Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson 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.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

University of Rochester Medical Center

First hour: Firearm-owning progressives discuss gun policy

Second hour: "Thinkers and Drinkers" group works to improve science literacy

The Rochester Jewish Film Festival kicks off next week, and one film tells the story of a local Holocaust survivor. Jack Feldman grew up in Poland and was sent to Auschwitz during the war. In the camp, he was known only by his number, A17606. 

The tattoo on his arm caught the attention of his great-grandson, Elliott Saiontz. Saiontz interviews Feldman in the film, “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm.”

We get a preview of the film this hour from Feldman, Saiontz, and Feldman’s granddaughter, Stacey Saiontz. We also hear what else is in the lineup for this year’s festival. In studio:

  • Jack Feldman
  • Stacey Saiontz
  • Elliott Saiontz
  • Bonnie Abrams, director of the Center for Holocaust Awareness and Information at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester
  • Andrea Miller, director of the Rochester Jewish Film Festival

You may have seen the recent TIME Magazine cover that juxtaposed President Donald Trump and the image of a crying child at the American border. It turns out, that child had not been separated from her parents, and now there are questions about whether TIME should have used the image at all.

Our panel of photographers and journalists weighs in. In studio:

  • William Snyder, four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, and chair of the Photojournalism Program at RIT
  • Jenn Poggi, assistant professor of photojournalism at RIT, and former photo editor for the Associated Press and U.S. News & World Report


First hour: Discussing ethics in photojournalism

Second hour: Previewing the Rochester Jewish Film Festival

With the summer kicking off, we’re seeing more children playing outside in their neighborhoods and neighborhoods streets. But do all kids have access to safe places to play?

New research shows that that car crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists are more frequent in some of Rochester’s most economically-challenged neighborhoods. What it will take to make streets safer?

We’re joined by experts and local residents who share their ideas. In studio:

  • Mike Bulger, coordinator for the Healthy Communities Project at Common Ground Health
  • Renée Stetzer, vice president for community outreach and chair of the Pedestrian Workgroup at Reconnect Rochester
  • Lydia Rivera, vice president of the Edgerton Neighborhood Association
  • Wendy Karen, secretary of the Edgerton Neighborhood Association

A restaurant owner in Virginia asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave her establishment over the weekend. The owner said she knew Huckabee Sanders defended the president’s ban on transgender people in the military, and out respect for her employees who are gay, she told Huckabee Sanders to leave. The move has led to a fierce debate.

Our guests discuss their take on the issue. In studio:


First hour: Should Sarah Huckabee Sanders have been asked to leave a restaurant?

Second hour: How to make streets safer for neighborhood kids.

We're joined by Ken Rudin, host of “Political Junkie.” We sit down with Rudin in studio to discuss the latest in national and New York State politics.

How do German political leaders and the German people view the Trump administration? The Consul General of Germany helps us understand the answer this hour.

David Gill is in Rochester to attend a showcase at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. The performance is a collaboration between the Eastman School of Music and the German Federal Jazz Orchestra, BuJazzO. The orchestra will perform new compositions for archival films from the vaults at the George Eastman Museum.

We hear about the project, and we discuss the state of U.S.-German relations. In studio:


First hour: Discussing U.S.-German relations, with David Gill, Consul General of Germany

Second hour: Ken Rudin, host of "Political Junkie"