Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pittsburgh Deejay and Radio Host Carla Leininger Wins International Press Award for Promoting Brazil

Pittsburgh deejay and radio host Carla Andréa Leininger is among the 2013 Brazilian International Press Awards recipients for her efforts to celebrate Brazilian culture and Brazil’s positive image overseas.

Carla Leininger
Leininger, who was born in Brasilia, Brazil, and moved to Pittsburgh in the late 1970s, started the city's first Latin American radio program in 1999 -- now called the Brazilian Radio Hour or Cantinho Brasileiro no Radio -- and is creator and presenter of a world music series of events known as Global Beats.

“We like to think that we put the 'happy' in Pittsburgh’s Friday Happy Hour," Leininger said of the radio program, which airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on Carnegie Mellon University's radio station, WRCT 88.3 FM. "Folks are riding home in their car, listening to some soft samba music. That puts anyone in a good mood."

The Brazilian International Press Award ceremony takes place May 3 at the end of a seminar known as Focus Brasil, which has become an annual forum for leaders of the Brazilian communities abroad. It fosters issues of interest such as Brazilian culture and the teaching of the Portuguese language.

Leininger attended the Focus Brasil seminars for a few years to network with fellow Brazilians and to let everyone know that the Brazilian flag was waving high above the Pittsburgh skyline. It paid off.

Not only was Leininger recognized for her radio program this year, but a special edition of the Focus Brasil Conference was held in the city recently. The event caught the recognition of city of Pittsburgh officials, and April 13th was declared Focus Brasil Day in the city.

Global Beats was created to foster multicultural exchanges and to be an agent of social change through the sounds and fusion of world music. It features lounge and dance music from around the world, because quality music comes in all shapes, languages, colors, and sounds.

This summer, Global Beats and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust are collaborating and presenting Pittsburgh's first World Music Day at the Three Rivers Arts Festival. Two major world music acts are expected to debut at the festival, thanks to a grant from Vibrant Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization committed to attracting, retaining, elevating and educating people of all backgrounds, including new Americans, and creating an environment that is inclusive and welcoming.

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