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Coming up on Connections: Friday, March 17, 2023

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First hour: Discussing how fentanyl is complicating efforts to help people struggling with addiction

Second hour: Recapping 2023's "If All Rochester Wrote the Same Song"

The explosion of fentanyl has complicated the efforts to help people with addiction. Those who work in the advocacy field say that addiction is now closely intertwined with mental illness and homelessness. They join us to discuss what they’re seeing in Rochester and Western New York. Our guests:

  • Christopher Abert, executive director of New York Recovery Alliance
  • Paul Baker, CFO of Substance Overdose Awareness Recovery Services (SOARS)
  • Stephanie L. Forrester, board president and co-founder of Recovery All Ways, board member for New York Recovery Alliance, and peer advocate for Person Centered Housing Options
  • Gary Harding, board member at large for Recovery All Ways

Then in our second hour, “What Did I Miss?” That’s the title of at least 80 new songs written by Rochester-area songwriters. The songs were submitted as part of the annual “If All Rochester Wrote the Same Song” event, which challenges local artists to write an original song with the same title. 17 songs made the final cut and were performed on March 12. This hour, we talk to the event’s organizers and a few of the songwriters about their process and their music. Our guests:

  • Kelly Izzo Shapiro, songwriter, co-founder of Musical Shares LLC, and producer of “If All Rochester Wrote the Same Song”
  • Sarah DeVallière, songwriter, co-founder of Musical Shares LLC, and producer of “If All Rochester Wrote the Same Song”
  • Steve Piper, songwriter, and producer of “If All Rochester Wrote the Same Song”
  • Phil Broikos, singer/songwriter
  • Levi Gangi, singer/songwriter
  • Natalie Pang, Eastman graduate student studying piano performance and music theory
  • Amanda Chow, medical student at University of Rochester
  • Tom Whitmore, songwriter and band member of Watkins and The Rapiers
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He 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.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.