Need to Know

Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. & Sundays at 11:00 a.m. on WXXI-TV & on City 12

She’s been called an extraordinary talent - passionate, versatile, vibrant, and engaging. Mezzo soprano Jessica Ann Best may be Rochester-born and bred, but her musical gifts are celebrated nationwide. From New York City to Savannah, the local talent travels the country sharing her unique sound described as crossing operatic, musical theatre, and concert stage. This fall Best will be joining the group Velvet Caravan for a special musical performance at Nazareth College. She joins this edition of Need to Know to share more about the story behind the music and the artist.

Alison Arngrim played a character that millions of people around world hated. But the actress says her popular character, Nellie Oleson of Little House on the Prairie, was a girl she grew to love.  In her memoir turned one-woman show, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, Arngrim says Nellie Oleson aided and protected her like no other creature, real or imagined. The much-loved actress is performing her one-woman show laced with comedy and confessions here in new york this week for the Rochester Fringe Festival. Before she hits the stage, she joins this edition of Need to Know to share more.

She’s one of the most memorable characters in television history. But it’s her real life story - a memoir-turned one-woman-show being performed here in Rochester that will you take you inside an intriguing, comedic, and jaw-dropping world filled with lots of confessions. Actress and author Alison Arngrim (a-k-a Nellie Oleson of Little House on the Prairie) joins this edition of Need to Know.

Also on the show, she’s a mezzo soprano to be reckoned with. We go behind-the-music with Jessica Ann Best, a local performer inspiring audiences around the country.

Weekdays for Rochester’s Marco Amadio are spent at his day job at Xerox. Evenings and weekends are spent serenading audiences. It’s hard to not stop and stare in awe when you hear the smooth vocals and effortlessly talented piano playing by the musician who can be found performing in piano bars and concert venues throughout our region. Amadio describes music as medicine and singing as his form of service to others. Amadio joins this edition of Need to Know to his musical journey.

Something happened starting in the 1950s that initially promised jobs and economic stimulation for US cities like Rochester. But these promises weren’t without their share of downsides. The “interstate boom” in the latter half of the 20th century had a dark side still being felt in cities today. Close-knit communities in some urban areas were divided, wounded, and in a number of cases, destroyed. Understanding how this happened, the local impact, and current efforts to fix the damage done is the focus of Reconnect Rochester’s upcoming RAZED\RISE event. On this edition of Need to Know we discuss pros and cons infrastructure projects of the past and lessons to be learned for the future.

Something as seemingly simple as a roadway through a city has the capacity to impact communities in ways one likely never imagined. On this edition of Need to Know we talk infrastructure, division, and the work to right past wrongs in Rochester and beyond.

Also on the show, he’s the epitome of a natural musical talent. We hear the story behind the music of local singer-songwriter Marco Amadio who uses music to connect with and serve others.

There is quite a bit of hype around a particular voter this election season. The person of interest: the female millennial voter. Political commentators say this particular demographic could have the power to decide the midterm elections if they power-up and head to the polls. There are more than 18 million millennial women in the US. On this edition of Need to Know, a few of them weigh in and share their perspectives on our nation right now and the issues that matter to them most.

From a quick stint as a window designer for Macy’s to a renowned illustrator whose work has appeared in Lincoln Center and on the pages of Vanity Fair, Playboy, Time, The New York Times and more, Dave Calver’s 40-plus-year career continues to thrive. The former Rochester resident is working on a horror film among other projects and recently released a graphic novel called Limbo Lounge. It’s the latter that brings him to Rochester this week for a conversation and book signing at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center. Iconic illustrator Dave Calver joins this edition of Need to Know to talk more about his creative career and his unique take on purgatory in his new work.

Political pundits say female millennials could ultimately decide the 2018 midterm elections. Four millennial women join this edition of Need to Know from varied backgrounds and political leanings to discuss their priority issues and whether the political commentators have it right.

Also on the show, iconic illustrator Dave Calver takes us from the sands of hell to a bright and quirky place called Limbo Lounge in his recent graphic novel.

Part of the mission of Flower City Noire Collective is elevating women of color in our community while also filling the void of safe, black-centered spaces in Rochester. The nonprofit is working to promote activism, social justice, and reproductive justice for women of all ages and racial and ethnic backgrounds.