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Scantron runs for school board

Daniel Rockwitz Reynolds, a Buffalo teacher and performer known the local hip hop community as Scantron, announced last week that he is running for one of the three at-large seats in the upcoming election for Buffalo Board of Education on May 6. He will hold something of a campaign rally tonight at 6 in Ashker's Juice Bar.

I've run across Reynolds during the Buffalo Infringement Festival (see a short excerpt of his teaser performance for last year's festival above) and at other local arts events. In my limited experience, I have found him to be an eloquent if somewhat unorthodox advocate for the use of arts in education. His candidacy is sure to add a compelling wrinkle an already fascinating race. More info on his campaign is here.

Here's Reynold's campaign video:



--Colin Dabkowski

Arts Services Initiative launches cultural awards

The Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, a cross-cultural advocacy organization headed by Tod A. Kniazuk, announced today that it is lanching an annual series of cultural awards.

The new awards program is similar to the yearly honors the Arts Council in Buffalo and Erie County handed out until its demise in 2010. ASI is accepting nominations on its website for lifetime achievement, organization of the year, artist of the year, rising star, cultural supporter of the year, cultural advocate of the year, volunteer of the year and DEC program of the year. The ceremony will be on June 25 in the Hotel @ Lafayette.

Read ASI's release on the new awards program here.

--Colin Dabkowski

Infringement Fest issues call for work

The 2014 Buffalo Infringment Festival, scheduled for July 24 to Aug. 3, is now accepting applications from local artists, musicians, filmmakers, poets and performers of all stripes. Some info from the release:

Infringement welcomes all musicians, visual artists, dancers, poets, actors, filmmakers, performance artists and street performers to be involved. There are no fees to enter and every application is accepted. Once you have started an application, you can go back to it at any time and add or change information. Registering early keeps you in touch with the monthly events and fundraisers and links you with an organizer in your genre of art. It also helps organizers plan ahead with volume, as the festival grows larger every year. To celebrate our 10th year we encourage everyone applying to step outside with their creative ideas and transform the streets of Buffalo into the ultimate free venue!

To submit your proposal, click here.

--Colin Dabkowski

Babeville to host forum on art, culture and 'placemaking' tonight

Jason Schupback, director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts, will lead a forum on the role of art and culture in the development of urban spaces tonight at 7 in Babeville's Asbury Hall

As projects such as Larkinville and Canalside spring up in American cities recovering from decades of economic stagnation, developers, architects and politicians are thinking much more about the role of culture in creating new urban landscapes and economies. The term for that trend is "placemaking," a highly lampoonable piece of jargon The Atlantic Cities included on its list of "Urbanist Buzzwords to Rethink in 2014."

Whatever you may think of the word itself, the trend is well worth exploring. Tonight's forum is sure to touch on many important issues central to the development of Buffalo in the next few years. Anyone interested in the rapid development of the city should check it out.

The forum is sponsored by Partners for a Livable Western New York, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and presented by Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. As seating is limited, those interested in attending should RSVP by calling Hallwalls at 854-1694.

--Colin Dabkowski

Erie County adopts a culture-friendly 2014 budget

On Tuesday, the Erie County Legislature passed County Executive Mark Poloncarz's 2014 budget along party lines, as Harold McNeil reported. Just as a refresher, here's a look at what the budget contains for Erie County arts organizations:

  • A 1.5 percent increase in operating funding support for 63 arts organizations, bringing total 2014 cultural funding (not including libraries) to $5.64 million
  • Funding for previously unfunded groups including Arts Services Initiative, Buffalo Niagara Choirs Inc., Central Terminal Restoration Corp., Lower Lakes Marine Historical Society, Preservation Buffalo Niagara and the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra.

Take a look at the full list below or download a PDF copy here.

--Colin Dabkowski

'Buffalo: America's Best Designed City'

Buffalonians gathered earlier this evening in Larkinville to watch the premiere screening of John Paget's short promotional video "Buffalo: America's Best Designed City." Take a look:

--Colin Dabkowski

Infringement Daily Planner: Day 11

Well, that was quick.

We've reached the end of this year's Buffalo Infringement Festival, which wraps up today with a series of events in and around Allentown. Here are five suggestions to help you close out the festival:

• Pac-Man Park, an interactive Pac-Man game in Days Park organized by Jose Rodriguez, will have its final outing from 2 to 4 p.m. Read more about it here.

• You might still be able to find a spot for Car Stories, the long-running theater experience that takes place inside a car in the NIetzsche's parking lot. It runs from 5 to 8 p.m.

• The Infringment Festival closing parade gets going around 6:30 at Old Wondermoth and will wind its way through the streets of Allentown.

• The grand finale of the festival are the Closing Ceremonies and Iffy Awards, which get started in Nietzsche's at 8 p.m. and run through at least 1 a.m. The event features performances from Crows and Jays, Erin Sydney Welsh, Greengage, Savannah King, manawi thorn, Jen Whitmore, second trip, Sara Elizabeth and Wise Medecine.

• If fire-dancing is your thing, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to close out the fest in Days Park around 9 p.m., when A Buffalo Pyromance gives its final performane.

--Colin Dabkowski

Randall, Scandals and Allentown

I caught a bit of the band Randall and the Late Night Scandals (one of our better-named bands) earlier on Allen Street outside of the Antique Man. Here's a snippet of their final song:

--Colin Dabkowski

The Honesty Theatre's 'Cashier's Manifesto'

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The Honesty Theatre performs the original short play "Cashier's Manifesto" Saturday afternoon near Casa De Arte on Elmwood Ave.

Earlier this afternoon, I caught up with the gifted performers of The Honesty Theatre, whose members I first saw in a revelatory performance during last year's festival in Burning Books. They were getting ready to perform the original short play "A Cashier's Manifesto," a reflection on the hellish experiences of customer service workers everywhere.

The troupe, headed by writer and director Heather Rae Ackerman was nice enough to let me ask them a few questions about the show before Saturday's hilarious performance. Here they are:

 

Earlier in the week, I stumbled across an advertisment for the show outside of Rust Belt Books, which, because it was made entirely from yarn and ranks as one of the more creative Infringey advertisements I've seen, seems worth re-posting here:

--Colin Dabkowski

Infringement Daily Planner: Day 10

Today is the penultimate day of the Buffalo Infringement Festival. If you're looking for something to do this afternoon, check out the day's busy schedule. Here are five potential highlights:

• At 1 p.m., Squeaky Wheel hosts its Second Saturday Film Festival, featuring eight short films by local filmmakers.

• At 1:30 p.m., Allentown Music will host several hours of music during its Rock on the Porch event, with performances from SIC SIN, Legal the Lifesaver, the Left Hand of Darkness, Warren Daniels and Jupiter Jefferson.

The Foundry, over on Northampton Street, is throwing a Pirate Party starting at 6 p.m. with plenty of performances and more than likely some hilarious costumes.

• "The Cashier's Manifesto," a theater piece derived from cashiers' true stories about their experiences on the job, runs from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. in Casa De Arte.

• The Hell's Harlots Burlesque troupe performs a half-hour set in El Museo at 9 p.m.

--Colin Dabkowski

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