WBFO Arts & Culture Desk

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


Now heading into 17th year, Music Is Art is preparing to put on, perhaps, its most ambitious festival to date. "I think the most thrilling part about the festival to me is the amount of different stimuli that happens," said Robby Takac, founder of Music Is Art. The festival, which takes place on Saturday, September 7th at Riverworks and River Fest Park, plans to host over 800 musicians and dozens of performance artists appearing on 21 stages throughout the one-day event.  

The Best of Western New York 2019 is out in the July edition of Buffalo Spree. Readers and a panel of experts select the best our area has to offer in a wide variety of categories. In this week's Press Pass with WBFO's Mark Scott, Spree editor Elizabeth Licata says more and more readers are participating in the poll.

File photo

With school out for the summer and families looking for activities to fill their days, one of Buffalo's newest attractions is ready to welcome guests full-time. As of Thursday, Explore & More children's museum is now open daily at Canalside.

Buffalo United Artists Facebook page

Today we observe the 50th anniversary of "The Stonewall Riots" in NYC which mark the modern era of Gay Rights with a "Triple Play" (pardon the pun) of LGBTQ themed theater: You can see THE SEAT NEXT TO THE KING and/or ON THE ROOF either tonight or tomorrow, and BUA TAKES 10: STONEWALL EDITION tonight through Sunday.

The summer started off with plenty of activity for the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission. The Commission's Tim Clark went over the itinerary with WBFO's Pat Feldballe on this week's Press Pass. The weekend featured director Adam Steigart who is using area locations for his newest work, "The Horrific Evil Monsters."

Second Generation Theatre Facebook post

As mentioned, the "next" (2019-2020) Artie Award season is well underway and so far the theatrical offerings are simply first rate. For example, Kelli Bocock-Natale and Stan Klimecko a bit too interested in "Mr. Sloane," at Irish Classical, while across Main Street Ben Michael Moran and a cast of fifteen high energy actresses are making NINE the talk of the town.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

From pierogis to cannolis, and fried chicken to chicken tandoori, there’s something for everyone at the Taste of Buffalo festival. The beloved event is coming up on Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14.

Thomas O'Neil-White

One of the largest Juneteenth festivals in the United States is set to kick off Saturday in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park and the surrounding neighborhood. Work crews were out in the neighborhood on a cool and blustery Friday, sprucing up the greenspace.


The Shaw Festival now has half of its productions up, including a very satisfying musical (finally!) in Lerner and Loewe's  BRIGADOON, for which seats are becoming scarce. Locally, GIRLS WHO WALKED ON GLASS at the Alleyway is immersive, innovative, and very well done, a play that you won't soon forget.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The spot where the original western terminus of the Erie Canal was located is now marked with a newly-dedicated plaque. Those dedicating it Wednesday recalled the importance of the Erie Canal in building not only Buffalo but also New York State and the United States.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A cultural tourist attraction in East Aurora has reopened one of its longtime structures, ending a $465,000 restoration project. A ceremonial ribbon was cut Wednesday outside the Copper Shop building on the Roycroft Campus.

M&T Bank

M&T Bank's Plaza Event Series celebrated the beginning of its 50th season Monday, announcing it is believed to be the longest-running free concert series of its kind in the United States.

Mike Desmond / WBFo News

After a spring of rain and a forecast of more this week, the annual Allentown Art Festival had two days of blue sky and sun and more than a few sunburns. Organizers estimated the crowd at 250,000 and police say there were no major issues for them.


Henri Star Muhammad has been teaching minority children music in the city of Buffalo for 20 years now. Starting tonight and extending through Sunday, the Muhammad School of Music is putting on a festival that will incorporate players and teachers who have studied or worked with Muhammad in the past. WBFO’s Nick Lippa spoke with Muhammad, who reflected on his work and place in the community.

Thomas O'Neil-White

Red, black and green against a bright blue Buffalo sky. That is how the flag of liberation looked as it was raised Friday afternoon in Niagara Square to celebrate Juneteenth.

Eileen Elibol, WNED|WBFO

The 29th Annual Artie Awards recognized Buffalo theatrical talent (and hard work, late nights, and supportive spouses) while raising dollars to support HIV/AIDS Immunodeficiency Services. See the winners and pictures or visit #ArtieAwards or see "Related Content" below. Now we're already into next Artie season. Two plays focus on dangers women face, with an immersive experience by Gordon Farrell titled GIRLS WHO WALKED ON GLASS at Alleyway Theatre while Kelly Beuth's students from BAVPA present the edgy LAYLA'S ROOM at Subversive Theatre.

Nick Lippa / WBFO News

With a combination of guest artists, Indonesian immigrants and Buffalo-born residents, Buffalo Gamelan Club put on a four-hour show Thursday night at Kleinhans Music Hall that featured shadow puppets. As the group continues to tackle more ambitious performances, WBFO’s Nick Lippa reports on their growth in the community.


There is a new Artpark on the distant horizon, with better finances and changing geography.

Margot Schulman / Ford's Theatre Photo

Modestly, Buffalo-born political satirist Mark Russell is not boasting over his Lincoln Medal, given this weekend at a gala at Ford's Theatre with Washington's elite in attendence including President Donald Trump  and First Lady Melania Trump.

Russell, a Canisius High School graduate who still returns to town for reunions, brushed off the honor saying it was really just due to " body of work, time in the saddle,"

The honor was presented to Russell, and Retired Gen. Colin Powell and his wife, Alma this past Saturday at Ford's theatre.

Nancy Fischer

In her latest non-fiction book, Wearing the Letter P, Grand Island resident Sophie Knab tells the story of her mother and other Polish women who were taken from their homes, their families and their country and sent away to forced labor camps in Nazi Germany during World War II.

PHOTOS: The 2019 Artie Awards

Jun 4, 2019
Eileen Elibol/WBFO

The 2019 Artie Awards ceremony was held Monday night at Shea's 710 Theatre. WNED|WBFO photographer Eileen Koteras Elibol captured the glitz and glamour of the night, from the red carpet to the stage.

Buffalo Rising

Buffalo's Fruit Belt neighborhood is one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. It could also be one the most misunderstood. As Buffalo Rising contributor Bradley Bethel points out during WBFO's Press Pass, residents are coalescing around a shared narrative, one which may offer a promising future.

2019 Artie Awards winners

Jun 3, 2019
Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Winners were announced at the 2019 Artie Awards on Monday night. Check out the full list, photos and tweets from the night below.

Buffalo History Museum

The Buffalo History Museum has broken ground on the first phase of a $2 million restoration project.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Buffalo's Pride Parade began in the rain at Buffalo State College, but by the time it moved down Elmwood Avenue toward Allen Street, the sun was coming out. It really came out later for a party at Canalside.

National Museum of Industrial History

Looking for a day trip to honor Buffalo and witness something awesome at the same time? The National Museum of Industrial History in Bethlehem, PA is debuting the results of its decade-long labor of love this weekend to the public.

Joe Cascio

Though the units at Willert Park Courts have been vacant for a decade, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is taking steps which could restore the 1938 housing project. It's been placed among  the "11 Most Endangered Historic Places in the United States." According to Jessie Fisher, Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, the Trust has placed over 300 sites on the list in 32 years. Only five percent of the sites have been lost.

You don't have to enroll at Buff State to enjoy a talk by "Professor Chase!" Anthony will be introducing a live, costumed dramatic reading "Little Women", Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at the Kavinoky Theatre. This week we also look at the first four openings at The Shaw Festival (see listings below) and the highly recommend LOOKING THROUGH GLASS which closes Sunday at the Jewish Repertory Theatre in Getzville.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The 31st annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day Conference was held in downtown Niagara Falls Thursday. Its morning keynote speaker is a woman who, despite her physical condition, became a trained violinist who would go on to win the 2016 NPR Music Tiny Desk competition. She now travels to spread a message that being "disabled" is just another form of diversity for which people should be proud.

Michael Mroziak/WBFO News

John Murphy, the "Voice of the Buffalo Bills," is among this year's six new inductees into the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame.