with Marc Neikrug, artistic director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and his wife, potter Dolly Naranjo, a member of an extraordinary family of Santa Clara Pueblo artists. She enjoys the opportunity to cover everything from tourist excursions on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad to Pueblo Feast Days to the impact of the 2015 Nepal earthquake on International Folk Art Market artists. One very memorable experience was not only interviewing Jennet Conant about her book, “109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos,” but being able to learn about her research and personal connections to the story while serving as her author escort for several days.
She was awarded second place in the 2005 National Federation of Press Women’s Communication Contest for an interview with Robin Williams, author of “Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare?” That was the first of many regional and national journalism awards, including two first place awards for Specialty Articles in the 2011 National Federation of Press Women’s Communication Contest and first place awards for Investigative Reporting from the New Mexico Press Association/New Mexico Associated Press Managing Editors’ Better Newspaper Contest in 2012 and 2013.
McKenna’s topic for Lunch with a Leader will be “Digging in: Getting to the heart of a story.” She will discuss how she uses interviews, research and other means to develop an idea into a full-fledged article.
To order a lunch from the Co-op for the special price of $10 (paid at the lunch), contact Karyl Ann Armbruster at 505.231.8286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the menu choices. Lunch does not need to be purchased to attend the talk. Meal orders do need to be placed by the night of Friday, Feb. 13.