Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Blue Angels Prepping for Air Show

May 21, 2015

Members of the Blue Angels were making a few practice runs over downtown Rochester in advance of this weekend’s  2015 Rochester International Airshow.

It’ll be held at the Rochester International Airport Saturday and Sunday.

The famed precision flying team will join civilian aerobatic acts, including an all veteran parachute team’s “Salute to Heroes”

Portions of the proceeds of the airshow go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The county says there will be road closures as a result of the air show:

This summer, a new mode of transportation is coming to downtown Rochester.

"It's the body of a trolley with the insides of a bicycle. It fits fifteen people - 12 pedalers, 3 riders - and you go through the streets. You pick where you want to go,” said Philip Szal, who's starting a company called Rochester Pedal Tours.

This trolley-bicycle hybrid can be rented for pub and restaurant craws or architectural tours through the city.

CHICAGO (AP & WXXI News)  Famed soprano Renee Fleming will spend another two years working with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

The opera says Fleming, who grew up in Churchville and also studies at the Eastman School of Music,  will continue to serve as its creative consultant while she keeps up her performance schedule.

Fleming's original five-year contract with the opera started in 2010. Her work currently includes curating the 2015 premiere of the new opera ``Bel Canto.'' 

Veronica Volk / WXXI

Michael Douglas is being honored with a George Eastman Award for Excellence in Film. The actor says though he's never been to Rochester before now, he's well aware of Eastman's contribution to the arts.  Douglas says he's looking forward to indulging in the film archives available in the museum.

"For instance, I can't wait to get into the west, the civil war photographs, the archives. There's something that can never take away from a photograph."

Day of Caring in Rochester at Foodlink's Urban Farm

May 14, 2015
Alex Crichton

Thousands of volunteers from companies, schools and other organizations went out into the community today to help out during the United Way of Greater Rochester's annual Day of Caring.

About 100 volunteers helped Foodlink pack and sort donated food for distribution at its headquarters on Mt. Read Boulevard.

Another 17 people went to Foodlink's Lexington Avenue Urban Farm, where Foodlink's Nathaniel Mich says 50 families are growing their own food there, about 50-thousand pounds of food.

Veronica Volk / WXXI

Shawn Dunwoody is an artist, and the designer behind this series of murals and crosswalks. He says it's not just about changing the way a neighborhood looks, its about changing the way people think about it.

"It no longer it needs to be called Ghost Town; let's call it the fruit belt."

Dunwoody says the name was derived from the history of the JOSANA neighborhood, where immigrants planted grape trees, as well as the other street names in the area like Orchard, Orange, and Lime. The art project draws on these themes with big interwoven strips of bright, vibrant colors.

A well-known local philanthropist has died. Dr. Jacques Lipson, better known to his friends as  “Jack,"  died  Tuesday after a long illness. He was 84 years old.

Lipson practiced internal medicine, and when he retired in 2012 had been in practice over 60 years. He was the longest attending physician at Rochester General Hospital when he retired.

He and his wife Dawn Lipson have contributed to numerous organizations, particularly in the area of the arts and education. And it is their name that is on the Lipson Cancer Center at Rochester General.

The Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester is getting a new sea lion. The nine year old California sea lion is named Boomerang. He comes to the zoo from Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut and joins the zoo's three resident sea lions, a two year old male and two adult females.

As a pup, Boomerang was found stranded along the California coast and experts felt he could not be released back into the wild, so he was taken to the Mystic Aquarium.

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks says the zoo's two female sea lions were also found stranded along the California coast.

Annual Lilac Festival Underway

May 8, 2015

Under sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s, the 117th annual Rochester Lilac Festival kicked off today.

Director of Monroe County Parks, Larry Staub, says the flowers are in bloom just at the right time.

"The flowers are awesome. This heat wave couldn't have come at a better time -- everything's popping and everything's coming out at once," Staub said.

Public relations manager for the festival, Randi Minetor, says there are plenty of new attractions this year, starting with a home and garden show on both weekends, and a brew fest Thursday and Friday.

The Center for Youth is announcing an expansion of its "Safe Place" program to 15 fire stations in the city of Rochester.

The program features a Center for Youth team which responds to those locations and offers young people the care they need -- even shelter.

Speaking at the fire house at the corner of Dewey and Ridgeway Avenues, City Fire Chief John Schreiber says the partnership with the Center for Youth started in 2006 at one fire house, and now all city fire stations are participating.