Michelle Keenan

Associate Director - Development

Michelle Keenan is the Associate Director of Development 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.

Tune in as WCQS celebrates this festive time of year. From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, Holiday Programming is our gift to you. We'll post highlights throughout the season, so be sure to check back often for updates.

 

Holiday specials are sponsored by: 

Giving Tuesday is a nationwide collective effort to kick off the holiday season with a day of giving back to causes that matter most to you.

During this season of giving WCQS is serving as a collection station for Homeward Bound's "Welcome Home for the Holidays Supply Drive."

Homeward Bound of WNC is a nonprofit agency that works to end homelessness in WNC by providing people with housing, and the support to stay in it. Homeward Bound has housed more than 1330 people since 2006 – and 89% of them are still housed.

November 27, 2015 marks the 7th National Day of Listening. The Day of Listening is a national holiday started by StoryCorps in 2008. On the day after Thanksgiving, StoryCorps asks everyone to take a few minutes to record an interview with a loved one.

Holiday Programming

Nov 23, 2015
American Public Media

Tune in as WCQS celebrates this festive time of year. From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, Holiday Programming is our gift to you. We'll post highlights throughout the season, so be sure to check back often for updates.

Holiday programming is sponsored by: 

Longtime WCQS friend David Holt was in the studio with Dick Kowal today to talk about his upcoming performance in Cullowhee this Sunday at the Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.   David is a  traditional music and storytelling icon, and four-time Grammy Award winner and Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame inductee.

Satirist Lizz Winstead is tackling reproductive rights with "Lady Parts Justice." Lizz Winstead has made a career being the watchdog of the watchdog. As a co-creator of The Daily Show in the 1990s, Winstead was one of the first comedians satirizing both news makers and news media.  Her current focus is on women’s rights, and she founded Lady Parts Justice, an organization that uses comedy and digital media to advocate for reproductive rights. State of Things host Frank Stasio talked with Winstead about political satire and her comedy on the program today.

Veterans Day Salute

Nov 11, 2015

WCQS thanks our veterans, past and present, for their service. Today we especially wish classical music host Josh Jourdan well. Josh is a Naval reservist currently on active duty. We look forward to his safe return and hope to bring you periodic updates from him throughout his tour.

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. 

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.   

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