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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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: