Photography by Jeff Hunt
Arabella DeLucco was raised by a village.
In this podcast, we get to know Arabella, beginning with the story of her Filipino family. Her grandfather fled to the hills outside Manila during World War II, a story Arabella learned shortly before he died.
When she was 5, Arabella came to Los Angeles to live with aunts and uncles who were already there. It was a cramped house, but she was a happy kid who immersed herself in school. She was especially drawn to science, but soon discovered that she enjoyed the writing of scientific reports more than the science itself.
When she was in fourth grade, she moved to a much smaller town in New Jersey than she had been used to in Southern California. Junior high was tough for Arabella, both schoolwork-wise and also in terms of the racism she encountered. She ended up going to a small private high school that was a 40-minute train ride away. She loved the journey as much as she did the schoolwork itself. Arabella ended up the school's valedictorian.
She went to Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, and spent a lot of time in New York City after she turned 21. First, she was a spokesmodel for a beer company and later, she worked a journalism internship in the city. Arabella shares the story of seeing the first plane hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.
She moved to NYC after college and worked various journalism jobs, searching for her true calling.
This is when her self-described "Goldilocks Era" began.
She shipped herself back out West to live with family again, this time in Santa Clarita. From there, it was down to Orange County. Summoning her experiences writing online, she cold-called the web editor at The Orange County Register and got a job there. But after a year-and-a-half, she felt lost again.
In 2007, Arabella started a webcasting company, producing content for non-profits and some government agencies. It blew up and she got the content onto early streaming sites like LiveStream. This work brought her up to San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area regularly.
At this point in the recording, Arabella briefly shares her first visit to The City when she was 14.
She moved to San Francisco and her company was doing really well. But then their biggest client pulled out and Arabella scrambled again. Her cousin convinced her to get back into spokesmodel work, which she did. This is how she met the man she'd later marry. She credits her husband with having made her fall in love with San Francisco.
Arabella shares the story of launching WeXL. It's the story of her no longer accepting seeing creators, especially creators of color, being manipulated by powerful media companies. To learn even more about the non-profit, please visit their website.
We end the podcast with Arabella's thoughts on what it means to still be here.
We recorded this podcast at the WeXL media lab in the Presidio in February 2022.