Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Gates Open at St. Joseph's Park Downtown

May 23, 2016
Alex Crichton

The Landmark Society has reopened the gates at a downtown park in Rochester.

St. Joseph's Park at North Clinton Avenue and Pleasant Street was originally a church.

But it burned down in 1974 and the Landmark Society stepped in and  and saved the facade, and the site was made into a public park.

Executive Director Wayne Goodman says to date, the Landmark Society has spent $50,000 to $60,000 on this project.

He says the next step for the site is to do some restoration work on the clock tower and relight the tower once again.

WXXI News/Beth Adams

You might spot a non-motorized go kart traveling through various Rochester neighborhoods starting today and through the rest of the spring and summer.

It's a vehicle for a series of community-based art projects, but it's about much more than art.

A group of students from Alfred University called "Art Force Five" hope to tap into people's creativity to find solutions to social justice issues ranging from poverty to criminal justice and education.

Rochester New York: A Playful City USA

May 19, 2016
Alex Crichton

Rochester is known for its Museum of Play.

Now it's being called a Playful City USA.

That designation comes from KABOOM, a non-profit dedicated to giving kids, particularly those living in poverty, the childhood they deserve by building, opening or improving playgrounds nationwide.

City officials gathered at Conkey Corner Park to mark the occasion.

Marisol Ramos-Lopez is Commissioner of Recreation and Youth Services.

She says various neighborhood groups and others got together to take that corner back.

A renowned jazz trumpeter, composer and music educator with ties to Rochester has died. Paul Smoker died Saturday at the age of 75.

He was also a faculty member at Nazareth College, where his wife, Beverly Smoker, is a professor of music and chair of the music department.

20 Years Of Musical Time Travel

May 16, 2016
Marty Nott /

Two things set the choir Musica Spei apart from most musical groups you know.  One is that they focus on music that is very old – from the middle ages and Renaissance – and the other is that no one is really in charge.

Jonathan Tichler/Metropolitan Opera

The speaker at the Eastman School of Music Commencement ceremony this past weekend is an Eastman alum who is heard around the world on the long-running Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcasts.  Mary Jo Heath is “the voice of the Met”  - a career that she started while she was a student in Rochester, which she recounted in an interview with WXXI's Marianne Carberry. 

Heath was working on her doctorate in music theory at the Eastman School of music when she saw an ad on a bulletin board for part time radio announcers, and figured: why not?  

TWC News

The 118th edition of  Rochester’s Lilac Festival ended on a chilly note, with temperatures in the 40s and some ice pellets mixed in with showers and breaks of sun on Sunday.

Festival organizers say attendance for the 10-day festival was in line with past years, when the event usually draws a total of about a half-million people overall.

Organizers tell Time Warner Cable News that a week ago, on the first Saturday of this year’s event, they saw a record breaking number of about 130,000 people in one day.

Keith Bullis

A well-known local music festival is announcing a closer association with the Eastman School of Music.

The Gateways Music Festival focuses on increasing the visibility of classical musicians of African descent, and it has been working with the Eastman School for a number of years.

A local businessman is proposing a way to enhance the appearance of one of the gateways into Downtown Rochester.

Antique dealer Jack Darcy is proposing a ‘pocket park,’ basically a small urban park,  for an area near Monroe Avenue, the Inner Loop and Strong Museum.

It’s in conjunction with the city’s request for proposals for the eastern end of the Inner Loop, which is being filled in as part of redevelopment efforts in that area.

Darcy is proposing a park that would include green space and other amenities.

There's a new effort to bring more public art to Rochester's East End.

RoCo, the Rochester Contemporary Art Center,  is announcing an initiative that will involve having a sculpture or other type of art work adjacent to RoCo’s gallery on East Avenue, on the grounds of Christ Church, which is adjacent to RoCo.