'With Good Reason' Wins Award for Arts Programming

May 22, 2010 — "With Good Reason," the only statewide public radio show produced in Virginia, has been honored with its second consecutive Gabriel Award, winning "Best Arts Programming – Local Release" for 2010.

The show is produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, which is affiliated with the University of Virginia.

Producer and host Sarah McConnell and the "With Good Reason" team – associate producers Elliot Majerczyk and Jesse Dukes, with publicity coordinator Lydia Wilson – worked on the winning entry, "Furious Flower," which features an intimate interview with Lucille Clifton, former poet laureate of Maryland.

It was one of Clifton's final interviews before her death Feb. 13 after a long struggle with cancer. Clifton was widely acclaimed for her powerful explorations of race, womanhood and spirituality in her work.

The radio program was the offspring of a "Furious Flower" conference at James Madison University, where the Furious Flower Poetry Center, created by faculty member Joanne Gabbin, is located. In June 2009, the center honored Clifton at a seminar on her poetry that brought more than 40 teachers and scholars from across the nation.

Listen to the program, which also features Hilary Holladay, author of "Wild Blessings: The Poetry of Lucille Clifton," at withgoodreasonradio.org.

"With Good Reason" took honors for best locally released arts program in the competition, which is sponsored by the Catholic Academy of Communications Arts Professionals.

Recipients of this year's Gabriel Awards included radio programs created by American Public Media, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, America Abroad Media, Sirius XM Radio and Boston's WBUR, among others.

The 45th Annual Gabriel Awards honored film, television and radio programs that "affirm the dignity of human beings" and recognize and uphold "universally recognized human values such as community, creativity, tolerance, justice, compassion and the dedication to excellence," according to the academy.

"With Good Reason" is heard weekly on all of Virginia's public radio stations, and presents engaging conversations with leading scholars at Virginia's public colleges and universities. Previous programs can be heard by podcast and are archived online.

— By Anne Bromley