Arts & Life

New York tourism experts say the great American road trip is back, and they're counting on people's pent-up desire for travel and cravings for regional food specialties to lure them upstate this year.

"That's what our data tells us," said Ross Levi, vice president and executive director of tourism at I Love New York, who added that people want to travel to close destinations reachable by car.

Tourism organizations from Buffalo to Binghamton are collaborating on a new campaign called "Upstate Eats Trail."

WNY remembers Hall of Fame Talas rocker Phil Naro

May 5, 2021

Western New York is mourning the death of legendary rocker and composer Phil Naro.

Fred SanFilipo / WXXI

After an attempt to save this year’s edition of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival by moving it back a month and changing the location to Rochester Institute of Technology, the event’s producers announced Monday morning that the event will be postponed again.

The new dates are June 17-25, 2022. But it was not immediately clear where the festival will be held. 

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Even as COVID-19 vaccination rates grow and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its recommendations for outdoor masking, another Rochester summer festival has been canceled.

Some say government leaders are sending inconsistent and confusing messages on what is and isn't safe.

Aaron Winters

I had my coming-out from COVID-19 about a week and a half ago.

My first indoor concert in more than a year. Two solo acoustic performers: a ridiculously talented young guy, Max Doud, then Tommy Brunett, scratchy-voiced scenester and Fairport whiskey baron. It was a night at The Penthouse at One East Avenue, 11 floors up in the downtown Rochester skyline. It’s a spacious room, and the tables seemed separated enough. All four of the people at our table were fully vaccinated.

City of Rochester Facebook page


The city of Rochester is making a commitment to provide children with better access to nature. Mayor Lovely Warren gathered with city council members Tuesday to announce plans to build a nature center at Maplewood Park. She also unveiled a Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, part of a national initiative to give children opportunities to learn and play in nature.


Rochester philanthropist and activist Betty Strasenburgh has died at the age of 90. 

Strasenburgh was a philanthropist, harpist, sailor, pilot, adventurer, but most of all, she was a community advocate who, among other efforts, helped lead a campaign to renovate the Eastman Theatre.

Strasenburgh was born in New York City, where she lived through high school. She played the harp and was accepted to the Eastman School of Music, which brought her to Rochester.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

For the second year in a row, the Park Avenue Summer Art Festival has been canceled.

Organizers released a statement on Tuesday saying, “The Park Avenue Revitalization Committee has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2021 Park Avenue Summer Art Festival until August 6 and 7, 2022. We are grateful for the community support, as we shift our focus from the Art Festival to assisting the small business impact on Park Avenue from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We will continue to look at ways we can celebrate Park Avenue and all it has to offer safely in 2021.”

Cuomo: NYS Fair will happen in 2021

Apr 27, 2021

“The fair must go on,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo as he announced the return of the New York State Fair.

“The fair will be open, mark it on your calendar, start to plan to buy tickets and vendors start to get ready,” he said while at the fairgrounds near Syracuse Monday.

This year the New York State Fair–which draws in over one million attendants every year and generates over $100 million for the state–will return to central New York after a hiatus due to the pandemic.

After years of public debate and false starts, Rochester’s Parcel 5 has a future, or, at least some new grass seed. The one-acre plot in the heart of downtown has long been a coveted space, and for now, it will become a green gathering place. We talk about what that means for Rochester.

Our guests:

  • Rachel DeGuzman, founder and executive director of 21st Century Arts, Inc.
  • Mary Lupien, member of Rochester City Council
  • André Primus, planner with Highland Planning LLC
  • Ben Woelk, principal at Slow Road Consulting