From the President
As we enter the holiday season and approach the end of 2017, it’s a good time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year. In addition to compelling programming from NPR, PBS and the Little Theatre, we are proud of our many events and opportunities to engage with our community. I don’t have space for everything, but I’m pleased to share some of the highlights of the year.
WXXI Kids 24/7: In February, we launched WXXI Kids 24/7, a full-time PBS KIDS channel available on TV and via live streaming on digital. This free service supports our mission to provide our youngest viewers with non-violent, commercial-free educational programming and ensures that PBS KIDS’ programming is available to all children and caregivers at a convenient time.
The Little Theatre Marquee: In June, the newly renovated Little Theatre marquee reclaimed its place as one of Rochester’s visual landmarks. More than a thousand people turned out for our Marquee Relighting Block Party. We are now the brightest beacon on East Avenue!
Be My Neighbor Day: The City of Rochester and Monroe County declared June 3rd “Be My Neighbor Day” as WXXI, along with our community partners, hosted a fun-filled “Be My Neighbor Day” celebration at the Central Library. More than 3,000 kids and their parents joined us for learning activities, opportunities to do kind acts for others, and meet Daniel Tiger himself. I shared the stage with Daniel that morning and the sea of happy children we saw from the podium was incredible!
The Vietnam War series and outreach: The Vietnam War, which was referred to as Ken Burns’ most ambitious film, premiered in September. The sweeping 18-hour documentary was an emotional and compelling journey that received a great deal of acclaim. In addition to the broadcast, WXXI partnered with MuCCC Theater, The Central Library, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 20, and the local Vietnamese Community to host outreach events to engage our community in conversations about what happened during the Vietnam War era.
Opioids and Heroin Epidemic Coverage: To shed light on what law enforcement and health care providers are calling an “epidemic,” WXXI-TV and our national healthcare series Second Opinion devoted an evening of special programming on the issue of opioids and heroin abuse in October. The night featured Overdose: Inside the Epidemic, where a local couple shared the story of their son who struggled with opioid use and addiction, and eventually died from a heroin overdose. WXXI News, including Need to Know and Connections with Evan Dawson, will continue to address the issue with ongoing coverage.
These are only a few examples of the programming and services that had an impact on our community – and, as a member, I hope you share our pride in the work we have done in 2017. From our news team and their trusted, balanced reporting to Classical 91.5’s local hosts and productions, from the great music your hear on WRUR-FM to our 24-hour radio reading services for people who are visually impaired, and from all we present on TV and at The Little, it has truly been a great year.