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.

Photo by Mark Scott / WBFO News

Saturday is Public Radio Day at the Chautauqua Institution. 

For 139 years now, the Chautauqua Institution has been a summer retreat where people go to learn and expand their horizons.  Tom Becker is institution president.  He says Chautauqua is truly unique, not only in this area, but worldwide.

Public Radio culminates this evening with a performance of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra that will air on our sister station, Classical 94.5, WNED.

This the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims, an annual period of abstaining from food and water during the daylight hours. At sunset, there is Iftar, a dinner to break the fast.

An Iftar dinner was held in the lobby of Buffalo's City Hall Thursday night, sponsored by the Turkish Cultural Center. While the event was sponsored by the Sunni Muslims of the cultural center, guests ranged across the area's Muslim community and local politicians and law enforcement figures.

This week on Theatre Talk, Jim Santella and Anthony Chase remember the Broadway work of Sherman Hemsley.

Cuba travelers return to Buffalo

Jul 23, 2012
venceremosbrigade.net

In an annual act of civil disobedience, a group of 31 U.S. citizens who make up the Venceremos Brigade today crossed the Peace Bridge from Fort Erie to Buffalo this morning, completing a two-week visit to Cuba. 

This is the 43rd year that brigade members have traveled to the island nation in defiance of the United States government's restrictions on unlicensed visitations.  While there, the brigadistas, as they're known, delivered over 1,000 pounds of material aid, volunteered on civic projects, and exchanged dialogue with the Cuban people in four island provinces. 

Photo courtesy of the Chautauqua Institution

The Chautauqua Institution's 2012 season reaches its half-way point this week with a focus on an international hot-spot, a Puccini opera and a celebration of public radio.  Mark Scott has this preview of Week Five.

This week on Theatre Talk we remember the career of Broadway and film star Celeste Holm who died at the age of 95.

WBFO & AM-970's Jim Santella is on vacation this week so Anthony Chase is joined by Eileen Buckley for our conversation of the national and local theatre scene.  Jim returns next week!

Photo by Mark Scott / WBFO News

It's week four of the Chautauqua Institution's 2012 season.  Highlights include the live recording of an NPR classical music program, the world premiere of a new play and the answer to the question of why water matters.  WBFO and AM 970's Mark Scott has this preview.

War always leads to literature. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan underway for more than a decade, novels are coming out about those wars. 

Writer Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya  spoke with WBFO & AM-970's Mike Desmond about his new book The Watch.

Shoreline Trail Signage unveiled at Isleview

Jul 13, 2012
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Brand new signs now line a stretch of the Niagara River.  This morning Erie County and Tonawanda leaders unveiled the Shoreline Trail Signage project.  The signs offer new information about the trail for walkers, bikers and visitors. 

Deputy commissioner of the county's Department of Environment and Planning Tom Dearing said some of the signs contain detailed park information, other signage offers some basic direction.

"The other signs you might see along the trail might be directional signs, or some are mile markers," said Dearing.

WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

One of Buffalo's oldest parks is getting some substantial renovations.  Broderick Park at the foot of Ferry Street will receive nearly $1.5 million in improvements.

Major renovations for the historic site were unveiled Thursday night at a public meeting at Rich Renaissance Center.

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka says her group has long been involved in planning for the park

Shaw Festival

This week on Theatre Talk, Jim Santella and Anthony Chase discuss productions at the Shaw Festival and at the Chautauqua Institution..

Mike Desmond

Area gourmands are still recovering Monday from heavy eating and drinking this weekend in the heat of downtown Buffalo.

Two hot and steamy days gave thousands of food lovers a chance to try just about any kind of cuisine at the annual Taste of Buffalo along Delaware Avenue up to Niagara Square.

Event sponsors also had a few changes, including an area for food trucks, cooking competitions, and a play area for kids.  Taste of Buffalo Board Secretary Laura Jacobs says the food trucks were an innovation.

Photo courtesy of Chautauqua Institution

Religion is at the roots of the very founding of the Chautauqua Institution 139 years ago.  Today, people of all faiths are welcome and their religious traditions are celebrated at Chautauqua.  WBFO and AM 970's Mark Scott has more on this, plus a preview of Week Three.

The Chautauqua Institution was founded by Lewis Miller and John Heyl Vincent as an educational experiment where Sunday school teachers came to learn.

This week's Theatre Talk features a round up of local theatre on and off stage. 

Anthony Chase celebrates Buffalo Spree naming him "Best Media Personality" for his work on WBFO & AM-970'S Theatre Talk!

 

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

 

WBFO & AM-970's Theatre Talk co-host Anthony Chase has received a unique honor.  He has been named "Best Media Personality" by Buffalo Spree.  For nearly 25-years Chase has hosted Theatre Talk with our Blues host Jim Santella. 

Chase is assistant dean of Humanities at Buffalo State College.  He is also theatre editor at Artvoice and creator and producer of the Artie Awards.  You can read about Chase in this month's Buffalo Spree.

They talk about his famous weekly Theatre Talk sign off that you hear each Friday, "...and I'm Anthony Chase!" 

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

It is one of the largest events in the region that brings together many fine arts genres in one location.  The Echo-Art Fair takes place this weekend at the Larkin Center in Buffalo.

WBFO & AM-970's Eileen Buckley recently sat down with Frist Abell co-producer of the fair and artist Jerry Mead to explain how artists and galleries join together to showcase exhibits.

This weekend's Echo-Art Fair kicks off Friday night with a VIP Preview party. 

The Echo-Art Fair runs Saturday, July 7th and Sunday, July 8th from  9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Restaurateurs and volunteers are preparing to greet the many thousands of people expected to visit the Taste of Buffalo this weekend.

WBFO and AM 970's Jay Moran spoke with Chris Hitchcock, the person charged with overseeing the event billed as the largest two-day food festival in the United States.

Photo courtesy of the Chautauqua Institution

Week two of the Chautauqua Institution focuses on what voters need to know about this year's presidential election.  And as WBFO and AM 970's Mark Scott reports, the Chautauqua Symphony celebrates Independence Day with its traditional pops concert.

Back in the 1920s, the New York Symphony would spend its summers at Chautauqua.  But when that ended in 1928, it was decided the Institution would create its own symphony orchestra.  And musicians have been performing ever since. 

WBFO News photo by Doris Rankin

 You might say the first week of Chautauqua Institution lecture series  Friday, was filled with the “Sound of Music.” 

Thousands of visitors flocked to to hear a conversation and selections with award-winning actress and singer Julie Andrews. 

Andrews is also an author of children’s book. She was joined by her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, also an children’s book author. 

Andrews is well-known for her popular early roles as Mary Poppins in 1964 and as Maria von Trapp in the Sound of Music that debut in 1965.

Friday means it's time for a little Theatre Talk! WBFO & AM-970's and it gets a little "Wicked"!

Theatre Talk hosts Jim Santella & Anthony Chase provide us with an glimpse local and national theatre.

One of the more popular operas will be staged this Friday and Sunday at the Riveria Theatre in North Tonawanda.  Nickel City Opera,  now in it's fourth season, presents Puccini's La Boheme. 

Founder and artist director Valerian Ruminski was recently at the WBFO & AM-970 studios to discuss the show.  WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talked to Ruminski about the performance.

 

Photo by Mark Scott / WBFO News

The 139th season of the Chautauqua Institution is underway.  The nine-week season is expected to attract 170,000 visitors. 

Chautauqua is truly unique -- a place where visitors spend their summer vacation learning and expanding their horizons.   The community is bustling with the start of the summer season.  Chautauqua President Tom Becker likens it to the excitement students and teachers experience each year on the first day of school.

This week on Theatre Talk, Jim Santella and Anthony Chase discuss the opening of Shakespeare in Delaware Park and other local productions.

WBFO & AM-970's Theatre Talk hosts, Jim Santella and Anthony Chase discuss winners of the Tony Awards and new performances that will be on stage at 710 Main Street, the former Studio Arena Threatre.

 

WBFO News photo by Chris Caya

A big change is on the way at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.  Director Louis Grachos is stepping down after ten years for a post in Austin, Texas. 

As of January, Grachos will head up the new AMOA Arthouse,  formed by the merger of the Austin Museum of Art and Arthouse at the Jones Center.

Photo from UB video

All this week the University at Buffalo is bringing together 25 emerging composers from around the world for June in Buffalo. 

Since 1975, June in Buffalo has dazzled audiences with a unique blend of instrumental performances. 

WBFO & AM-970's Eileen Buckley talked with UB's Birge-Cary chair of Music David Felder about performances he has been directing for 27 years.   As they conducted the interview, musicians were hard at work rehearsing for the shows.

June in Buffalo kicked off Monday and performances will continue through this Sunday.  

    

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Vocalis Chamber Choir will be closing out its 10th anniversary season with a special program featuring the works of Handel. 

Triumph & Majesty will be performed Sunday, June 3rd at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Buffalo. 

WBFO & AM-970'S Eileen Buckley sat down with Vocalis's music director Jamie Burrit and Vocalis special guest, Norwegian composer Andrew Smith, whose work will also be featured at this Sunday's performance.

This week on Theatre Talk, Jim Santella and Anthony Chase discuss the local production of Damn Yankees and the touring production of Memphis. 

 

Eight international guitarists will be competing next week in the 5th annual JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition.  Semifinalists will compete on June 6th and 7th and will be aired on WNED-TV at 7:30 p.m.

The final top three will perform with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Kleinhans with Falletta conducting on June 9th.

WBFO & AM-970'S Eileen Buckley spoke with Falletta about who this competition attracts guitarists globally.

 The competition is presented by WNED and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Buffalo Chamber Players, made up primarily of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra musicians, will premiere an international competition this Thursday evening.

A special concert will feature two out-of-town composers to be held at Buffalo Seminary. 

WBFO & AM-970's Eileen Buckley attended a recent rehearsal and talked to the artistic director and found of the Buffalo Chamber Players Janz Castelo.

The Buffalo Chamber Players concert is Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at Buffalo Seminary. 

 

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