Interview with multi-talented Francine Achbar

The Anatomy of an Artist Series with Lynne Bernfield

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1-3-22 To start the New Year, I am airing an interview with Francine Achbar who created an uncommon life for a woman of her generation. Born in Ottawa, Canada, “a tiny claustrophobic Jewish community,” Francine launched herself into the wider world by enrolling in Boston University. Beginning her career as a newspaper reporter, she worked her way up to Executive Producer of News at WBZ-TV, Boston’s CBS station, then went to the Programming Dept. where she created documentaries and specials.  At every turn, instinctively knowing when she’d “had enough,” Francine simply quit, and moved on to the next thing. Finally finding herself where she was always meant to be, first, as Director of Development (a job she’d never done before) and then, Executive Director of Boston’s new Jewish Cultural arts organization, the  New Center for Arts and Culture,  now called JArts Collaborative from which she “retired.” But, of course, Francine could not retire from being productive. She tutored reading to  young  children in a Sarasota public school and spent 25 years  as panelist on the Public Radio quiz show Says You,  Which will broadcast its two farewell shows in September in Seattle and San Francisco.  Listen to this extraordinary woman describe the details of a full, exciting, challenging life in which she very definitely “met the moment.”