Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

New historic marker at the site of Douglass house

Nov 5, 2018
Alex Crichton

The home where Frederick Douglass first lived in Rochester is now being commemorated through a new historic marker.

Officials from the city, the Pomeroy Foundation and relatives of the famous abolitionist gathered at the site at 297 Alexander Street for the dedication.

It was in that home where he composed speeches and articles for nis North Star publication, and helped runaway slaves seeking freedom.

Jacqueline Sprague and Katherine Sprague Dexter are relatives of Douglass' daughter Rosetta.

Solidarity Shabbat: We Stand With Pittsburgh

Nov 2, 2018

Rochester's Jewish community is joining in a nationwide showing of solidarity in the wake of the killings in a Pittsburgh synagogue last weekend.

It's called Solidarity Shabbat: We Stand With Pittsburgh

Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath, starting at nightfall Friday and lasting until nightfall Saturday.

CEO of the Jewish Federation of Rochester, Meredith Dragon, says local synagogues will host events to mourn those lost last weekend.

National Women's Hall of Fame

It was back in September the Hall learned it was a finalist in a program called Partners in Preservation, which featured 20 sites around the country that celebrate diversity and the struggle for equality.

This week, the National Women’s Hall of Fame  learned it is one of the 11 winning historic sites, something they accomplished with the help of an online public voting campaign.

Rebecca Petropolous is operations manager at the Hall.  She says the funding will help them in their ongoing effort to renovate the 1844 Seneca Knitting Mill into their new home.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Filmmakers, gamers and other makers have a new space to create in Rochester, with MAGIC Spell Studios opening its doors for the first time Tuesday.

The new 52,000 square foot facility at the Rochester Institute of Technology has game and media development labs, 2D and 3D animation labs, sound mixing, a color-correcting suite and more.

At the opening, many local politicians and leaders talked about the economic development potential for such a space.

David Munson is the President of RIT.

Gateways Music Festival celebrates its 25th

Oct 30, 2018

Gateways Music Festival, in association with the Eastman School of Music,  is marking its 25th anniversary this week with special events and performances by professional musicians of African descent, and the celebration continues with the full festival in August of 2019.

President and Artistic Director Lee Koonce says the celebration features a five-day Community Residency Program with 20 chamber music performances at various public venues.

The Eastman School of Music says that two gifts announced this week which total $10 million, will  help support faculty and students at that music school in Rochester.

The gifts of $5 million  each come from two members of the University of Rochester’s Board of Trustees, Cathy Minehan and Danny Wegman.

Minehan, who studied both voice and the clarinet at Eastman, is currently managing director of Arlington Advisory Partners, a Boston-based accounting services firm and previously was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Blackfriars Theatre

On the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, Rochester’s Blackfriars Theatre presents a show whose title character is based, very, very, very loosely, on Shelley’s notion of a human created out of parts stitched together in a laboratory. The Rocky Horror Show opens Friday and runs through Nov. 11.

And it is no coincidence that right in the midst of the show’s run, we find Halloween.


In her memoir A Dream Called Home, Reyna Grande offers an inspiring account of her quest to find her place in America as a first-generation Latina university student and aspiring writer.

Grande will be in Rochester today as a 2018 "Rochester Reads" author at Writers & Books. Tonight, she will talk about the writing process at a free event.

Scott Pukos / WXXI News

The Little Theatre's main Theater 1 will soon be showing movies again, as phase one of its renovation project wraps up.

The theater expects to be showing movies there in the next week.

Chris Brandt is the project architect with Bero Architecture.

"Everything inside the auditorium itself, floor to ceiling ... no surface was untouched. All finishes have been replaced; all the seating has been replaced."

He says these renovations are a generational investment.


Two longtime Rochester journalists were inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame on Thursday. 

Anchors and reporters Ginny Ryan and Doug Emblidge, both of 13-WHAM TV were inducted during a ceremony in New York City.

Ryan told us that the award is really about not just her accomplishments but a lot of people she’s worked with along the way.