Hélène Biandudi Hofer

Need to Know Host

Hélène Biandudi Hofer is host and producer of WXXI TV's Need to Know, an award-winning, half-hour weekly news and public affairs program. Hélène joined the station in September 2010 as the host of All Things Considered.

Before moving to Rochester, Hélène worked at the CBS Primetime show 48 Hours Mystery in New York City. While at CBS she contributed to several documentary specials for the network including the tragedy at Virginia Tech, the tribute to news icon Walter Cronkite, the inauguration of Barack Obama and the CBS/VOGUE Fashion’s Night Out program.

Hélène is a graduate of New York University’s Broadcast Journalism program. After graduation, she returned to her hometown, Columbus, Ohio, where she worked as an associate producer for WBNS-TV.

Ways to Connect

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.

Who knew that a game of Connect Four and a few cups of Play-Doh could launch intergenerational friendships that motivate Rochester youth? It’s all happening through an organization called Generation Two (G2). The non-profit pairs kindergarten and first grade kids with adult volunteers known as “buddies.” These intergenerational friendships are intended to provide the social and emotional strength needed to help kids thrive in the classroom

When someone in a family is incarcerated, the whole family is incarcerated. That’s according to Rochester resident Precious Bedell. Advocating for the families and children of those behind bars is what you could call a life mission for Bedell who is the founder and director of Turning Points Resource Center, a nonprofit operating out of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Chili Avenue that provides information to families of inmates in addition to re-entry support for prisoners returning to society.

On this edition of Need to Know: the stories of those working in the trenches in our community to improve the lives of others. From a book club turning women into activists, a center working to reduce prison recidivism, and a buddy program creating unique friendships between young and old, they’re all an effort to strengthen our region. 

Mural artist Sarah Rutherford is combining the power of story and voice in a unique project she recently completed here in Rochester. It’s called Her Voice Carries and it features five murals highlighting the empowering stories of five Rochester women from different walks of life. Though their journeys may be different, they share an interesting common thread. That story on this edition of Need to Know.

A record-breaking number of women are running for political office this year. According to some women in the political trenches, the reasons run deep. And according to some researchers and lawmakers, the impact could be long-term. It all seems quite fitting as the Centennial celebration is underway in New York for women’s suffrage. On August 23rd, leaders from around the state will gather in Rochester for Seneca Falls Revisited: A Women’s Equality Weekend. The meaning behind the event and its intended impact on this edition of Need to Know.

Politicians, entrepreneurs, activists, and reformers throughout New York are coming together in Rochester on August 23rd. What do they have in common? The pursuit for women’s equality. That story on this edition of Need to Know.

Also on the show, five women, five stories, and five murals with one purpose. How a local artist intends to connect a community through the commonalities of our human experience...and the power of a woman’s voice.

Most racial and ethnic minority groups have similar - or in some cases, fewer - mental health disorders than their white peers. And yet, the consequences of mental illness in minorities may be long-lasting. That’s according to the American Psychiatric Association. The disparities in mental health care for racial, ethnic and religious minorities is real. How is it happening, why is it happening, and what resources are available right here in our community to help combat it? We look into these questions and more on this edition of Need to Know.