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

What's the difference between plummet and plunge? Tune in for that answer and more on an Asheville edition of Says You! Sunday afternoon from 1 to 2. 

Join us this Saturday, June 9th at 7:30 PM for the second “Sanctuary Sessions” concert.  The headliners are Jazz Americana duo Max Hatt / Edda Glass. Glass has been praised for her “impeccable vocal command” (PopMatters) and compared to a gamut of singers from Astrud Gilberto to Billie Holliday. Her voice is “one of a kind…you cannot confuse her with another artist” (New York Theatre Guide).

NPR

Every heart in public radio is heavy this week after the loss one its most beloved figures. Carl Kasell, veteran newscaster and scorekeeper emeritus for Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, died at the age of 84, due to complications of Alzheimer's Disease.

The State of Things is broadcasting from Blue Ridge Public Radio April 12 and 13. While Frank Stasio and the rest of the SOT staff are in town, they want to hear from YOU! BPR is hosting an informal meet-up at Hi-Wire Brewing's Big Top location on April 12 from 5 to 7. 

Guests will have a chance to ask questions of Frank, the SOT producers, and the BPR News Team and let them know what issues are important to them. So join us for a pint and some great conversation!

Thank you so much for supporting Blue Ridge Public Radio! It took an extra inning, but on this opening day of baseball season, that's only fitting. We met the Spring Fund Drive goal this morning - without interrupting one minute of the programs you count on. More than 1,600 listeners did their part to help us raise more than $228,000. 
 
Blue Ridge Public Radio brings you programming that enriches your life and fundraising that respects the very reason you listen. We couldn't be more proud of you - loyal and committed listeners who know how important this service is.

Blue Ridge Public Radio welcomes Says You!, the public radio game show of bluff and bluster, to the Diana Wortham Theatre, June 14th. Join us for a night of whit, whimsy and colorful language. Says You! Fans will enjoy regular cast members Carolyn Faye Fox, Murray Horwitz, Barry Nolan, as well as local hall of fame punsters, for a night of ridiculous clues, verbal repartee, and bold face blunders - all at the dictionary’s expense.

Blue Ridge Public Radio is YOUR public radio station, and we want you to stay in touch and contribute to BPR's regional conversations and celebrations of community. Here's how:

Social Media - join our community of Facebook fans. You can be a part of the conversation about what you hear on the air and get to more of an insider's look at the station. Follow us on Twitter at @BlueRidgePublic.

Two stations. One goal. Zero program interruptions. Now all we need is you!  It’s time to give.  The Spring Fund Drive is happening right now. Our goal is $225,000 by March 28th for uninterrupted programming. Take a stand for responsible journalism, insightful reporting and cultural celebration by supporting the programming you love. 

Here's how you can make your gift to support the Blue Ridge Public Radio Spring Drive:

Old Timey music and Bluegrass fans won't want to miss Country Roots this week! Tune in Sunday night at 7 for two hours of live music from some great, local musicians. Host Wayne Erbsen will welcome Old Chevrolet, Frank Lee and Allie Burbrink, and The Warren Wilson College Bluegrass Band. 

That's this Sunday night, Feb. 18, from 7 - 9 on WCQS!

The Asheville Moth StorySLAM series will continue in 2018. The StorySLAM is a monthly competition, where the stage is open to any and all with a story to tell on the evening's theme. The SLAMs are production of The Moth. The schedule and themes [as posted] are listed below.

President Trump’s annual budget proposal recommends eliminating funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). CPB funding, which amounts to .01 percent of the federal budget, is important seed funding that enables local stations like Blue Ridge Public Radio to provide you with the programming and services you value and trust. Multiple studies confirm there is no replacement for federal funding.

During this season of giving, we wanted to share a special story about an act of generosity that recently made a big impact on Blue Ridge Public Radio and Working Wheels (formerly Wheels for Hope).

When Jim and Kendall Oliver of Asheville bought tickets for BPR’s Ticket to Ride Summer Raffle earlier this year, they did so to support the station, without a thought to actually winning the raffle. When they won, no one was more surprised than they were. They immediately wondered how they could parlay their windfall into something even more positive. 

Wow! We made the Fall Membership Drive goal - without interrupting programming.  This marks our 6th Drive without one moment of interruption to the news and music that you count on. Thank you to everyone who supported this terrific community effort!

The Inaugural Asheville Moth GrandSLAM Championship will take place October 30th at Diana Wortham Theatre.  The GrandSLAM competition will feature winners from the monthly SLAMs in a battle of wits and words - fierce, hilarious, heartbreaking and all points between. The theme is "Fish Out of Water".  

Two stations, one goal - and no program interruptions. It's the Blue Ridge Public Radio Fall Fund Drive! Our goal is $200,000 by September 27th for uninterrupted programming. Blue Ridge Public Radio - WCQS / BPR News is listener supported and your donation makes everything you count on possible. Support what you value: responsible reporting and journalism with insight and meaning, cultural celebration - and no program interruptions. 

The winner for Blue Ridge Public Radio's 2017 Ticket to Ride Raffle was drawn at 5:34, live on-air in the Blue Ridge Public Radio studios. The winner is Jim Oliver of Asheville! Congratulations! 

Jim will choose between an Audi A3 and a VW Golf Alltrack from Harmony motors. We'll post more pictures when he claims his prize. 

Thanks to everyone who entered the raffle. Only one person could win, but you are all winners to us. Raffle purchases support the programming you rely on everyday. 

The grand prize drawing for Blue Ridge Public Radio's Ticket To Ride Summer Raffle is today! Tune in tonight at 5:30 to find out who will drive away in a new Audi A3 or VW Golf Alltrack from Harmony Motors. Last year's winner will join Helen Chickering and other BPR staff members in the studio to pull the lucky winner's name.

Blue Ridge Public Radio's Ticket to Ride Summer Raffle is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. Raffle ticket purchases support programming on WCQS and BPR News. The winner will be drawn at random and announced on air on August 16, 2017. 

The winner will choose between an Audi A3 or VW Golf AllTrack from Harmony motors. Stay tuned for all the details. 

Thanks to everyone who entered the raffle. You're all winners to us. 

Start your engines!  Blue Ridge Public Radio's 6th annual Ticket to Ride Summer Raffle starts Friday, July 7! $100 could put you in a 2018 Audi A3 or 2017 VW Golf Alltrack from Harmony Motors.  You choose the car. You choose the color. Only 999 tickets will be sold, and the deadline to enter is August 3, 2017. 

The lucky winner will get to choose between the following vehicle prize packages:

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. May 11th marks Fresh Air's 30th anniversary. It's a remarkable milestone for one of public radio's most loved and respected hosts and programs. We hope you'll join us in celebrating Terry Gross and her team.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our Spring Membership Drive! The goal was $225,000 by April 12 for uninterrupted programming - and you did it! This marks our 5th consecutive Membership Drive without one moment of fundraising interruption to the programs you love.

The deadline for our Membership Drive is fast approaching!  The goal is $225,000 by April 12 for uninterrupted programming. This is our 5th fundraising season without one moment of program interruption. We're asking you to support the programming you value during regularly scheduled breaks. Give now for programming that enriches your life and fundraising that respects your listening experience.

WCQS is pleased to announce expanded service for Western North Carolina with the launch of its all-news sister station, BPR News, beginning March 6.  The growth is reflected in a new name, Blue Ridge Public Radio (BPR), which will be home to both stations.

The wildly popular Moth StorySLAMs will continue in Asheville throughout 2017. The StorySLAM is a monthly competition, where the stage is open to any and all with a story to tell on the evening's theme. The schedule and themes [as posted] are listed below.

Thank you to everyone who supported WCQS in 2016! Our year end campaign was a great success, exceeding the $100,000 goal.  Your gifts help WCQS stay on track as we begin the New Year and ensure that WCQS will be here for you in 2017 with thoughtful journalism that fosters understanding, bridges divides, and broadens perspectives. The news, music and everything you enjoy on WCQS is powered by listener support.

Generosity lies less in giving much than in giving at the right moment.” –Jean de la Bruyere

As you consider your year-end gifts to organizations that make a difference in your life, we hope you'll consider WCQS among them. And as your resource for insight and information, we also thought you might appreciate some thoughts about tax-conscious philanthropy to help you maximize the impact of your generosity.

NPR

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. We're happy to once again see that Asheville is a great place for public radio. Please follow the ticket link to get on the waiting list for returns. We'll post the list of Michelle's guests very soon.Thanks very much.

WCQS and NPR are proud to present Michel Martin Going There: When Your Hometown Gets Hot February 7th at Diana Wortham Theatre. 

Now more than ever, independent journalism and public radio programming is essential to our democracy! Everything you hear on WCQS is made possible by listener support. Our year-end goal of $100,000 by December 31st will keep WCQS on track to continue to bring you insightful news, well reasoned voices and amazing music when you need it most. 

Photo Credit: Michael Mauney

After three decades of service to public radio audiences in Western North Carolina, WCQS Music Director Dick Kowal will retire at the end of April, 2017.

Dick joined WCQS in 1986 when it was still a fledgling station. In the years since, the station has become an essential arts and culture resource for the region.

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