WBFO Arts & Culture Desk

Photo from Michele Ragusa's website

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's Pop series will feature a 'first-ever' celebration Saturday night of songs considered everyone's favorite titled Buffalo Sings.  The stage at Kleinhans Music Hall will be filled with musical talent.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says it will feature Buffalo-to-Broadway's Michele Ragusa.

Rumbler Records

Some local high schoolers are looking for a way to create a common ground during divisive times. Their solution? A student-run social enterprise that supports and develops music and art projects relating to unification.

Nick Lippa/Bailey Critoph / WBFO

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, when many recall the millions of Jews and others who died at the hands of the Nazis. It has a special meaning for Robbie Hausmann, cellist for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. His German great-grandmother, Toni Marcus, was one of the 1.1 million people killed at the Auschwitz concentration camp. And when the BPO toured Poland last month, he visited the camp -- to honor her with music. He spoke about it with WBFO's Nick Lippa.

Tim Johnson

Living in a rural community can feel detached from the major art scene of urban centers. But in small college towns such as Alfred in Allegany County and Olean in Cattaraugus, area residents can often see top artists that the universities bring in for faculty, students, and the surrounding communities. And that can have a life-long impact on young audiences and aspiring artists. WBFO Arts & Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett recently attended a dance performance at St. Bonaventure University that was a Western New York homecoming for a dancer from the Town of Alfred.


YAWNY.org

Founded in 1962, Young Audiences of Western New York's mission is to make the arts a part of young people's lives, primarily through work with the schools located throughout the region's eight counties. "If we had to take art out of our schools, I think they would lose an energy and a life that brings kids alive," said Michael Weidrich, the agency's recently-named Executive Director.


MIke Desmond / WBFO News

The table was filled with round pieces of vinyl, familiar to older generations of music listeners and a mystery to others. Those "45s" are now a major display by the Black Radio History Collective and WUFO-AM 1080.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

For more than 30-years a family has been creating a special Easter tradition at the Broadway Market. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley learned how real eggs are made into a 'work of art'.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is offering a week of free admission starting Thursday through April 5.

Camrynn Mansare

Western New York is home to more than 20 professional theater companies that are helping to drive the local arts economy. And there’s a ripple effect that can be seen in some area schools. WBFO Arts & Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett visited one school district that is investing heavily in the theater arts. And, as he discovered, the results are dramatic.


WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

It is called the Radical Women's Night Out, a special event highlighting black arts.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley talked to organizers about how it celebrates women. 

The Buffalo Connection: James Foley

Mar 26, 2018
Universal Pictures

Tim O’Shei of the Buffalo News has been traveling around the country visiting Western New Yorkers who’ve had a big impact on pop culture. His latest feature in The Buffalo Connection series – which hit print yesterday – is a profile on University at Buffalo graduate and well-credited Hollywood director James Foley. Foley’s work has seen the extreme ends of acclaim in recent years, but he’s still seeking the thrill of pleasing audiences.


The art galleries at the University at Buffalo and the Albright-Knox and have teamed up to mount the first large-scale survey devoted to the works of Tony Conrad. The Buffalo-based artist was a professor of media study at UB from 1976 until his death in 2016. He was also a founder of Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Art Center and a frequent collaborator with Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Those organizations are partners in a community-wide exhibition called Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective. WBFO Arts & Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett looks at why this influential artist needs an introduction.


WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A local theater company is celebrating women’s history month. WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley says O’Connell and Company has created a special ‘Diva by Diva’ performance to mark the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New York.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The founder of LehrerDance recently fired by his board of directors is rehearsing for an international tour.  As we reported last week, the board terminated Jon Lehrer and shut down the contemporary dance company. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley caught up with Lehrer 'exclusively' while rehearsing dancers inside the Burchfield Penney Art Center auditorium Wednesday.  


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

In his lifetime, journalist and author Roland Martin says African Americans have made a lot of progress, but there remains a long way to go. Martin spoke at Canisius College Tuesday at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Afro-American society.

Though it doesn't open until August, the reputation of  Jamestown's National Comedy Center is spreading throughout the entertainment industry. With the recent donation of the archive of the late Shelley Berman, and the previously-acquired George Carlin archive, the facility is generating interest among fans, comics and scholars.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Next month, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will be hitting the road, and leaving the country for its first international tour in three decades. The BPO are invited guests to headline concerts in Poland, including Warsaw's prestigious Beethoven Easter Festival.


Buffalo Rising

Jessica Marinelli of Buffalo Rising is effusive in her praise of Torn Space Theater. "If you haven't been there, you should go." On WBFO's Press Pass, Marinelli highlights Torn Space's recent production of  "Far Away," and the theater company's home, the historic Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle. "It's a gem on the East Side."


Nick Lippa WBFO

From the theater to a Kenmore East classroom, film scores are helping special needs students learn about classical music.

Kendrick Lamar.com

Kendrick Lamar's rise through the music industry could reach another level during Sunday's 60th annual Grammy Awards. A nominee for Record of the Year and Album of the Year,  Lamar is in line for two of the most prestigious awards. "He is really what the Grammys should be all about," said Jeff Miers, music critic for the Buffalo News.  "He became immensely popular, but he's also doing something that's really bold and new and forward-looking."


The Buffalo Connection: Fern Mallis

Jan 22, 2018
David Handschuh

Tim O’Shei of the Buffalo News has been traveling around the country visiting Western New Yorkers who’ve had a big impact on pop culture. His latest feature in The Buffalo Connection series – which hit print yesterday – is a profile on University at Buffalo graduate and Fashion Week co-founder Fern Mallis. Mallis has been working hard in the fashion industry for much of her life, and now she’s looking for a change of pace.


Photo from Theater of Youth (TOY)

The mental health of children is a key component of a new stage production at the Theatre of Youth (TOY) in Buffalo. The Boy at the Edge of Everything opens Saturday, January 20th. WBFO's senior reporter says for the first time TOY and the Mental Health Association of Erie County are collaborating to spark an important conversation in our community. 

For many military personnel, readjusting to civilian life can be a battle. Transitioning from active service or returning from deployment can bring on feelings and emotions that are difficult to manage. For some, art can be a way to understand those feelings and find peace within oneself. In his series on the arts and social integration, WBFO’s Scott Sackett talks with artist and U.S. Army Colonel Jim Becker, one of the founders of the Artists/Veterans Art Collaborative.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The H.H. Richardson building at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center sat derelict for years until preservationists saved the Elmwood Avenue landmark and started turning around the vast structure. The latest addition is a giant new sculpture outside the entrance of what is now a hotel and soon-to-be architecture center.


Kerra Trivieri

Organ music has been part of Christian worship services since the Middle Ages. It has a long history in concert programs, but in the early 20th century, the organ crossed over into public arenas and a new style of organ playing developed for silent movies, stage acts, and sporting events. WBFO’s Arts & Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett visited with organist Curtis Cook, whose innovative flair inspires audiences in the churches, theaters, and other venues where he plays.


University at Buffalo Music Library

More than 600 musical works performed at the University at Buffalo as far back as 1964 will soon be preserved on digital format. They include works by some of America's most prominent composers of the 20th century.

Racial flashpoints across the United States this year have ignited debate about race and social equality in this country. WBFO Arts & Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett continues his series on the arts and social integration with a look at some of the most pressing social questions in America today, through the prism of Buffalo's Colored Musicians Club.


Photo provided by Shea's 710 Theatre

An old time radio-style show continues at Shea's 710 Theatre.  In fact It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play has been held over through December 16th and 17th.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley met with the director of the on-stage show. 

Paul Lamont

Native Americans have served in our nation’s armed forces in greater numbers per capita than any other ethnic group. But over the 200 years since the founding of this country, while Native Americans fought for the United States, federal policies were also aimed at Indian removal. WBFO's Scott Sackett visited with distinguished Seneca artist and Vietnam veteran Carson Waterman, who calls his works “survival art,” a label with a profoundly personal meaning.


Scott Sackett

Stories on television and at the movies that include people with disabilities are becoming more prevalent.  But recent studies have found that while the disabled account for nearly 20% of the U.S. population, roughly 2% of characters portrayed on television and in major U.S. films are disabled.  The studies also found that the majority of those roles are still going to able-bodied actors. As part of his series on the arts and social integration, Arts & Culture Desk reporter Scott Sackett visited with a playwright and theater director who, on the local scene, is giving disabled artists an audience and changing the public’s perceptions of disabled people.


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