WBFO Arts & Culture Desk

WBFO's Arts & Culture Desk is funded by the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site and The Buffalo History Museum

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.  


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.


Punks Against Putin Facebook page

From cooks to bartenders to local musical acts, dozens of volunteers have teamed to present Saturday's Punks Against Putin. Proceeds from the day-long music festival at the Ukrainian-American Civic Center will cover the cost of shipping medical supplies to Ukraine.


WNED-FM

For 40 years, WNED-FM has provided classical music to Western New York and Southern Ontario. Saturday, the station celebrated that anniversary by bringing in international talents Augustin Hadelich and Tim Fain.

Karen Lee Lewis

When you see a photograph on social media that seems unreal, reverse search engines and photo forensic tools can help determine whether it’s been manipulated. But if the photo is an artistic expression of extraordinary sensitivity and imagination, the best way to authenticate its truthfulness may be to search within yourself. WBFO's Arts and Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett spoke with visitors at a recent art exhibition about their reactions to the photographs of Karen Lee Lewis. He then spent an afternoon with the artist, looking at different sides of the natural world through her lens.


The Buffalo Connection: Alan Zweibel

Oct 30, 2017
Derek Gee / Buffalo News

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 Saturday is a profile on University at Buffalo graduate and comedy writer Alan Zweibel. Zweibel has been making people laugh for over 40 years, and it doesn’t look like he’s planning to stop any time soon.


GinasJourney.com

A three-day conference, "Reclaiming Our Ancestors II," begins tonight in Buffalo.  With artists, filmmakers, descendants of slaves and slaveholders, and scholars from around the country taking part, the event looks to counteract "an amnesiac culture," so says Kari Winter, professor of translational studies at UB. While most of the conference is free and open to the public, registration is required.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Roycroft Campus now has a dedicated space on its East Aurora grounds where relics of the writer, printer, philosopher and founder of the artisan community are on display.


Paul Lamont

Creativity and innovative thinking are now considered to be essential skills in the highly competitive business market. But for artists, whose careers are founded on creativity and innovation, they’re not simply a skill set: they’re often a way of life. WBFO's Arts and Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett recently spent some time with Buffalo-based composer David Kane, whose home life has become nearly indistinguishable from his life’s work of more than 30 years.


Khalid Terrell

Superheroes and villains alike are springing to life in downtown Buffalo. The region’s largest comic book convention is setting up shop  this weekend for the third consecutive year at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Vintage Jell-O wagon acquired by museum

Sep 20, 2017
Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum

A 113-year-old wagon that showcases what some call "America's Most Favorite Dessert" has made its way back to Western New York.

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