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"When the goldenrod is yellow,
And leaves are turning brown -
Reluctantly the summer goes
In a cloud of thistledown.

When squirrels are harvesting
And birds in flight appear -
By these autumn signs we know
September days are here."

- Beverly Ashour

ON THE MOVE From Celeste Lawson

Greetings, After50 readers! Well, here we are in September! Where, oh, where did the summer go?! I thoroughly enjoyed it and could have used a few more weeks but the good news about September is that the arts and cultural community is back in full swing! Yes, there are still some festivals taking place but theaters are opening and museums, galleries, and concert halls are kicking off new seasons with head spinning options for you to choose from this year.

Let’s begin with saluting September as Hispanic Heritage Month. This is a time when there are 56.6 million people of Hispanic heritage living in the United States. Effective July 2016, the Hispanic population in the U.S. is the nation’s largest ethnic minority group, constituting 17.8 percent of the country’s total population with a median age of 29, with California, Texas, and Florida having the highest levels of Spanish speaking populations. Other states like Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York are also home to more than one million individuals of Hispanic heritage. Hispanic Heritage Month covers a lot of ground from our own U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Dominican Republic, to the many countries in Central America, South America, and Mexico. Those are nations with long histories, quests, and struggles for independence that are being recognized this month.

September 6th we honor workers on Labor Day (and my mother, it’s her birthday – Happy Birthday Mom!); September 8th is Read a Book Day; and September 9th is GRANDPARENTS DAY! Be good to yourselves all you grandparents out there! Of course, on September 11th, we must take a moment and remember this day of infamy that changed our country and the entire world with the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the many lives lost that day. We follow that up on September 21st with International Peace Day. We remember the people of the First Nations on September 28th, Native American Day. Lastly, September 28th is Confucius Day, so if you like Chinese food, get some, or at least get yourself a few fortune cookies! Have a great month and remember to keep the men and women who serve in our armed forces in your thoughts. Enjoy!

Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s; Sun., Aug. 19, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019; 10am-5pm

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14222

This exhibit revisits the vivacious imaginings of one of the most culturally, politically, and artistically significant periods of the twentieth century. Artists began exploring new mediums and incorporating popular themes, motifs, and subjects into their practices. Admission: $12. Phone: 882-8700.

Peter Mulvey Live In The 9th Ward – Sept. 6, 8pm

Babeville, 341 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14202

Peter Mulvey is a veteran singer and songwriter who began his career on the streets of Dublin, Ireland, as a busker and moved on to performing in the subways and on the streets of Boston, MA, which led to his first record deal. He then leapt to full-time national and international touring. He has made seventeen records, spanning rock and roll, folk, Jazz, spoken word, and Americana. Tickets: $15 - $17. Phone: 852-3835.

Queen City Conquest– Sep. 7-Sep.9, Fri., 12pm-11pm; Sat., 8am-11pm; Sun., 8am-5pm

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY, 14202

The Queen City Conquest is WNY’s premier gaming convention. It is a three-day event focused on the hobby of board, card, and role-playing games as well as video games and live-interaction events. There will be numerous special guests as well as live games running. You can visit the board game library and the vendor area to shop. Tickets: $33. Phone: 855-5555.

Buffalo Central Terminal Train Show, Sept. 8-Sept. 9, 10am–4pm

Buffalo Central Terminal, 495 Paderewski Drive, Buffalo, NY, 14212

This Annual Train Show underlines the Central Terminal’s crucial place in rail history and distinction as one of the world’s busiest and most well-known train stations. Attractions include operating train layouts, door prizes, and plenty of model trains and accessories for sale. Tickets: $5. Phone: 810-3210.

Jefferson Avenue Festival of the Arts, Sept. 8, 10am-6pm

Jefferson Ave. between E. Utica & E. Ferry, Buffalo, NY, 14209

The Jefferson Avenue Arts Festival celebrates all of the art, culture, and community in the heart of the eastside of Buffalo. There will be singers, dancers, storytellers, musicians, kid’s activities, vendors, retailers, art, and more along Jefferson Avenue. Free.

Music is Art Festival– Sept. 8, 11am–1am

Buffalo Riverworks, 359 Ganson Street, Buffalo, NY, 14203

Each September, the Music is Art festival attracts thousands of people. The festival showcases over 700 musicians, dozens of DJs, hundreds of dancers, and over 75 displaying and live artists. MIA also has many family-friendly attractions including a kid village, an instrument zoo, and plenty of food and drink! Phone: 870-3600. Free.

Greg Kihn and John Ford Coley, Sept. 8, 8pm

Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster Street, North Tonawanda, NY, 14120

Hear FM rock favorites from the early part of his career like “Madison Avenue Man” and his cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “For You,” to Billboard Top 40 smashes “Sheila” and “The Breakup Song.” Also taking the stage will be John Ford Coley with songs like “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight.” Tickets: $29-$34. Phone: 692-2413.

RuPaul’s Drag Race: WERQ The World, Sept. 9, 9pm

UB Center for the Arts, 103 Center for the Arts, SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 14260

Your favorite drag stars return with a fierce new show for 2018 in The Official RuPaul’s Drag Race World Tour! with performances by the queens from Season 10 along with fan favorites Kim Chi, Valentina, Shangela, and Violet Chachki. Tickets: $53. Phone: 645-6259.

Central Terminal Concert Series – Sept. 12, 6pm

Buffalo Central Terminal, 495 Paderewski Drive, Buffalo, NY, 14212

This begins the third season of Wednesday night music in the Terminal’s stunning concourse. Join in for a special evening of music featuring talent from the Colored Musicians Club. Free parking and refreshments will be available. Tickets: $5. Phone: 810-3210.

An Evening With Yo La Tengo – Sept. 13, 8pm

Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY, 14202

If there’s a riot going on, Yo La Tengo will remind you what it’s like to dream. If records were dedicated to the cardinal elements, this one would be water. There are shimmery hazes, spectral rumbles, a flash of backward masking, and ghostly flamingos calling “shoo-bop shoo-bop.” Tickets: $26 - $30. Phone: 852-3835.

Curtain Up! Buffalo – Sept. 14, 5pm–1am

Buffalo Theatre District, Main Street – Downtown, Buffalo,

Curtain Up! is a major event for Buffalo’s arts and cultural scene held in the city’s downtown Theatre District and celebrates the annual opening of Buffalo’s professional theater season with two galas and a dozen live shows. When the curtain falls on theater performances, head out to the free late night street party featuring live music, dancing, street performers, and many more surprises. The after party continues on Main Street and is free. Phone: 856-3150.

Niagara Celtic Heritage Festival & Heritage Festival & Highland Games – Sept. 15-16. Saturday, 10am–10pm; Sunday 10am–6pm

Krull Park, Olcott Beach, 6108 Lake Road, Olcott, NY, 14126

Immerse yourself in the wonders and pageantry of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The weekend includes Celtic music, dancers, athletics, clans, living historians, vendors, food, children’s activities, and much more! Admission: Weekend- $25, Saturday- $20, Sunday- $12, Children 12 & Under- Free. Phone: 778-5730. Parking is free.

BUBBLEFEST – Sept. 15, 10am-6pm

Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo, NY, 14211

Bubble-bration is back, bigger, and more bubbly than ever, with bubble crafts and BubbleMania performances by Doug Rougeux, glow-in-the-dark techno bubble dances, and glass fire working demonstrations by the Corning Museum of Glass. Admission: $9 - $11. Phone: 896-5200.

4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince– Sept. 19, 7:30pm

UB Center for the Arts, 103 Center for the Arts, SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 14260

Prince is regarded as one of the best musicians ever to live, and one of the greatest showmen of all time. Great music lives on forever, and, it’s with this in mind that we introduce this first and only estate-approved Prince celebration. You’ll hear the music of Prince like never before, with a full symphony orchestra. Tickets: $69 - $99. Phone: 645-6259.

Buffalo Humanities Festival - Sept. 20-22, times vary

The 2018 Buffalo Humanities Festival will foster a series of community conversations on “revolutions” with a special emphasis on past, present, and future movements effecting social, political, and cultural change.

Thurs., Sept. 20, 6pm discussion at the Downtown Public Library: “Anti-Social Media: Digital Space and the Destabilization of Democracy.” Free and open to the public.

Fri., Sept. 21, 7pm VIP reception; 8pm, Albright Knox Art Gallery, spotlight speaker, New York Times bestselling author Angie Thomas.

Sat., Sept. 22, opens 10:30am, Rockwell Hall, Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave.

Tickets: $20 - $100 depending on number of events and receptions attending. For questions and information call, 645-2592 or e-mail

Hispanic Heritage Concert - Sept. 21, 7pm

Kleinhans Music Hall, 370 Pennsylvania Street, Buffalo, NY, 14201

Join the BPO and the Hispanic Heritage Council in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in the Queen City, featuring the debut of new BPO Assistant Conductor Todd Craven. Free. Phone: 402-1442.

Borderland Music And Arts Festival – Sept. 22-23

Knox Farm State Park, 437 Buffalo Road, East Aurora, NY, 14052

The Borderland Music and Arts Festival celebrates the rich history and renaissance of the region with a two-day music and cultural festival set in one of the most scenic and storied grounds in all of New York state, Knox Farm State Park. Sixteen different bands over the two-day festival with headliners The Revivalists, John Oates & The Good Road Band, Sam Roberts Band, Oteil & Friends, and a long list of well-known favorites will also perform at the festival. Tickets: $65-$120. For more information, e-mail

CHALKFEST Buffalo - Sept. 22–23,

Buffalo Riverworks, 359 Ganson Street, Buffalo, NY, 14203

There will be over 150 vendors on site in the artisan market, live music, face painting, a “candy shop” area with sweets and ice cream, and free “touch-a-truck” for the kids. There will be rock climbing on the grain silos, DJs, street performers, an urban ropes course, kayaking, paddle boarding, the football game (on Sunday) on the massive 25′ screen, plus Riverworks is a full scale microbrewery and restaurant. Also, kids of all ages will have the chance to participate and leave their chalked mark in the community art zone.

Buffalo Whiskey Riot – Sept. 29, Session One: 1pm-4pm; Session Two: 6pm-9pm

Adam's Mark Hotel, 120 Church Street, Buffalo, NY, 14202

Whiskey Riot celebrates and encourages education on the history, production, and experience of whiskey. Taste over 80 different whiskeys, learn from master distillers and brand ambassadors, and sip classic whiskey cocktails at three exclusive pop-up bars. You’ll have access to hour-long Whiskey Riot seminars hosted by whiskey masters. For those who love to dance, shop, and eat, there will be a DJ, vendors, and food available for purchase. No tickets at the door. Tickets can only be purchased online at <>. Tickets: $45 per session. Phone: 845-5100.

Roycroft Fall Art Show – Sept. 29-30, 10am-5pm

Roycroft Campus, 31 South Grove Street, East Aurora, NY, 14052

The Roycroft Fall Art Show features a variety of artists, produce. and cultural groups. While strolling the beautiful campus grounds, you can find old and new treasures and visit with live animals from Thistle Creek Alpacas and Wild Spirit Education. Phone: 655-0261.

Hip Hop Orchestra in Buffalo: Thee Phantom & the Illharmonic Orchestra live! Sept. 29, 7pm

Slee Hall - Lippes Concert Hall, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 14228

Witness strings, horns, and a pianist at a Hip-Hop concert! Add a fiery female soul vocalist, and a crowd rocking DJ, a masterful Maestro/MC and that is still only a fraction of what you will see when you catch Thee Phantom & The Illharmonic Orchestra live. After sold out performances in Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City, and Austin, Texas, the ensemble is bringing their brand of B-Boy Meets Beethoven to Buffalo. Tickets: $20. Phone: 645-2921.

Any thoughts, you can email me at


Celeste Lawson is a long-time arts advocate, arts administrator, and artist in WNY. Over the years she has worked with arts organizations locally, statewide, and nationally including the National Endowment on the Arts, Americans for the Arts, NYS Council on the Arts, the NYS Council on the Humanities and the NY Foundation on the Arts.