Michelle Keenan

Membership Director

Michelle Keenan is the Director of Membership at Blue Ridge Public Radio. She began volunteering for the station in 1996 and has been a full-time staff member since 1998.

The daughter of a pilot, Michelle grew up in many places but chose Western North Carolina as her home more than 20 years ago. Michelle has a BA in History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Shortly after college Michelle realized what she really wanted to be when she grew up was a philanthropist. Sans silver spoon, she channeled that energy into raising money and a fundraiser was born. Michelle believes deeply in public broadcasting and is proud to be a member of the Blue Ridge Public Radio family.

Michelle enjoys many creative outlets, traveling and spending time with two and four legged family members and good friends.

Ways to Connect

WCQS Music Director Dick Kowal is just back from a trip with WCQS music lovers down the Danube - visiting Prague, Vienna and Budapest. All this week, during the 9 o'clock hour, Dick will present music celebrating Mozart, Beethoven, Smetana and more - and celebrating the incredibly vibrant music and cultural scene of Central Europe - past and present.

That's Music of the Blue Danube every morning this week - in the 9 o'clock hour - on WCQS.

WCQS has a witches' brew of music today. Chip Kaufmann will speckle each hour of classical music  with tunes tailor made for Halloween. Highlights include:

  • "Toccata & Fugue" - Bach
  • "Danse Macabre" - Saint Saens
  • "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" - Dukas
  • "Mephisto Waltz" - Liszt
  • "The Noonday Witch" - Dvorak
  • "Hansel & Gretel" - Humperdinck
  • "Psycho" - original theme written and conducted by Benard Herrmann

Get your spook on with WCQS!

The Hop Ice Cream Cafe on Merrimon Avenue in Asheville will host a family friendly fundraiser for WCQS tonight from 6 to 9. 50% of proceeds from the sale of ice cream will benefit the programs you love on WCQS. The evening will also feature a concert with renowned master dulcimer player and host of Close to Home, Don Pedi.

The next Moth StorySLAM happens Thursday, October 15 at The Mothlight at Mr. Fred's in West Asheville. Tickets go on sale Oct. 8 at 3 pm. The Moth StorySLAMs are monthly storytelling competitions where the stage is open to any and all with a story to tell on the evening's theme. This month's theme is 'Home'.

With periods of very heavy rainfall expected to produce flash flooding across the region over the next few days, we wanted to pass along some emergency preparedness information from the Asheville-Mountain Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Tune in Thursday morning at 10 for special coverage from NPR. Pope Francis will make an address to both houses of Congress on Thursday morning – something no other pontiff  has done.  Our coverage  will be hosted by Morning Edition’s Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne.  They will be joined by NPR’s Rome Correspondent, Sylvia Poggioli, who is traveling with the Pope, NPR’s Religion Correspondent Tom Gjelten, and, from Capitol Hill, NPR’s Congressional Correspondents Ailsa Chang and Sue Davis.

Pope Francis is expected to make his address to Congress in English.

Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum

Tune in Sunday night at 6 for "The Iran Nuclear Deal" an NPR News special hosted by Steve Inskeep. Few Americans remember that Iran launched its nuclear program in the 1950s with the direct backing of its then ally, the United States. That American support would turn to sanctions and threats of war over Iran's nuclear ambitions. The bitter rivals opened secret negotiations two years ago and are now party to a high-risk deal. Supporters and critics agree it's a pivotal moment -- but for better or worse?

Listen today at 2 for another live performance from our studios. Music Director Dick Kowal welcomes jazz pianist Bill Bares and singer, drummer and band-leader Russ Wilson. The duo will play some jazz classics drawn from the great American songbook.

That's Friday @2, this afternoon on WCQS. Don't miss it!

Join us Tuesday morning at 10 and Thursday evening at 8 for our broadcast of the Asheville Symphony’s May 9 concert.  As the ASO prepares for the opening night concert of its 2015-2016 season Saturday, September 19th, we’ll bring you the final concert of last season.  The soloist is saxophonist Joe Lulloff, and he joins the symphony in Claude Debussy’s Rapsodie for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige Suite, and Darius Milhaud’s Scaramouche. After intermission, the orchestra plays Maurice Ravel’s Suites from his ballet Daphnis and Chloe. 

The Moth Radio Hour can be heard on WCQS, Sunday nights at 6, beginning October 4th. The Moth Radio Hour features the most beloved tales and the stories behind the stories from The Moth main stage and StorySLAM events. WCQS previously broadcast The Moth Radio Hour as a limited run series over the years, and is delighted to be able to add the program as a part of the weekly line up.

You did it! No Drive. No interruptions. Just the programming you love in its entirety. Our campaign to meet our fall fundraising goal without interrupting programs worked! Contributing listeners raised $150,000 two days before our deadline!

We thought it was a great idea, and we're glad that you did too! If you haven't had a chance to make your gift or renew your support this fall, it's not too late. Your support today becomes the programs you hear tomorrow.

No Drive. No interruptions. Our campaign to meet our fall fundraising goal without interrupting programs is working! We have less than $30,000 to go to reach the goal.  $150,000 by September 10th means no Fall Fund Drive! No interruptions. Just the programs you love in their entirety.

WCQS is thrilled to welcome The Moth to Asheville. The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. It is a celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life, and the storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share it.

Solar developers are calling on Duke Energy and the General Assembly to continue a tax cut they say is key to their future. When combined with a 30 percent federal tax break, the state’s 35 percent tax credit has propelled North Carolina to become one of the top four states in the country for installed solar capacity, behind only California, Arizona, and New Jersey. That credit is set to end in December. The state House budget includes an extension; the Senate does not.

WCQS will restore service to Highlands area listeners at a new location - 103.3 FM. Broadcast service at 101.7 was reduced to just downtown Highlands after being bumped by another station earlier this month. The other station, located in South Carolina, was granted a full power transmitter at the same frequency. Because the WCQS signal at 101.7 FM is a low-power translator, WCQS filed for a new frequency with the FCC and it has been granted.

With more than 100,000 people tuning to WCQS each week, we know how much our listeners value the station's contribution to the communities of Western North Carolina. Serving the twelve western most counties in the region, WCQS is a special place and a trusted source for music, news, the arts, ideas, and information.

On Saturday, August 29th, arts organizations and businesses in the Broadway Arts District (B.A.D.), Asheville's newest downtown cultural hub, will be hosting a free block party featuring exhibitions, installations, performances, hands-on activities, food trucks, and more.

WCQS invites listeners to tour the studios and be a part of a special recording project. We want to record visitors' interest in and the experience of art and we'd like to hear why WCQS matters to you.

We've decided to try something new. We think we can raise the funds necessary to support the station without interrupting the programs you love. Traditionally, WCQS interrupts programming to fundraise every Spring and Fall. Our Fall Drive is slated for September 10 - 17, but we're prepared to cancel it if listeners can raise $150,000 by September 10th.

Mountain Xpress readers voted WCQS / Western North Carolina Public Radio "Best Local Radio Station" in the Best of WNC 2015 Awards!

Western North Carolina has some mighty good community radio stations and local commercial stations, so that makes this vote even more meaningful to us. We are delighted and honored. Our thanks to everyone who cast a vote for WCQS.

Whoot! Whoot!

On the next Friday @2, we are joined in our studios by pianist Andrew Tyson. Andrew is a native of North Carolina, and studied at Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School. He has since received an Avery Fischer Career Grant, and performed with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe.

Andrew will perform Friday evening for the Haywood County Arts Council as part of their Young Artist Series, but on the next Friday @2, he’ll join Dick Kowal to play and discuss music live in our studios.

That’s pianist Andrew Tyson on the next Friday @2.

Garrison Keillor and members of the Prairie Home Companion gang will make a stop in Brevard this Saturday night as part of their America the Beautiful Tour. This performance will likely be Keillor's last performance in Western North Carolina before he retires next year. The sold out show, at Brevard Music Center, starts at 7:30. If you are attending the show, be sure to stop by the WCQS booth, on the patio at the entrance to the Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium.

This year's music recording interns at the  Brevard Music Festival , who hail from Peabody Conservatory, Oberlin and Appalachian State , sporting their WCQS t-shirts. They toured our studios and hung out with Music Director and Recording Engineer Dick Kowal.

The winner of the 4th Annual WCQS Ticket to Ride Summer Raffle is Mark Medlin of Weaverville! Mark will choose between a new Audi A3, VW TDI Golf SportWagen or VW Convertible Bug from Harmony Motors

Thanks to everyone who entered the 4th Annual Ticket to Ride Summer Raffle! Proceeds from the raffle support the programming you value. You are all winners to us.   

WCQS recently learned that its signal to the Highlands area at 101.7 FM will soon be bumped by another station. The other station, located in South Carolina, was granted a Transmitter at the same frequency. Because our frequency at 101.7 is only a translator, WCQS listeners in the Highlands area will experience a signal loss effective this Sunday morning.

If you're a fan of RadioLab or Invisibilia you may want to check out Cast Party Tuesday night at a theatre near you.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) awarded its Edward R. Murrow Award to not one but two outstanding recipients this year. NPR International Correspondent (Dakar) Ofeibea Quist-Arcton was recognized for her reporting across Africa including coverage of the Ebola epidemic and Boko Haram.

In an recent interview with the Associated Press Garrison Keillor says he plans to step down as host of A Prairie Home Companion (APHC) after the 2015-2016 season. The 72 year old said, "I have a lot of other things that I want to do. I mean, nobody retires anymore. Writers never retire. But this is my last season. This tour this summer is the farewell tour."

Morning Edition's annual reading of the Declaration of Independence has become an annual tradition. To hear the words in our founding fathers as read by the familiar voices of NPR is quite a wonderful thing.

You can listen to it and savor those mighty words here.

Frank Stasio and the folks at The State of Things are taking July 3rd off in celebration of the July 4th holiday. So in keeping with our July 4th celebration WCQS will air an Independence Day celebratory special from America's Test Kitchen - July 4th Beer Special: The Amazing History, Lore and Science of America's Favorite Drink.

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