CHICAGO – August 28, 2018 – WFMT, Chicago’s classical music radio station, announced today that its Program Director DAVID POLK, 35, has been named to the first-ever Crain’s Chicago Business Notable LGBTQ Executives List.
According to Crain’s, honorees “must be based in the Chicago area, serve in a senior role (within three levels of their CEO), hold a leadership position in their industry outside their own organization, have made a significant contribution to advancing workplace equality at their own workplace or beyond, and act as a role model or mentor.”
“I’m flattered to be included on a list that includes so many deserving civic leaders whom I respect, across such a wide variety of industries and disciplines,” said Polk. “I thank Crain’s for shining a spotlight on our community.”
David arrived at WFMT in 2006 and was promoted to Program Director in 2014 at age 30. He was the founding producer and former host of WFMT’s award-winning weekly local series Introductions, which began in 2008 and features the region’s finest young classical musicians. He has also produced a variety of other content for WFMT and has reported on the arts in Chicago and around the world, having produced and/or co-hosted coverage from the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland, the Salzburg Festival in Austria, Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition, and more. Back at home in 2011, he produced Arts After School, a month-long exploration of local arts education programs, made possible by the Chicago Community Trust. During his tenure as Program Director, pledge revenue has grown and audience has grown on streaming and digital channels. David is an instrumental force in helping to craft the organization’s cross-platform, forward-looking strategy, while continuing the station’s legacy of featuring artists from across the Chicago area on what is one of the largest performing arts platforms in the region.
He is also the winner of a 2010 Fulbright journalism fellowship from the German Fulbright Commission (Berlin). Before joining WFMT, Polk worked for Car Talk from National Public Radio (Cambridge, MA) and WBUR (Boston), the Ravinia Festival, the Africa Bureau of the US State Department (Embassy in Paris), the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and the Paris Orchestra. He graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University in 2005.
In addition to his work at WFMT, David plays trumpet for Chicago’s Lakeside Pride LGBTQ Band, is a former board chair of Chicago’s ensemble dal niente, and is a member of the Association of LGBTQ Journalists and the Association of Independents in Radio.
WFMT, founded in 1951, is one of the nation’s most respected classical music radio stations, available on-air at WFMT, online, and via app on Apple and Android mobile devices. WFMT showcases superlative programs, concerts, and live events – broadcasts from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, Ravinia Festival, and many more. WFMT is also a leading producer and syndicator of a diverse selection of outstanding musical series, including Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, the Beethoven Network, and the Jazz Network. Connect with WFMT on Facebook and Twitter.
Julia Maish, WFMT