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United We Are a Force, and Individually We are W.O.N.

Image Courtesy of Rebecca Weinstein

Women of Note celebrates the unique talents of women of Hampton Roads and seeks to raise awareness of issues women face in the 21st century. We are well aware of the many hats women wear throughout the day as well as throughout their lives and we would like to give women the opportunity to share their experiences juggling these with our community. By sharing our experiences, we hope to inspire others, learn from their perspectives, and foster a dialogue that creates solutions. Today we spot light Rebecca Weinstein.

Affiliation(s) (past and present):

I’m a Classical Announcer and Content Producer for WHRO Public Media. I host and produce the radio program “Mid-day Classics,” Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 3 PM on 90.3 WHRO-FM. I also host and produce a weekly program called “Show Tune Cafe,” harkening back to the Golden Age of Broadway every Friday at noon. In addition to my role on air, I produce interviews and features on local and visiting artists and performers.

How long have you been (working in/participating in) your field? How did you get into it?

I’ve been working in radio full-time for about three years, but I’ve been involved in the arts my whole life. I studied classical voice and opera at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, and got a gig writing arts reviews in D.C. after I graduated. I spent several years working in arts administration and marketing, and producing arts reviews on a freelance basis. I became a full-time radio announcer at WHRO in late 2018.

How long have you been working/ living in in Hampton Roads?

I was born and raised in Williamsburg, but lived in the Baltimore/D.C. area for 5 years. I moved to Norfolk in 2014 and fell in love with our creative community here.

What advice would you give young women going into your field?

Dream big, work hard, and set boundaries early. Figure out what you’re uniquely qualified to do and pursue it with vigor. At the same time, hold tight to your creative interests outside of work; they help fuel you.

Does your gender influence your relationship to your work? In what way?

In some of my past roles, I felt like I had to work twice as hard as my male colleagues to receive recognition. During this time, I had a handful of amazing female mentors who lifted me up and inspired me to persevere and continuously raise the bar for myself. I try to pass that support on, and help others grow, shine, and find opportunities whenever I can. We’re stronger together because everyone has something unique to bring to the table.

Has parenthood impacted your career or shaped your perspective as a professional? In what ways?

Choosing to remain childfree has given me the privilege and opportunity to commit myself to my career 100%. My husband and I are both really focused on building each other up and creating the life we want together.

What has been your greatest challenge and what have you learned from it?

My greatest challenge has been finding my career niche and learning to trust my instincts. I grew up immersed in music and theatre, but never felt completely comfortable onstage as I’m highly introverted. I was always happiest talking about and programming music. I studied the arts in college because they’re my greatest love, but I knew early on that a career performing wasn’t ever going to make me happy or fulfilled. I distanced myself from singing for a short period, but could never shake my love of the arts. I was working in a very corporate position when I stumbled on the job ad for my role at WHRO. I remember thinking, “Wow, whoever gets that job is really lucky.” I’m so grateful it was me. Some of our most important opportunities can come from uncertainties, doubts, redirections, and unexpected bumps in the road. Sometimes it’s a tortuous and confusing process to get where you’re supposed to be, but you can’t skip ahead.

Any closing thoughts?

Classical music is a wonderful companion, and I know a lot of people are seeking comfort and escape right now. You can tune in with us any time on our website, Public radio played a huge role in my journey falling in love with the arts, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help introduce the next generation to the wonders of classical music.

Know a Woman of Note that should be featured? Please email us at Spotlighthrnews@gmail.c

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