Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

Pope Francis is calling for a worldwide abolition of the death penalty. This represents a shift in Catholic teaching on the issue.

Our panel discusses the impact of the Pope’s new direction on the death penalty, both from a Catholic and general Christian perspective. We also discuss the meaning of life in that context. Our guests:

  • Nancy Rourke, professor of religious studies and theology at Canisius College, and former director of the College's Catholic Studies program
  • Harry Murray, professor of sociology, and coordinator of the Peace and Justice major at Nazareth College
  • Reverend Matthew Martin Nickoloff, pastor of the South Wedge Mission
  • Michael Tomb, criminal justice reform activist

First hour: Discussing Pope Francis' call for the abolition of the death penalty

Second hour: Mentorship for teachers in the Rochester City School District

Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • The intersection of religion and violence;
  • Why some young voters say they won't head to the polls in November;
  • What a post-Roe v. Wade world might look like in New York State.

We have a conversation about the challenges of bringing the arts to rural areas. Shake on the Lake is a professional Shakespeare touring company based in Silver Lake. The founders created the organization after observing the disparity in arts and cultural opportunities in rural communities. They’re one of a few local organizations that bring theater and the arts to underserved rural groups, including the prison population.

We discuss their work and how it impacts cultural and economic development in the areas they serve. Our guests:

We discuss the push-pull mothers feel when it comes to making decisions about breastfeeding. Some mothers who opt not to breastfeed say they are judged for choosing to bottle feed. And some breastfeeding women say they face challenges with nursing or encounter other issues like the stigma surrounding feeding their babies in public. While research supports mother’s milk as the healthiest for children, not all women are able to or want to breastfeed.

This hour, we discuss a range of issues related to breast and bottle feeding, and how to help all new mothers find the best options for their children and themselves. Our guests:

freeimages.com/Sally Bradshaw

First hour: How to help new mothers breastfeed and bottle feed 

Second hour: Bringing the arts to rural communities

Our Summer of Food series continues with a conversation about food trucks. Data shows the industry is booming, and it’s expected to continue to grow in the coming years.

We talk about trends in the industry and the state of the local food truck scene – what’s new, what’s next, and what’s on the menu. In studio:

Will 2018 be the year of young voters? November’s election season is projected to be the first in which millennials will outnumber baby boomers as the largest voter-eligible age group. But will young voters go to the polls?

A new survey shows that only 28 percent of voters ages 18 to 29 say they are “absolutely certain” they’ll vote in the midterms. Why? We sit down with young voters to discuss it.

  • Patrick Coyle, graduate assistant at SUNY Brockport
  • Tom Hebert, communications director for Dr. Jim Maxwell for Congress
  • Marykatherine Woodson, assistant director for residence life at RIT

Food Trucks of Rochester, NY

First hour: Will 2018 be the year of young voters?

Second hour: Summer of Food - Exploring the local food truck scene

Parking is a hot button issue in Rochester, especially in recent days after the City of Rochester increased the enforcement hours for parking meters to 8 p.m. The goal was to reduce a $47.6 million budget gap. When some residents expressed concerns about the move, the City changed the policy; on Tuesday, City Hall announced that the mayor was increasing the daytime hourly rate so parking could remain free after 6 p.m.

This hour, we discuss a range of issues related to parking in Rochester – from its relationship to downtown development, urbanism, its impact on local businesses, and more. In studio:

  • Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation
  • Joanne Brokaw, local writer and improviser
  • Arian Horbovetz, creator of the Urban Phoenix blog
  • Jason Partyka, member of Reconnect Rochester
  • Bleu Cease, executive director of the Rochester Contemporary Art Center