Arts & Life

Arts and culture

Max Schulte/WXXI News

A longtime Rochester tradition is ending, at least for now.

The operators of the Cinema Theater, which dates back to 1914, say they are closing up shop. Audrey Kramer and Alex Chernavsky note that due to the pandemic restrictions, they have not been able to generate much income over the last year.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

When Aurelien Bouche Pillon stands on the shore at Sea Breeze Pier, he is constantly scanning the water.

Pillon is checking to see if the conditions are right for surfing. Even in the dead of winter, he can sometimes be spotted just off shore, surfing Lake Ontario.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

If you're in Cobbs Hill on a snowy day, you might just see an unfamiliar sight. Two dogs pulling Pippa Kohn through the streets, or through the park, on her kicksled.


In his only novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Oscar Wilde tells of a man seemingly impervious to time and travail; it is his portrait, hidden away in his attic, that ages and shows the wear of the world.

The discovery of the remains of the glass negative of one of the most-famous portraits of Susan B. Anthony is Wilde’s story in reverse; the portrait, hidden away in a Geneva attic for decades, does not age. It is the world outside that attic that has changed.

Jazz festival will happen but will move to RIT

Feb 11, 2021
Fred SanFilipo/WXXI file photo

After being canceled last year due to the pandemic, the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival is on track for this summer -- but will be held for the first time outside the city and later than usual, festival organizers announced Thursday.

The festival’s co-producers, Marc Iacona and John Nugent, said they were moving the popular nine-day concert series to the Rochester Institute of Technology campus in Henrietta to better adhere to state health guidelines. The festival is scheduled for July 30 to Aug. 7.

Max Schulte/WXXI News file photo

The University of Rochester’s police have made an arrest in the attempted theft of a work of art from the Andy Warhol exhibit at Memorial Art Gallery.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo is announcing plans to help the performing arts get a boost in New York state after so many live performances and other activities have been canceled or delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, Cuomo said that more than 300 "pop-up" events are planned throughout the state in the next 100 days, including a performance by Garth Fagan Dance at the Magic Spell Studios at RIT.

Plans tentatively call for two to three 30-minute performances on the soundstage at those studios, on Sunday, Feb. 21.

Haudenosaunee filmmakers get their own festival

Feb 8, 2021

Rochester annually hosts dozens of film festivals, and it’s about to get one more. Indigenous filmmakers, actors, and producers from the region will be spotlighted April 19-25 in the inaugural Haudenosaunee Filmmakers Festival, a new collaboration between Friends of Ganondagan and Rematriation Magazine. Organizers are accepting film submissions through Sunday, Feb. 21.


Artistic responses to the events of 2020 are vast and varied. Creatives have lambasted the former president, reacted to matters of social justice, and recorded the fear, sorrow, and loneliness of the pandemic.

Like that of her counterparts everywhere, the work of Rochester artist Rebecca Soriano is imbued with the bewilderment that has befallen all of us over the last year, like superimposed sock and buskin masks symbolizing comedy and tragedy in the theater.

What happens when we become touch deprived

Feb 6, 2021
Ryan Williamson / CITY

During the three months last year that he was forced to shut his massage therapy practice, Shawn Belles received some heartbreaking phone calls.

“I had some clients reach out to me begging me to just see them for one day,” Belles said. “I had one client call me crying, saying they're in so much pain. And I was like, ‘I'm sorry, I just can't. I can't open. I could lose my license.’”