One of the original founders and main hosts of Apex Express, Gina Hotta passed away of a heart attack early this morning. She is our “Mama G”, as we would often call her. Gina was right there in the beginning, when right after 9-11, she and a small group of individuals, saw the need for a program on KPFA that brings news and culture from an Asian American point of view. She is a pioneer in that sense. She made the space and airwaves available for at least one hour a week for the voices of those speaking about Asian American issues and events to be heard.
She contributed her own time and funds to have an Apex Express website, knowing that it was imperative to be online, as well as on the air. She spent hours coordinating, setting up guests, conducting interviews, editing interviews, and working with many over the years to make Apex Express what it is today.
On behalf of all the volunteers past and present of Apex Express, we will send our condolences to Gina’s family.
I worked with Gina for many years at UC Berkeley, every Friday, where she recorded a radio program I produce for CBS Radio. My last recording with her was just yesterday – the day she died. I am just stunned and deeply, deeply saddened. Gina – I hope wherever you are, there’s a hot spring for you to soak in!
Greetings, Sisters & Brothers~
Kayumanggi’ Kaloy (Klay), aka DJ “Bruddah K”, here.
Gina, Dolores Flamiano, Christina Velasco-Lagajit, & I (as well as Weyland Southon and others, later on,) co-hosted & co-produced the API Community program called “INSIDE/EASTSIDE”, which was the predecessor to “APEX EXPRESS”, broadcasting in the 90s before the 1999 KPFA LOCK-OUT. I also continued to be an occasional contributing producer to APEX, but focussed my API Community radio production as the Lead Producer of the KPFA API Radio Specials Team which produces our the annual API Heritage Month Special in May (“INDO~PACIFIC EDGE”) and the Pilipino Specials in June (“RADYO KALAYAAN”) and October (“PILIPINO OURSTORY”). Although Gina & I had stylistic differences (I began my Community Radio work as a DJ, and prefer to base my work in Music), we always respected each other, and contributed pieces and other support to each other’s productions.
It is my hope that we can coordinate all of our efforts between the API programmers/producers at KPFA to honor Gina & ensure that APEX Express continues to function in a way which would make her proud.
If I may, I would like to suggest that we coordinate efforts with the Apprentices who graduated with Gina in the same group to create an audio tribute to Gina.
I have mentioned this to Wayie and Christina on facebook, and I think we could plan something appropriate for Gina, giving some idea of the breadth of her work on the air. Whoever is interested from the current active APEX EXPRESS core producers/team, you can contact me at email@example.com or facebook.com/LapuLapu1
Thank you for helping so many of us. A very important voice. We will miss you.
I’m an African-American listener and KPFA member who loved/loves listening to Apex Express and will sincerely miss Ms. Gina Hotta’s (“G’s”) voice, presence, and overall excellence (artistic, technical, etc.) on the airwaves. In large measure, it was Ms. Hotta who made me a regular listener to Apex over the past seven (7) or so years. From the Third I film festival, to interviews on subjects as varied as chutney music, the Zainichi Korean community, Bay Area and world-wide Asian American history, and other topics too numerous to name, she opened my eyes and ears to so much information. She was a most inspiring person who had great influence! Rest in peace.