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Coming up on Connections: Wednesday, February 28

First hour: "End the R-Word" campaign focuses on disparities

Second hour: Previewing the RPO's 96th season

The campaign to "End the R-Word" marches into 2018. It's the tenth year for the effort that began as a way to highlight the pejorative and common use of the word "retard." This year's campaign has a special focus on recognizing the disparities faced by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, especially in the fields of health care, housing, employment, and access to social opportunities. Our guests:

  • Ann Costello, director of the Golisano Foundation
  • Dr. Tiffany Pulcino, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and medical director of the UR Medicine Complex Care Center
  • Lindsay Jewett, area director for Best Buddies New York
  • Dillon Muelter, Best Buddies participant at Buffalo State College
  • Soeren Palumbo, senior director for global youth engagement for the Special Olympics, and co-founder of the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign

Then in our second hour, the RPO's 96th season will include music from the classic repertoire, as well as programming aimed at the family. We'll sit down with music director Ward Stare and Curt Long, the new CEO. Our conversation will include the criticism that some orchestras have received for not featuring enough music by women and people of color -- something the RPO says it is addressing this season. Our guests:

  • Ward Stare, music director for the RPO
  • Curt Long, president and CEO of the RPO
  • Brenda Tremblay, host and producer for Classical 91.5
  • Rob Deemer, head of music composition for the School of Music at SUNY Fredonia

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.