Arts Features

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Critics are praising the documentary film "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" as a comfort in dark and divisive times.

Filmmaker Morgan Neville's nostaglic tribute to Mr. Rogers, the cardigan-clad, gentle-voiced, kind grownup who befriended generations of kids, premeires in theaters Friday.

Paul Siefken, president and CEO of Fred Rogers Productions, the company that carries on Rogers' legacy through children's television programming, says Rogers was a kind and gentle soul but his work was bold and courageous.


A play echoing the themes of the #MeToo movement premiers at Geva Theatre's Fielding stage on Thursday.

Swans explores a family torn apart by abuse. It's a story of reckoning, recovering lost memories, and maybe even redemption. It’s the work of playwright Maria Brandt, who also teaches creative writing at Monroe Community College.

Brandt says while many women have been empowered to find their voices and speak out against their abusers, it's important to include men in conversations about violence against women.

WATCH: This is what we call the puppet show

Jun 18, 2018

Renowned and award-winning puppeteers from around the world will be coming to New York from June 14 - June 24 for the inaugural New York State Puppet Festival. It’s all happening in a small, rural town, with a mighty passion for art and a deep desire to expand your perspective of a childhood pastime.

The Bob Dylan Birthday Bash

May 25, 2018

In one of the city’s longest-running popular-music traditions, about three dozen Bob Dylan songs will be interpreted by Rochester musicians at Friday’s 31st annual Bob Dylan Birthday Bash at Lovin’ Cup Bistro & Brews.

Host band HuNu? opens the 8 p.m. set  on May 25 with the only non-Dylan song of the night. “A Different Bob” is a composition by the late Chuck Cuminale, the originator of the event with his band, The Colorblind James Experience.

Jeff Spevak looks at a summer of music

May 24, 2018

A hip-hop Pulitzer Prize winner and a country music star who was onstage when last summer’s mass shooting in Las Vegas broke out. This is one outdoor concert season that reflects our changing and challenging times.

WATCH: 4th annual Black Author Expo

May 9, 2018

It started as an effort to unify African American writers throughout the Rochester region. Now, one writer calls it “a movement,” that enables authors of color to connect with the community and encourage young people to turn their thoughts and imaginations into stories. The efforts of the upcoming Rochester Black Author Expo, now in its 4th year, begs the question: how can teaching about black writers impact young people? On this edition of Need to Know we’ll also learn how African American literature is influencing generations of all ages?

WATCH: Film project helping at-risk youth create hope

May 9, 2018

In a city dealing with severe poverty, crime and a challenged education system, some young people in Rochester might think a life beyond all of that is hopeless. However, a new film project premiering on May 10th is showcasing the resilience and tenacity of a city and its residents. As we’ll learn on this edition of Need to Know, it’s all in the hopes of helping at-risk youth create hope beyond what they may see.

Bus driving guitarist looks back on career with many turns

Apr 30, 2018

Guitarist Lawrence Johnson recorded the complete works of early-nineteenth century composer Fernando Sor – using equipment that the guitarist got in a trade for a Volkswagen.  He recalls, "I found out this guy and this girl, they were married – and he decided he didn’t like her anymore and he left her and took her car. But he was also a recording nut, and so he had this Revox 77.  So I said: I got a car if you want it, but I need that Revox 77. So, I got it." 

"I really love Rochester. I love the simplicity. I love the sense of neighborhood. I love the fact that it's common to speak to people on the street even if you don't know them."

So says retired music teacher Teryle (pronounced “TARE-il”) Watson, who possesses a birds’ eye view of music programs across the spectrum.  

Trio creates harmony from tension

Apr 9, 2018

Among the old beautiful buildings that line East Avenue, you can find the Rochester Academy of Medicine – a place that has been a resource for the medical community for many years, as well as more recently a host for various community events, including “salon” piano trio concerts.  

The salon at 1441 East Avenue is a room that holds about a hundred people . It would be a big living room for most homes, but it’s a rather intimate space for a concert. That is something cellist Stefan Reuss has come to appreciate over the years: