Arts & Life

Arts & Life is one of our news focuses at WXXI. From harnessing the musical knowledge from reporters like Jeff Spevak, Brenda Tremblay, Julia Figueras, and Mona Seghatoleslami, to our television products that focus on various lifestyles and the arts, WXXI is the place to turn for arts & life news.

While there is no live, in-person music happening, WXXI is still bringing the artists you love to you - to your home, from the artists homes in our new series HomeStage.

Along with the coverage you'll find here, here's some of our other arts & life features:

Live programs on Classical 91.5 FM

Open Tunings with Scott Regan on WRUR 88.5 FM

Find events around town from the CITY events calendar

Movies and events at The Little Theatre

Showcasing artists on Arts in Focus


Rock royalty has played the tiny room known simply as the Bug Jar.

There was The White Stripes, before the duo became indie-rock favorites. The Black Keys, before returning to town a few years later for gigs at Blue Cross Arena and Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center. Vampire Weekend. The 1975, sharing a bill with Rochester’s Joywave. 

Provided by Amy Collins and Tim Clark

The silence of the past year has been deafening.

“If it wasn’t COVID, we’d be out almost every night listening to music,” says Amy Collins. Or perhaps she and her husband, Tim Clark, would be playing music themselves.

True, there are still a few venues where stages remain lit, heeding to state-mandated coronavirus pandemic guidelines with varying degrees of compliance.

“If Rochester is a 'City of the Arts,' why don't we fund the arts?” That’s the central question and the title of CITY Magazine’s January cover story. In a deep dive on the state of local arts funding, CITY editor David Andreatta and arts editor Rebecca Rafferty report that “Although dozens of organizations make up Rochester’s arts and cultural scene, Monroe County legislators did what they have done for decades and allocated most of the largesse to a handful of stalwart groups.” The formula and distribution process leave smaller groups with nothing or scrounging for leftover funding. Representatives for various arts organizations interviewed for the piece argue that for an arts city of such caliber, there should be more public support for artists and their work, and a distribution process that's less confusing and more equitable.

This hour, we examine how county funds for the arts are allocated and what arts advocates want to see changed. Our guests: 

Fred SanFilipo

For most of 2020, I’ve been working from a second-floor room at my house in Charlotte. Typing, doing phone interviews, waiting for a neighbor to finish mowing his lawn so I can record something for broadcast. October came and went quietly. For the first time ever, no trick-or-treaters showed up at our door on Halloween. 

October also marked my first anniversary of working full-time at WXXI. And doing the math on my fingers, I see that I have actually spent more days working from this room, rather than at my desk at 280 State St. -- because of the coronavirus pandemic, of course.