Arts/Culture

The WBFO Arts & Culture News Desk is co-funded by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.

Joey Giambra

As a ten-year old boy growing up in Buffalo, he made up operas using his action figures. Now a Juilliard School of Music grad, Jay Louis Dref will appear with musician/playwright Joey Giambra and noted Buffalo actors and musicians one night only Saturday August 25 at the Kavinoky Theatre in a performance of  Giambra's BREAD AND ONIONS, a poetic narrative about Sicilian immigrants and their families in the lower West Side of Buffalo.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Roycroft Campus in East Aurora is designated as a National Historic Landmark. It features nine of the  original 14 buildings that began the Arts & Crafts Movement of Elbert Hubbard. WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley met with the Roycroft’s executive director Curt Maranto, who recently invited local elected leaders to see the campus and learn about restoration at the historic site.


National Public Radio

As fans and admirers recall Aretha Franklin upon her death at the age of 76, the attention is placing the spotlight on her Buffalo connections. She spent part of her youth here as her father served as pastor at Friendship Baptist Church. That period is at the heart of an appreciation penned by Buffalo News Music Critic Jeff Miers, who discussed how the singer possessed the "Buffalo Spell" with Toney Rhoades of Friendship Baptist. The term, Miers says, sums up the commitment and passion that is common throughout Buffalo's music scene.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

It took only minutes Thursday for downtown Buffalo's brand new Market Arcade Cinema to have that eternal sign of a movie theater: the odor and sound of fresh popcorn, as customers arrived for the first day of shows.


Alyn Syms

Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Member and composer Alyn Syms is known for playing with Rick James and leading his own group, but for almost a decade he has quietly been performing for patients at Roswell Park. His newest project "Cyrano" is based on the time he's spent playing there. Syms shared some of his experiences at the cancer institute with WBFO's Nick Lippa .


Rochester Institute of Technology

The death of singer Aretha Franklin has touched a lot of people, including a Rochester musician who actually played as backup with her in three concerts in Buffalo and Rochester.

Photography by David Hou

While August is traditionally the month for taking a vacation, that message hasn't gotten to the theaters!

Every summer weekend in Buffalo seems to feature a cultural festival, from Greek to Italian to Lebanese and many more. This year, Jewish culture is being added to that list.


National Public Radio

Condolences and remembrances of Aretha Franklin are coming in from around the world and from her adopted hometown of Buffalo with the news that the Queen of Soul died Thursday morning at the age of 76.

Aretha Franklin, The 'Queen Of Soul,' Dies At 76

Aug 16, 2018
@BuffaloBRAUN

The Buffalo Bills are the only NFL team to have lost  four consecutive Super Bowls (1991 to 1994) and this has long been a source of civic dismay. But, what if they won? What would that feel like?

WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Cast members from "Disney's Aladdin" appeared at The Belle Center on Buffalo's West Side Tuesday.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says they held a special health and wellness workshop for city children.


buffalovibe.com

Get on your good foot! The Buffalo Central Terminal is the place to be for The Buffalo Boogie and Dance Party Monday evening.

'Big Shot' heading to Old Fort Niagara

Aug 10, 2018
Old Fort Niagara

The 33rd “Big Shot” community photo project will focus on Old Fort Niagara next month.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Thursday's celebration of 11 years of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the Buffalo History Museum was more than a political statement. It was also a celebration of indigenous arts and crafts.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

It’s been a long journey for Pausa Art House co-owner Lazara Martinez who grew up in Cuba before coming to America. Now, her live music venue has become a hot spot for touring musicians. This weekend, Grammy nominated jazz artist Jane Bunnett will be performing with her all-women Cuban group Maqueque.

Deen van Meer / Aladdin North American Tour

Over the weekend the Second Generation Theater (founded by Kristin Bentley, Kelly Copps, and Arin Dandes) put on a retrospective of their past five shows, and gave a hint of their upcoming BIG FISH, at Shea's Smith Theatre, their new "home." Next door, at Shea's , the Disney musical ALADDIN opened, featuring Lissa deGuzman as Princess Jasmine, a role she's looked forward to all her life, as told to WBFO in conversation. And Donna Hoke will indulge a persistent Buffalo dream, to win a Superbowl, in ONCE IN MY LIFETIME, coming to Shea's Smith Theatre later this month.

Julianna Sebastian

The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame announced its class of 2018 at the Buffalo History Museum Wednesday. The 10 inductees are a diverse group of musicians, artists and producers from Western New York.

Deen van Meer / Aladdin North American Tour

There will be plenty of magic on stage at Shea's promises "Princess Jasmine" including on scene where there are 100 costume changes in 60 seconds, and, of course, a flying magic carpet.

Once again this year, the Response Performance Festival will utilize the space at Silo City for a site-specific production. According to Dan Shanahan, Artistic Director at Torn Space Theater, more elements and venues have been added. Some performances will feature a boat ride along the Buffalo River, and Bridgman/Packer Dance will perform inside the bed of a 17-foot box truck at Canalside and at the Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

This year's annual Artie Awards were so successful as a fundraiser for Erie County Medical Center's Immunodeficiency Services Department, the money raised was double last year's.

Buffalo Rising

It could be called Buffalo's most colorful new event. Paint vs Paint featured paintball competitors battling at a former industrial complex on Howard Street that has been transformed into NORMEL Paintball. The event also attracted street artists who painted their creations on the walls throughout the complex. On WBFO's Press Pass, Newell Nussbaumer of Buffalo Rising explains how the event's energy has also splattered into the nearby neighborhood. 


BFLOexperience.org

Plans are moving forward to create the BFLO Hall of Fame Experience.  It’s a combined effort of three active local groups: Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, Buffalo Broadcasters Association and Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

shakeonthelake.org

With an abundance of outdoor activities to do this summer in urban and suburban areas, a troupe of actors is bringing the works of Shakespeare to rural communities.

National Public Radio

Catholics in Western New York and across the world are re-assessing their beliefs, after the Vatican and Pope Francis issued a decree Thursday stating the church now formerly opposes the death penalty in all cases.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park Facebook Page

Director Kyle LoConti's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at Shakespeare in Delaware Park has too much respect for the text to keep going for the easy laughs using cheap sexual innuendos and obscene gestures. No, for that you'll hve to get over to see SILENCE: THE MUSICAL, held over one more weekend due to popular demand. On the other hand, for something family friendly, try THE ODYSSEY at Artpark, and speaking of family, Heather Fangsrud has a tender and funny story of growing up in a very religious family in KNOCK KNOCK, JESUS CALLING.


IMDb

"I'm not the star," insists Broadway's Terence Archie in THE ODYSSEY at Artpark. In a conversation with Peter Hall, co-host of Theater Talk on WBFO, Archie makes it clear that it's the huge cast of local actors and musicians, professional and amateur, that give the show its appeal.


National Comedy Center

After years of development and millions in investment, the National Comedy Center officially opened today in Jamestown. While comedy stars like Amy Schumer, Dan Aykroyd and Lewis Black will bring luster to the weekend-long opening, Executive Director Journey Gunderson is confident the Comedy Center will live up to expectations. She says pre-opening testing indicates the center's experience will encourage repeat visits and boost tourism in the Southern Tier.


Paul Lamont

Celebrations are set for Saturday’s grand opening of the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum’s new cultural center in Salamanca. The $18 million facility will showcase rarely seen artifacts of Seneca history and the living traditions of the Seneca people Wednesday. It also opens the way to the repatriation of Iroquois or Haudenosaunee artifacts in collections around the world.


Errol Daniels / "Coming Home: Reentry After Incarceration"

What happens to people after they are released from prison? That is the challenge featured in a photo essay at Buffalo's CEPA Gallery called, "Coming Home: Reentry After Incarceration."

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