WBFO Arts & Culture Desk

WBFO's Arts & Culture Desk is funded by the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

On Saturday night, Nusantara Arts, formerly known as the Buffalo Gamelan Club, will be performing a show at the Buffalo Museum of Science in front of Indonesian artifacts and artwork. The one-night exhibit is a product of a growing gamelan scene in Buffalo and desire on the museum’s behalf to work with more local organizations.


Seneca Nation

A historic tomahawk with ties to the first president of the United States has made its way home, permanently.

Jay Moran/WBFO

Sean Cullen's acting credits include work with Hollywood luminaries like Al Pacino, George Clooney and Alec Baldwin. He also appeared in 1,000 shows of the production of  SOUTH PACIFIC at Lincoln Center, yet the actor still feels very much at home in Buffalo. Named Road Less Traveled Productions 2020 American Theatre Master, Cullen will be on stage in his hometown frequently in the coming weeks.


Kavinoky Theatre

A Buffalo theater will use a recently awarded state grant to pay for some major upgrades.

Toronto Globe and Mail

In 2019, as every year, the theater community lost beloved people, including Diahann Carroll, who sang "The Perfect Year" in her role as Norma Desmond in Webber's SUNSET BOULEVARD. And there was Carol Channing and Hal Prince and, in a bit of delicious irony, both despised critic John Simon of New York Magazine and actress Sylvia Miles who once dumped a plate of lasagna on his head.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

A chorus in Amherst is putting on rock concerts multiple times a year as part of a nationally growing group. Rock Voices currently has choirs ranging from Vermont to Oregon and offers people who both can and can't read music the chance to sing. A Buffalo chapter of Rock Voices started earlier last year.

In just over a half-year, Devin Chevanne has captured a wide variety of subjects in his role as Director of Photography at Buffalo Rising. He says he's enjoyed shooting most of the 120 video productions he's assembled in 2019, but a few stand out, like the passionate mushroom farmer or the Buffalo cobbler. The common theme Chevanne has found among his subjects, "They all love Buffalo."  He shared his observations during WBFO's Press Pass.


First Look Buffalo Stage Productions

From finding investors to auditioning actors to securing an available theater stage, Bob Rusch has been busy getting First Look Buffalo Stage Productions off the ground. Now, his group is ready to open COPS AND FRIENDS OF COPS, a play written by Ron Klier, on January 10 at the Elmwood Theatre Lofts.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The red, black and green African Liberation Flag was raised during the noon hour in downtown Buffalo, marking the formal opening of Kwanzaa, the seven-day African-American celebration which honors several principles for restoring culture. This year's overall theme is "The Afrikan Man - The Original Man - In Full Effect."

File Photo / WBFO News

Holiday celebrations continue Thursday in the City of Buffalo with the start of Kwanzaa.

Marian Hetherly / WBFO News

Fewer kids in the United States are clowning around, and that leaves a lot of the work of child's play to older adults in Buffalo and beyond.

Of the 21 clowns depicted on their website, the Buffalo Clown Alley features only 2 that clearly are not older adults. At 88 years old, Lorraine Bauer is far more typical.

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Spree

It's Christmas Eve. So on this week's Press Pass, WBFO's Mark Scott and Buffalo Spree Editor Elizabeth Licata talk about holiday lights, some things to do and the big New Year's Eve ball drop.

Jay Moran/WBFO

Now in its third generation as a family business, the deep connections of Meibohm Fine Arts are evident. "We are currently 118 years in business. My grandfather, Carl Meibohm, opened our shop on Connecticut Street in Buffalo in 1901," said Grace Meibohm who now runs the operation on Main Street in East Aurora, its home since 1957.

Bethany Burrows, musicalfare.com

With nine area shows still in production this weekend, most up through Sunday, it's time to look back on a strong year with directorship transitions at The Alleyway and The Irish Classical Theatre while up at Shaw the "new" (since 2017) Artistic Director, Tim Carroll, is firming up his vision. Ujima Theater has a new stage, Road Less Traveled and MusicalFare continued to make good use of Shea's 710, and the Kavinoky had a major success with MOCKINGBIRD.

This past year saw the rise of a rap trio out of Buffalo, N.Y., who has earned the vocal support of hip-hop's legends. Over the past 12 months, the members of Griselda have collectively put out nine records, including their major label debut together.

Nick Lippa / WBFO News

Parents and teachers are moving forward with lawsuits against the Buffalo Public Schools over access to music education. It can partly be attributed to years of instability surrounding music education in city schools. WBFO’s Nick Lippa reports it has created an atmosphere of confusion, where in attempts to meet requirements, schools have implemented a technical one-minute period where students receive credit for music classes.

Buffalo Aerial Pictures / Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens

An $18 million expansion project at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will begin in Fall 2020.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

In the final push of a two-year-long fundraising campaign, the Western New York Land Conservancy faces a Dec. 31 deadline to raise $138,000 in order to purchase and preserve a private tract of land near East Aurora called Mossy Point.


Nick Lippa / WBFO

Both parents and teachers are filing separate lawsuits against the Buffalo Public Schools, citing a lack of access to music education. The legal papers claim a legally-required arts sequence is only provided at two district high schools.

Heavy hitters from the film industry will be coming to Buffalo in the coming year. Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark says plans and details are being worked out for Cineposium 2020 which is scheduled to take place Sept. 15-20. While much of the focus will be on industry-related subjects, Clark says some events will be open to the public.


Thomas O'Neil-White

Last week, students, parents, and Buffalo Public School District faculty explored the themes represented in the play Pipeline at the Ujima Theater.

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Anthony went to NYC, which "keeps Christmas well," saw the tree in Rockefeller Center, and took in some serious dramas, including Samuel Hunter's GREATER CLEMENTS starring Judith Ivey and Adam Rapp's THE SOUND INSIDE starring Mary Louise Parker, about a Yale professsor who mis-reads and mis-uses one of her students. Here in Buffalo, if you think you've seen A CHRISTMAS CAROL, think again. With an entire cast of veterans (young and old) on stage at the Alleyway, there is a particularly fresh charm in the telling.

buffaloseminary.org / Buffalo SEM

Buffalo Seminary has become an officially committed Steinway Select School. What does that mean? As WBFO’s Nick Lippa reports, the partnership will allow SEM to offer new student scholarships for incoming freshmen and will help replace SEM’s old pianos with new Steinways.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

There are some Buffalo Public Schools that don’t offer music programs like chorus or art classes like photography. The Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT) on Main Street currently helps fill a role by providing these kind of classes and more for students after school. BCAT has been growing recently due to increased interest. And they have been able to meet a growing need in part to increased philanthropic support.

Jay Moran/WBFO

This is the 37th consecutive year Alleyway Theatre is producing A CHRISTMAS CAROL. At the same time, the Main Street theater is offering a show that is new to Buffalo, THE GOLDEN GIRLS: LOST EPISODES, HOLIDAY EDITION. Associate Artistic Director Chris J. Handley says advance ticket sales for THE GOLDEN GIRLS have been strong. Extra shows have been added to accommodate the expected large crowds for A CHRISTMAS CAROL, which again features David Mitchell as Scrooge.


Jessica Marinelli

About half of the current theater in town is Christmas inspired, but not all, and that includes Buffalo's "Theatre District" starting with Shea's 710's remount of CHRISTMAS OVER THE TAVERN and the Alleyway's annual favorite A CHRISTMAS CAROL, but we also have Melissa Leventhal channeling the late great Patsy Cline at Shea's intimate Smith Theatre which shares a lobby with the 3000+ seat Shea's and the touring production of LES MISERABLES.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

A group of Buffalo Public Schools students singing in English, Spanish and Swahili premiered a music video Wednesday of an original song they wrote and recorded with the support of local artists.


ComedyCenter.org

When the National Comedy Center opened to great acclaim in 2018, officials hailed the Jamestown attraction as a key driver for economic development in the Southern Tier. "Sometimes these destinations are built and they're oversold," said Jim Fink of Business First during his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass. "I think the center is living up to its advance billing and then some."  According to Fink, 60 percent of visitors are spending at least two days in the area. The average person is spending about $365 during those stays.


courtesy Destination Niagara USA

Had your fill of Thanksgiving turkey over the holiday weekend? Be sure to make some room for pizza - Niagara Falls pizza, in particular. The second-annual Festival of Slice is coming to the Cataract City this coming Saturday.

Thomas O'Neil-White

For over twenty-five years the Buffalo History Museum has hosted Thanksgiving weekend events at their Elmwood Avenue location.

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