Sasha-Ann Simons

Arts InFocus Host/Reporter/Producer

Sasha-Ann Simons joined the team at WXXI News in 2015 as a Multimedia Reporter/Producer. She tells stories about the innovation economy and technology in upstate New York and also does general assignment reporting. Sasha-Ann is the host of Arts InFocus, WXXI-TV's weekly arts and culture program. She is also a fill-in host and regular contributor to Need To Know.

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Sasha-Ann comes to Rochester after spending her formative years growing up in Toronto, Canada. She studied broadcasting at Ryerson University, where she received a Bachelor of Journalism. Sasha-Ann earned her first news gig as a chase producer at CityTV, while still a college freshman. She subsequently took on various roles in other Toronto newsrooms as a videographer, host, and producer, and was part of the award-winning Global Television Network news team.

Sasha-Ann has covered and produced stories in the Canadian national spotlight, including Occupy Toronto, the Eaton Centre mall shooting, the Toronto Argos CFL championship win, and the Mayor Rob Ford crack scandal.

Sasha-Ann is fun-loving and sassy. She is also passionate about education issues. When she's not on the air, Sasha-Ann spends her time with family and exploring new recipes in the kitchen.

Ways to Connect


With 10 minutes left to go in his private session at CP Rochester, a little boy took the hand of physical therapist, Karen Terp, and led her to the hallway for an afternoon stroll.

“You want to walk? Ok,” Terp said.


Across the country, some immigrants already in the United States say they are full of fear and uncertainty. The same is true for the local refugee community, especially after President Donald Trump abruptly enforced an immigration ban on seven Muslim countries.

“There’s nothing we can do. We can just hold and wait and see what happens,” said Sadiya Omar, a former refugee from Somalia.


Much to his disappointment, an extensive history of mental health issues did not work in the favor of Emanuel Lutchman in federal court Thursday. He was sentenced by Judge Frank Geraci, Jr. to 20 years in prison for plotting a New Year’s Eve machete attack at Merchants Grill in the name of ISIS.

Shortly after the sentencing, Lutchman turned angry and began shouting threats in Arabic. It was a drastic turn of events, because the defendant gave an emotional testimony and apology just moments before.


The University of Rochester Medical Center will receive up to $9 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dedicated to watching for and researching infectious diseases over the next five years.

The award renews the university’s role as a member of the CDC’s Emerging Infections Program (EIP), a national network based at the URMC Center for Community Health that keeps an eye on infectious threats, including the flu, HPV and C. diff.

Sasha-Ann Simons / WXXI News

Rochester's soccer stadium has a new name and a new marketing deal. It was announced today that the stadium will now be called Capelli Sport Stadium, named after a New York City based sports equipment company.

As part of the deal, Capelli Sport will provide all official club uniforms, training gear and merchandise.

Jason Arnold is sporting director for Capelli. He says partnering with Wendy and David Dworkin, who bought the Rochester Rhinos soccer team last year, just made a lot of sense.

SWBR Architects

A new mandate from New York State is bringing big changes to organizations serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

We recently visited one organization that has been part of the Rochester community for 70 years.

Holy Childhood is getting ready to not only greatly expand the opportunities of its clients, but launch a new business.

Sasha-Ann Simons / WXXI News

The inauguration of President Donald Trump was the topic of conversation Friday at a lot of places around Rochester where people usually gather, and barbershops traditionally are  a place to share thoughts and comments.

At Changing Faces Barbershop in Irondequoit, one of the barbers, Kelvin Young, who was among those watching the ceremonies on the TV in the shop, said he hopes President Trump can deliver what he promised as a candidate.

As the number of flu cases rise across the country, at least one local hospital system will begin visitor restrictions to try to limit its spread.

Officials at UR Medicine said these restrictions will be in place at Strong Memorial, Highland, Golisano Children’s Hospital and the Wilmot Cancer Center as of Noon on Wednesday.


Music has a way of touching every one of us. Some of us may have a deep appreciation for the artistry in making music, others may appreciate its ability to convey emotion and transport us to a different place.

But, as shown at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, music can also be used as a form of therapy. Expressive Arts sessions improve the quality of life for people who are well, and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities, disorders, illnesses, or learning differences. 


Rochester’s East High School is part of a select group chosen to participate in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. It’s a program that sends the hard work of high school students on a real mission to outer space. On this edition of Need to Know, WXXI’s Sasha-Ann Simons takes us inside East High to meet the trio responsible for sending a local microgravity experiment to NASA.