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


After more than a year of the twists and turns of life in the coronavirus pandemic, Danny Deutsch decided he had to lay down the law. In mid-May, he declared that no one would be allowed in Abilene Bar & Lounge unless they had proof that they had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

He posted the new policy on the club’s website. And on Facebook.

Scott Fybush/WXXI News

Did you get to see it? The Rochester area and much of the U.S. was treated to a partial solar eclipse at sunrise Thursday morning, when 78% of the sun was obscured by the moon, creating a crescent sunrise effect.

Astronomy fans gathered at several locations around greater Rochester to watch through eclipse glasses and filters.

Dan Schneiderman of the Rochester Museum & Science Center organized a viewing party at Martin Road Park in Henrietta that drew a surprisingly big crowd.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Norman Jones is old enough to remember the Inner Loop being built more than half a century ago.

“I have a clear memory of that machinery,” Jones said. “When you’re 4, 5, 6 years old, and you see big trucks and the excavators, you go, ‘Wow.’ When you see it all moved around, you just thought it was the coolest thing, and probably everyone else thought it was the coolest thing.”

The 63-year-old commissioner of the city Department of Environmental Services keeps two outsized frames hanging on the wall of the agency’s conference room at City Hall that act as his guides when he considers the future of the sunken expressway.

We're joined by two more candidates for Rochester City School Board. It's our fourth and final discussion with candidates in this race prior to the primary on June 22.

Incumbent and current board vice president Cynthia Elliott and educator and activist Clianda Florence-Yarde join us to discuss their platforms and priorities for the district.

Our guests:

Chris Mortensen / CITY

In a rare positive reversal for concert plans during the pandemic, GrassRoots will present live music this summer at Trumansburg Fairgrounds after all.

We talk with two more candidates for Rochester City School Board. Nine candidates are vying for three open seats on the board. Our goal is to talk to all of the candidates before the primary on June 22.

This hour, we hear from Joshua Bauroth and Tatiana Welch about their platforms and priorities for the district. Our guests:

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello/Facebook

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, who began his term in office 18 months ago, delivered his first State of the County address Monday.

It was a look back at a tumultuous year and also a look ahead to what comes next.

Bello gave his speech at Seabreeze Amusement Park,  meant to symbolize how that park and many other venues were shut down last year due to COVID-19 but are now reopening as the county gets out from under the impact of the pandemic with the help of vaccines.

April Franklin

This week, 122 years ago, a monument made in the likeness of Frederick Douglass was unveiled in Rochester to an audience of over 10,000 people. The statue was the first in the U.S. to be made in honor of an African- American and for decades the occasion has been celebrated.

On Wednesday, June 9, a group called “Pitts Friends of Frederick Douglass” will host a festival to commemorate the 122nd anniversary of the Frederick Douglass Monument in Highland Park. 

We're joined by the great Michael Lasser, longtime host of Fascinatin’ Rhythm on WXXI Radio. Lasser has been at the helm of the nationally syndicated show for more than 40 years. His work as earned him a loyal audience and a coveted George Foster Peabody Award. As reported by WXXI's Jeff Spevak, "jurors said his program was a vivid example of what a listener described as 'radio essays with songs used as illustrations.'” Lasser has decided to retire, with June 26 being the final broadcast of his program.

This hour, we sit down with him and with the program's original producer, Marianne Carberry, to talk about the many years of the show, its music, the social history of that music, and more. Our guests:

  • Michael Lasser, host of Fascinatin’ Rhythm, author, teacher, and theater critic
  • Marianne Carberry, original producer of Fascinatin’ Rhythm, and program host for Classical 91.5. FM

The Buffalo Bills training camp will not be coming to the Rochester area for the second year in a row.

The team announced on Monday that the Bills evaluated two options for training camp locations in 2021.

They say that after evaluating St. John Fisher College and the team's practice facility at One Bills Drive, the Bills have finally decided to again hold their 2021 training camp at the ADPRO Training Center in Orchard Park.