Arts & Life

Arts and culture

Corn Hill Arts Festival

The Corn Hill Arts Festival and the Park Avenue Summer Arts Festival are the latest major Rochester events to be lost to the coronavirus pandemic.

Corn Hill, set for its 51st year, fills the streets of the city’s Corn Hill neighborhood with music, vendors and tents with art for sale every July. The Corn Hill Neighbors Association Board of Directors announced the cancellation of this year's festival Wednesday morning.

With Passover starting Wednesday night, the Jewish community in Rochester has worked to bring the joy and significance of that holiday to people who are living alone.

Fred SanFilipo / WXXI

The producers of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival announced Thursday afternoon that the event’s June dates are being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they left open the door for a rescheduling in the fall of this year.

"In the past two weeks since we announced our 2020 festival lineup, our world has been turned upside down,” co-producers John Nugent and Marc Iacona said in a press release. “The health crisis we are experiencing has resulted in significant loss of life and illness, growing fear, and unprecedented disruption in all aspects of our lives.”

A number of Rochester area arts organizations are grappling with major changes to events they had scheduled as they have had to close during the coronavirus pandemic, and also have taken a major hit to their revenues.

One local organization, RoCo, the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, is currently holding its major event for the year, the 6x6 exhibition. But Executive Director Bleu Cease says they are doing it in a different way.


Muddle together two lemon wedges, a few shards of mint and a half-ounce of simple syrup. Add crushed ice, followed by two ounces of Flower City gin. Mix. Top off the glass with more crushed ice and a mint garnish.

And please tip your bartender.

That’s Stephanie Rebensky’s Southside Old Fashion. The recipe is posted on smokeoutcovid19.com, a website where bartenders and related industry people can show off their work even as the coronavirus pandemic dries up their workplaces.

In one fell swoop, Geva Theatre Center on Monday announced it is postponing, canceling or re-platforming the remainder of this season’s events. 

And anticipating an end to the coronavirus pandemic that is shuttering the arts, it also announced on Monday its productions for the upcoming 2020-21 season, beginning with a Sept. 1 show about air guitars, and the people who love them.

Kurt Brownell

Beating New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the punch by one news cycle, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra announced Thursday afternoon that it was postponing all concerts through May 9.

And by Friday morning, that decision proved to be academic anyway, as Cuomo announced that all workers in nonessential businesses in the state are required to stay home in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

RPO shows affected by its announcement are:

Tomas Flint

Citing the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival announced Wednesday that it is suspending ticket sales for Club Passes and the headliner shows at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

Courtesy Rochester International Jazz Festival

Most years, by this point in the story, John Nugent, the producer and artistic director of the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, generally exudes an attitude that the event is on automatic pilot. All acts are booked, the food trucks are gassed up, the weather vanes are blowing in the right direction.

The Little Theatre in Rochester has announced it will temporarily close to the public as of 5 p.m. Saturday, March 14, in response to efforts to contain the coronavirus.

An announcement from the theater, which is operated by WXXI, says that The Little will suspend all film/music programming and is closing after the Saturday matinee screenings.

Patrons who have purchased tickets in advance have the following options: