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Nina Shapiro-Perl

Nina Shapiro-Perl is an award-winning producer and director who has worked in television and video production for 25 years. She spent many of these years documenting the lives of working men and women in cities and towns across the United States for the 1.9 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU.)

From the ground up, she built and directed SEIU’s Video Services Department. After producing scores of short-form documentaries, she began to experiment with other art forms where union members could tell their stories of struggle and change in their own words. With support at SEIU’s highest level, she created and directed the Greenhouse Cultural Program, which developed photography, storytelling, digital storytelling and theatre projects, some co-produced with Bread & Roses Cultural Project in New York including Unseenamerica and the Social Justice Calendar.

Trained as a social anthropologist at the University of Connecticut, Nina wrote her PhD dissertation on women workers in the costume jewelry industry in Providence, Rhode Island. Leaving academia to work as a public anthropologist, she started as a writer and producer at Maryland Public Television in 1983 and has since worked as a writer, producer, director and executive producer of programs for broadcast and non-broadcast audiences.

In the fall of 2006, she left SEIU to produce and direct Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz -- a documentary that explores the extraordinary story and art of Holocaust survivor and artist Esther Krinitz. The film is now in production. Nina is married to Peter Perl, a veteran journalist at the Washington Post. They have two grown sons, Daniel and Matthew.