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Arts Features

Mural artist Sarah Rutherford is combining the power of story and voice in a unique project she recently completed here in Rochester. It’s called Her Voice Carries and it features five murals highlighting the empowering stories of five Rochester women from different walks of life. Though their journeys may be different, they share an interesting common thread. That story on this edition of Need to Know.

www.rit.edu

The death of singer Aretha Franklin has touched a lot of people including a Rochester musician who actually played with her.  Herb Smith plays trumpet both with the RPO and with his own jazz trio. He is also an adjunct professor at RIT and is conductor of the RIT Jazz Ensembles.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Mike Gilbert is holding a cup of coffee in one hand and picking up trash with the other when I pull up to Schiller Park.

His company 5Linx, just moved across the street to the Harro East building, and Gilbert noticed the park had been what he calls "forgotten."

Artist Nate Larson describes Twitter as a river, ever-changing, never the same twice. It’s from that river that he and fellow artist Marni Shindelman work to identify a significant moment, from a single tweet, that they can bring to life through photographs and immersive installations. The artists have found a unique way to transform data into art and activism. They’re in Rochester for the month of July through a partnership between the George Eastman Museum and the Out Alliance to help area teens create their own photographic projects focused on Rochester. 

Memorial Art Gallery/Gift of Rosamond Tota, daughter

Eight years ago, Jessica Marten – Curator in Charge/Curator of American Art at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery – was poking around among the paintings in a museum storage space when a small piece caught her eye.

It was many things. The artist’s medium, egg tempera and gold leaf, suggested medieval paintings, and the illuminated manuscripts of monks. The extensive use of borders is what might be seen on a tapestry. And the central figure looked like an image from Frida Kahlo: A woman in pain, clutching her head. Her eyes are bleeding.

National Comedy Center

What some may have once written off as a pipe dream is about to get real for a small western New York city.

Wednesday, August 1 is the grand opening of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown. The $50 million high tech venue has been years in the making.  It was inspired by hometown hero and comedy legend Lucille Ball.

Beth Adams/WXXI News

Puzzle historian Anne Williams says jigsaw puzzles not only provide a low tech alternative to screen time, they allow people to create order out of chaos at a time when some may feel a lack of control over other parts of their lives.

Over 100 wooden jigsaw puzzle collectors and enthusiasts from around the U.S. will gather in Rochester over the next few days for a Puzzle Parley.

It’s not everyday that you hear a story similar to that of Pyar Mo. The young woman was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. At the age of 12 she was forced to flee her homeland with her family due to an ongoing civil war. Fast-forward seven years, she’s now the salutatorian of her graduating class and a filmmaker who documented her story of adversity and resilience in a film screening this summer at the Rochester Teen Film Festival. On this edition of Need to Know, Pyar Mor (joined by her digital media teacher, Laura Barstow) discusses her film Long Way Home, her story, and the work to support students facing insurmountable obstacles.

Steve Baldwin

The Corn Hill Arts Festival is this coming weekend and it marks a milestone. 

It's the 50th year of the event.

Its humble beginning was August 23, 1969. The neighborhood wasn't even known as Corn Hill back then; it was Rochester's Old Third Ward, once one of the city's wealthiest neighborhoods.

In the summer of 1969, it was the target of Urban Renewal efforts. Nine hundred homes had already been demolished.

Re-energizing the indomitable Frederick Douglass. That’s what’s happening right now in our community in commemoration of the famed abolitionist’s bicentennial. Two hundred years after his birth, the work done by Douglass in Rochester, both the famous and the lesser-known, remains relevant. Reminders from Douglass that: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” continue to challenge us in our schools, churches, and households. On this edition of Need to Know, what it means to celebrate this living legacy in Rochester.

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