Cultural stories & organizations

Avery Schneider/WBFO News Photo

Today is a solemn day for members of Buffalo's LGBT community. Locally, it's the Transgender Day of Remembrance - a day set aside to memorialize people killed due to anti-transgender hatred and prejudice.

Yes, soup for you!

Nov 16, 2015
Wendy Guild Swearingen

As the November issue of Buffalo Spree magazine proclaims, it’s soup season in Western New York. Spree associate editor and WBFO contributor Wendy Guild Swearingen visited one local restaurant, Buffalo Proper, to find out what’s hot in the soup world.

A movement to recognize Native Americans on Columbus Day is attracting more cities around the nation.


A decades-old celebration of Finnish culture and heritage makes its way to Buffalo this weekend.

Kleinhans Music Hall dedicates new archive room

Oct 8, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

As Kleinhans Music Hall prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary, visitors to the Buffalo landmark will now get to enjoy a glance at some relics telling the story of the hall, and of Buffalo through the years.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

It was built in the 1920s in North Tonawanda, bought by a man who moved it to Massachusetts and has more recently sat in storage in Ohio. A vintage carousel will soon be coming back to Western New York, calling Buffalo's Canalside its new home.

Novelist Nancy Reisman grew up in Buffalo in a well-known family and her first book, The First Desire, is a family saga that spans much of the 20th century. Now a teacher at Vanderbilt University, Reisman's new book, Trompe l'Oeil, is about an Irish family. Resiman sat down with WBFO's Mike Desmond to talk about writing, families and college teaching.

Eileen Koteras Elibol/WBFO

Dayton, Ohio's The Noah Wotherspoon Band delighted a sold-out crowd at the second WBFO Buffalo Blues Bash of the year Saturday night in the WNED|WBFO Studios.

The next WBFO Blues Bash takes place this Saturday in the WNED|WBFO Studios. The headliner is The Noah Wotherspoon Band, a trio that found success at the International Blues Competition in Memphis, finishing second. WBFO Blues host Pat Feldballe talked with Wotherspoon about the band’s beginning and his fondness for public broadcasting.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A Buffalo native, with longtime ties to the Miss America pageant, is back in Western New York. Michael La Rocca, a three-time Telly Award winner, is now lending his expertise to help produce the Miss Buffalo Pageant that will be held early next year. WBFO's Eileen Buckley met with La Rocca to learn about his work with pageants.

Letchworth State Park celebrated Native American and Pioneer Heritage Day on Saturday with a “pow wow” at its Trailside Lodge.

The event featured historic performances, a Native American storyteller, dancing, and hands-on activities.

Historic Site Manager Brian Scriven said the intent is to make the day feel as similar to the past as possible.

“What we try to do is educate the public on the cultures of both the Native Americans and the Pioneers and how they interacted during the time, and some of the crafts and stuff that they would have,” said Scriven.

Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York

Hispanic Heritage month was celebrated on Buffalo's waterfront on Saturday.

BPO trumpets start of $30 million campaign

Sep 17, 2015

The chairman of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Trustees is kicking off the orchestra's new fundraising campaign with a $1 million gift. The gift from Lou Ciminelli will help reach the ambitious goal of $30 million.

Photo from Twitter.

A Bhutanese Nepali refugee has made it is mission to visit Buffalo’s hospitalized immigrants and refugees. WBFO’S Eileen Buckley says he is working to offer the very ill and dying comfort.

Courtesy of

Amherst native Laura Pedersen is having a good literary year. The author and playwright has a newly published book and play opening this week at the 710 Main Theatre. Pederson's book is called "Life in New York: How I Learned to Love Squeegee Men, Token Suckers, Trash Twisters, and Subway Sharks" and her play is titled "For Heaven's Sake." WBFO's Mike Desmond spoke with Pedersen about the Queen City and Gotham.

Avery Schneider/WBFO News

More than a dozen area museums and cultural institutions are seizing an opportunity to expose the arts to more people. At least 15 such organizations across Western New York are participating in this year's National Museum Day.

Avery Schneider/WBFO News

The tragic terrorist attacks that occurred 14 years ago today had a profound impact on many people throughout the world. For a Grand Island girl, it triggered her first encounters with blatant prejudice. Sara Ali is the daughter Muslim Arab-American parents. She is a former WBFO intern who is now editor of Karibu News, a multilingual, multicultural newspaper. Ali sat down with WBFO News Director Brian Meyer.

Jeffrey Mayne/WBFO News

Walk into Waiting Room on any given night and you’ll see a flourishing music scene that cultivates local artists while playing an integral role in keeping Buffalo on the national map. That wasn’t always the case.

Music Is Art to auction guitars signed by stars

Aug 24, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

An auction being hosted in downtown Buffalo on Thursday evening will benefit an organization that promotes music's role in society and culture and hosts programs to make it more accessible for many within the community. The guitars to be auctioned off feature signatures of some of the biggest names in music entertainment.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A birthday celebration was held Thursday to celebrate the father-son team who designed Kleinhans Music Hall 75 years ago. The Saairnens were born August 20, 37 years apart.

Chris Caya WBFO News

A popular concert series is returning soon to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and a new one is just around the corner.

New Tolkien book scheduled for August 27 release

Aug 17, 2015

His most famous books have influenced generations of fantasy buffs, role-playing game participants and even rock musicians. Now comes word that the estate of the late J.R.R. Tolkien is releasing a story first penned by the author 100 years ago.

Stacked in news stands across Western New York are two weekly publications with gigantic centerpiece art and intriguing cultural content. One is new to the party, while the other has been around for more than 25 years.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Former CNN correspondent Susan Candiotti heads this year's inductees into the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Candiotti, who worked at WGR-TV nearly 30 years ago, is being joined by longtime WKBW-TV anchor Keith Radford, among others.


It was the end of an era Thursday night for fans of Comedy Central's The Daily Show. After 16 years and more than 2,600 episodes, Jon Stewart hosted his final show in what turned out to be a star-studded and emotional affair.

Botanical Gardens houses undergoing extensive renovation

Jul 24, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Two of the greenhouses that make up part of the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens are undergoing an extensive restoration project, the first major work on the structures since they first opened more than a century ago.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Plans are underway to create a new documentary about Buffalo's rebirth. A kickstarter campaign is underway to gain support for filming Buffalo Hates You Too: A Love Story. WBFO's Eileen Buckley met with the local director and an out-of-town producer working on the project to tell Buffalo's story.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Jewish Family Services held a special training session to help break language barriers occurring for immigrants and refugees living and working in Buffalo. WBFO's Eileen Buckley says a recent training session provided best practices for those who don't speak English.

Dave DeLuca

Cannolis, meatballs, sausage and other Italian food will be hot commodities on Hertel Avenue through Sunday.

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

It was 8:58 p.m. Tuesday when the Arabic prayer rang out at sunset and the Iftar dinner celebrating the end of another day of Ramadan commenced in the City Hall lobby.