WBFO Arts & Culture Desk

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

Ryan Zunner

Runners converged on Buffalo’s Delaware Avenue on a cold Thanksgiving morning for the 124thannual YMCA Turkey Trot.

Irish Classical Theatre on Facebook

For the first time ever, The Shaw Festival has a holiday show on the main Festival Theatre stage - HOLIDAY INN,  by Irving Berlin, directed by Shaw and Stratford superstar Kate Hennig, as the traditional A CHRISTMAS CAROL continues at the Shaw's Royal George Theatre. The Alleyway will launch their 37th annual A CHRISTMAS CAROL on December 6, and ELF continues (with only a few single tickets left) at MusicalFare Theatre.

Maria Baranova

It may defy description, but MANMADE EARTH is connecting with audiences. Created by New York City-based 600 Highwaymen, the production debuted in Buffalo a year ago as part of a larger festival hosted by Torn Space Theater. With eight young actors from Buffalo in tow, MANMADE EARTH has been on the move, including performances in front of sold-out audiences at Brooklyn's Invisible Dog Art Center. This weekend the show will conclude its local two-week run at 612 Fillmore Avenue.


If you look at a public school textbook, chances are you won't see much written from Native American perspectives. As Thanksgiving approaches, librarian Amerique Wilson at Roberto Clemente Elementary School 8 in the Rochester City School District attempts to address that.

Instead of teaching Thanksgiving from a textbook, she's working from a speech written by the late Wamsutta Frank B. James, a Wampanoag Native American activist.

National Comedy Center

Officials at the National Comedy Center in Jamestown have big smiles on their faces, as they look over attendance figures for their first year.

Seneca dancers
Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

Western New York was once the stronghold of the Seneca Nation of Indians, the “Keepers of the Western Door” of the Iroquois Confederacy. What does it mean to celebrate Native American heritage here today?


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Ceremonial shovels were placed in dirt by no fewer than 20 dignitaries, formally launching an ambitious project to expand the Albright-Knox Art Gallery by 30,000 square feet. The Buffalo native who offered tens of millions of his own dollars to fuel further fundraising was back in town to announce he's putting in even more, to pay tribute to the man who got the gallery's original 1905 building erected.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

After a third straight year of selling out Babeville, the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation reenactment of “The Last Waltz” featuring talent from the Buffalo area is becoming a local Thanksgiving tradition. The 1978 Martin Scorsese documentary has become known as one of the greatest documentary concert films ever made. Robert McLennan, President of the Board of Directors of the Americana Music Foundation, sat down with WBFO’s Nick Lippa to talk about how it’s all come together over the years.

K.E.G. courtesy of The Paul Robeson Theatre

The August Wilson "century play" about Pittsburgh's Hill District in the 1960s opened at the Paul Robeson Theater, three and a half hours of delicious Wilson monologues, directed by Wilson devotee Ed Harris. On and off Broadway, Anthony took in several plays, including the controversial SLAVE PLAY by Jeremy O. Harris and Will Eno's THE UNDERLYING CHRIS starring Buffalo expat (and Bills fan) Lizbeth Mackay.

Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation has awarded $400,000 to PUSH Buffalo to advance community development through arts and culture. The grant is part of a three-year, $8-million-dollar national program by the foundation to integrate Creative Placemaking into community organizations and, in turn, neighborhoods.

Press Pass: Eight young influencers in WNY

Nov 19, 2019
Photos by Luke Copping courtesy of Buffalo Spree

The December issue of Buffalo Spree will introduce readers to eight Western New Yorkers under 40 who are doing interesting things in our region. In this week's Press Pass with WBFO's Mark Scott, Spree editor Elizabeth Licata says she had help in selecting these eight young influencers.

 


Nick Lippa / WBFO

PTSD. Eating disorders. Depression. Inclusive Theater of Western New York is tackling the stigma around serious issues at their second annual festival of shorts. WBFO’s Nick Lippa spoke with some of the actors, some of whom who also wrote the shorts, about what audiences can expect from their performances this weekend.

Gina Gandolfo 2019

Before all the "Christmas" shows begin, fine productions abound right now, including TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD at The Kavinoky and TWO TRAINS RUNNING at the Paul Robeson, as well as Mark Humphrey's THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS, THE BOYS UPSTAIRS at BUA, OH MY GOD at JRT, THE INTERROGATION ROOM at RLTP, and with an extra show Saturday at 2 added by popular demand, SHE KILLS MONSTERS at Subversive (see listings below).

Mike Colucci

The "Piano Man" is coming back to Buffalo. It was announced Tuesday morning that Billy Joel will perform at New Era Field on Aug. 15, 2020.

File photo

The film industry in Western New York has shown remarkable growth over the past several years and shows no sign of slowing. This week's announcement by a global film industry organization supports that idea. WBFO’s Pat Feldballe speaks with Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark about the upcoming AFCI Cineposium 2020 on this week's Press Pass.


Buffalo to host film industry conference

Nov 11, 2019
Chris Caya/WBFO News

Film commissioners and screen industry experts from around the world will be in the Buffalo Niagara region next year.

LGBTQ History Project displays at Karpeles

Nov 11, 2019
Buffalo-Niagara LGBTQ History Project

The Buffalo-Niagara LGBTQ History Project unveiled its "Gay Liberation NOW!" exhibition at Karpeles Museum Sunday. It culminates the History Project's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and the founding of Buffalo's first gay rights organization.

Buffalo Niagara Concert Band

The Buffalo Niagara Concert Band is holding a collaborative concert with the Buffalo’s Gay Men’s Chorus tonight to benefit Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York. Val Czamara, vice president of the band and tuba player, spoke with WBFO’s Nick Lippa on the group’s progression and how this event came together.

Stephen Gabris, courtesy of Kavinoky Theatre

Once again, Drew Fornarola's "Starring Buffalo" assembled local stars (including Dudney Joseph, Jr. as "the plant"), Broadway stars, and students from Newfane, Fredonia, and Lockport, this time at Shea's 710, for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. Subversive Theatre's SHE KILLS MONSTERS continues with rave reviews. Expectations are high for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD  opening at the Kavinoky.

The National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong Museum inducted some longtime favorites during a ceremony Thursday.

The class of 2019 includes the collectible card game Magic the Gathering, Matchbox cars, and the coloring book.

Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections for the Strong, said the newest honorees were chosen from a group of finalists that included My Little Pony, Jenga, Nerf Blaster, Masters of the Universe, Care Bears, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, the top, the game Risk, and the smartphone.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

It’s the last weekend to visit the Albright-Knox’s Elmwood Avenue campus before it shuts down for a major expansion project until 2022. So what’s next for the art gallery?

Mark Duggan, courtesy of Second Generation Theatre

Buffalo's "Theater District" on Main is hoppin', from Tupper (Shea's 710 Theatre with LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS this weekend and ERMA BOMBECK: AT WIT'S END starting Tuesday) to The Alleyway (where BUA opens THE BOYS UPSTAIRS) to Shea's Smith Theater (SGT's THE TOXIC AVENGER) and down the next block to 456 Main where Road Less Traveled opens INTERROGATION ROOM.

When INTERROGATION ROOM premiered in 2003 at Ujima's Theaterloft, it changed the professional trajectory for Scott Behrend and Jon Elston. The co-founders of Road Less Traveled Productions enjoyed a growing interest in their work which sent them on the road to their current home in the Buffalo theater community. Behrend says they are reviving the play because it touches on "current, relevant themes" relating to class, race and stereotypes.


Mayor Byron Brown's Twitter page

One of cinema's most acclaimed directors will be shooting scenes for his next movie in Buffalo.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Tuesday afternoon, Buffalo Common Councilmembers will be asked to approve a moratorium on demolitions on city-owned property along the Michigan Avenue African American Heritage Corridor.

Subversive Theatre on Facebook

Two "Sci-Fi/Fantasy" openings tonight include Subversive's SHE KILLS MONSTERS about D&D and THE TOXIC AVENGER, Second Generation at Shea's Smith Theatre, a musical based on the 1984 movie. SUPERIOR DONUTS closes this weekend at Shea's 710 with a compelling story of cultures colliding and coming together while PRESCRIPTION MURDER: COLUMBO continues to entertain dinner theater audiences through mid-December.

Zuiker Press

The "CSI guy" is back in Western New York, with two new graphic novels ready to launch. Anthony Zuiker, creator of the "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" television franchise, and his wife Michelle, a Buffalo native and schoolteacher, have been creating these books since they co-founded Zuiker Press in 2017. All their titles give voice to young authors who have championed their pain and heroics so others can learn from it.

WBFO's Marian Hetherly had a chance to catch up with Anthony Zuiker before his visit to the Rotary Club of Grand Island Wednesday evening.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Students in Buffalo Public Schools will have an opportunity to get hands-on play while learning more about science, technology, engineering and math - or STEM - through a partnership involving the school district, a local children's museum and a telecommunications giant.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

A new haunted house experience is making its presence felt across Western New York. EverHaunt, in Angola, is using scares to raise money for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Care, Kids Escaping Drugs, Operation Good Neighbor and more. EverHaunt founder Kevin Donovan took a haunted house in his garage and turned it in to a large, immersive experience with the goal of raising money for community partners.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

After five years of planning, acquiring and restoring the components, identifying a specific location at Canalside and then finding the funds to make it happen, a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday afternoon on the site of the future Buffalo Heritage Carousel.

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