February 18, 2014 - 4:02 PM
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.
February 5, 2014 - 12:59 PM
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.
January 29, 2014 - 12:27 PM
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.
December 11, 2013 - 12:23 PM
"Quixotic" doesn't even begin to describe Neil Wechsler's attempt to launch "Against the Grain," an enormously ambitious outdoor theater project set to debut Wechsler's adaptation of "Faust" next summer at Silo City. "Faustian," though, might be a little more accurate. In any case, Wechsler's big dreams for the incipient project -- for which he intends to recruit actors and creative types from across the Northeast -- are captured pretty well in the festival's first foray into viral marketing. Here's a look at the video, which stars Wechsler as himself and Silo City impresario Rick Smith as the devil:
December 4, 2013 - 2:50 PM
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.
November 5, 2013 - 4:30 PM
Yes, that mellifluous voice you hear speaking French at the start of this video belongs to Vincent O'Neill, co-founder of the Irish Classical Theatre. Yes, that is local actor Jimmy Janowski and female impersonator Bebe Bvulgari lipsynching in a gritty Buffalo alleyway to the strains of Billy Hough and The X- Loves' song "Touralouralay." And yes, that is the author Michael Cunningham ("The Hours," "A Home at the End of the World") engaging in some risqué behavior with The Albright's keyboardist and vocalist Joseph Donahue.
It continues: Yes, that is Alan Trinca, who played Alex in Torn Space Theater's production of "A Clockwork Orange" earlier this year, drinking wine in the bathtub for no apparent reason. And those backing vocals are indeed coming from Gordon Cano of the Violent Femmes. And assorted other strangenesses.
What is all this about? It's a long-simmering video project released this morning by local director Chris Kelly, who shot the entire thing on a pair of iPhones in Provincetown, R.I. and Buffalo. Its meaning is, well, elusive, but its cult appeal is pretty much immediately evident.
It's already been picked up by the LGBT blog Towleroad, which called it "a musical tale of gay love, marriage, booze, drugs and betrayal," and by Out.com. Take a look.
October 24, 2013 - 1:36 PM
thirty years ago, at the dawn of what then called the age of "personal
computing," it became clear that digital technology's influence on the
creative writing process was certain to become both sweeping and
transformative. With the advent of
Apple's graphical user interface in 1984, it became possible to conceive of
"textuality" in multi-dimensional space, making new approaches to
both reading and writing possible.
By the end of the 1980's, an avant-garde of literary talent was already
experimenting with digital narrative forms that yielded a plasticity heretofore
only conceptually suggested by works like Julio Cortazar's
"Hopscotch" or Jorge Luis Borges's "The Library of
Babel." The prominent American
fiction writer and novelist Robert Coover was an early advocate and adopter,
and by 1987 Buffalo native and Canisius College alumnus Michael Joyce's
"afternoon, a story" became the first widely-circulated example of
what came to be known as "hypertext fiction" published by the digital
arts software company Eastgate Systems.
Before long critics and literary journalists--including yours truly--were
touting digital literature as the Next Big Thing, and some cases, even
suggesting that within a decade or two, hypertext fiction would render the
traditional linear means of storytelling obsolete, consigning the novel and
even the Chekovian short story to the ash-heap of history in the name of
technological narrative progress.
Continue reading "Award-winning digital writer Alan Bigelow to spin his 'Webyarns' tonight at Medaille" »
October 1, 2013 - 10:58 PM
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:
August 19, 2013 - 4:32 PM
On Saturday afternoon, I caught the very start of City of Night, the mammoth arts festival sponsored by Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo. Like last year's version, it was packed with interactive art installations scattered around the post-industrial site and inside its endlessly photogrpahable, out-of-use buildings. Word from organizers is that the second festival attracted some 12,000 people -- about 4,500 more than expected -- though it's unclear exactly how they counted. Here are some pics:
A sculpture by Scott Bye:
Continue reading "A brief look at City of Night" »
August 4, 2013 - 12:17 PM
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.