Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


May 19, 2022 - 6:45am
posted by Press Release in GO ART!, news, arts, batavia.


Press release:

Two new art shows have opened at GO ART! in Batavia

Upstairs in the Rotary Gallery, Karen Crittenden’s exhibit “Slices of Life” can be viewed until June 25, 2022.  Karen's work includes photographs, paintings and mixed media pieces.  

In the Bank of Castile Main Gallery, Richard Della Costa’s exhibit titled "Remnants, Remains and Memory” will be on display, also until June 25, 2022.  

Richard is a retired media teacher and film/video producer currently living on the family farm in Kendall, NY. After Peace Corps service in India and Guatemala, he joined the Peace Corps staff in Washington, DC, where he worked as a public affairs officer and media producer. While living there he produced three independent 16mm films. They were, as best as could be described, collage films, avant-garde and expressionist in style. He has been making collage art and assemblage art, box constructions and sculpture since his return to this area in 1989. He finds that the use of found objects, junk and detritus lying around the farm in Kendall and in the woods around him, is very calming and always interesting. Since his retirement, he has had the time to devote to this work, have fun doing so, and visually reflect on the state of his life and the world around him.  


May 16, 2022 - 10:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Society of Artists, batavia, arts, news.


The Batavia Society of Artists' Member Spring Art Show opened last week at the Richmond Memorial Library's Gallery Room, 19 Ross St., Batavia.

The event included awarding the Virginia Carr-Mumford Scholarship to Ben Wilkins.

Submitted photos.


Richard Ellingham, 1st place and two honorable mentions.


Adrian Morris donated his painting to raffle off for the BSA.


Brian Kemp, 3rd Place


Julie Lambert, honorable mention


Nicole Greenbaum, honorable mention


David Burke, honorable mention


Julie Jensen, honorable mention

May 11, 2022 - 9:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, news, arts, entertainment.


Cast members of the Le Roy production of the Musical Newsies competed recently in a "Stars of Tomorrow" competition hosted by the Rochester Broadway Theater League and two of them are still in the running for a possible trip to New York City, Principal David Russell told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

Stars of Tomorrow is a workshop and competition open to high school musical performers from throughout the Greater Rochester Area.

Evan Williams and Nate Yauchzee were selected to participate in the next round, which broadway professionals judge at RBTL on May 26.

"If they are moved on from there, they actually win a trip to New York City, where they will have a great experience with the Broadway performances that go on down there," Russell said.

For more on the competition, click here, where you can also cast your vote for "fan favorite."

Photos: File photos by Howard Owens.


Nate Yauchzee


Evan Williams

May 9, 2022 - 5:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Chorale, arts, music, entertainment, news.


Life is a journey, and where we wind up often depends on the roads we choose, hence among the most memorable words ever written come from Robert Frost, "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood ..."

Paths taken, and those not taken, is the theme of the next Genesee Chorale program to be performed at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 15, at Elba Central School, 57 South Main St., Elba.

In the performance, the Chorale tells the tale of the Traveler in the coming of age story of the "Prodigal Son," the traveler in the Monomyth, the "Hero’s Journey Quest Story." The traveler appears in stories of discovery and adventure. The traveler also trods the journey within, reflectively traveling a path to find love, peace, and spiritual fulfillment in the "Winding Road of Life."

Musical selections for this performance also include some well-known favorites like "The Impossible Dream" and "You'll Never Walk Alone," recognizable hits from "The Greatest Showman" and "The Lion King," as well as new choral works by John Rutter, Ysave Barnwell, John Leavitt, and others. 

"This concert will take the audience on the journey of life," said publicist Janine Fagnan, "from when we first step out onto life's path, through all the moments and experiences that it can throw at us until we finally come home and can reflect on the journey."

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any Genesee Chorale member, on the website at geneseechorale.com/box-office, or at the door. 

This program is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council. 

Photo: File photo from 2018

May 7, 2022 - 4:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Marc Berger, music, arts, entertainment, news.


Marc Berger performed music of the American West today at the Richmond Memorial Library.

May 5, 2022 - 10:26pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, City Schools, Frank E. Owen, music, arts, notify.

It was the spring of 1927 when a “very unique”assembly program took place at Batavia High School, Patti Pacino says.

Frank E. Owen had just begun as music director, and he asked students to “sing with me.” Not only did they sing, but the school newspaper described it as something to behold, all due to Owen’s incredible influence, Pacino said.

“Because of his strength and excellence, a score of music groups have grown here,” Pacino, a city resident and councilwoman, said during the Batavia City Schools board meeting Thursday. “I’m here to represent hundreds of alumni, asking you to allow us to honor the man who started here at Batavia High School by naming the BHS auditorium after Frank E. Owen, as a show of respect and thanks.”

The board previously had a discussion about the merit of naming a piece of school property after someone notable. Most board members voiced support of the idea and Board President Alice Benedict opposed it. Owen had been suggested for the high school auditorium, and the public was invited to weigh in on the decision. His prominence has been recognized with a Musicians of Note Award in 2019 and a scholarship in his name for seniors pursuing a degree in music.

Upon his arrival, Owen formed and inspired a girls and a boys glee club, bands, an orchestra, a drumline, musical theater shows and a host of aspiring musicians throughout his time to present day, Pacino said. She wasn’t alone in her zeal to see Owen honored in this way. Melzie Case, a Batavia Middle School music teacher, and middle school band director Sean Williams each endorsed Owen as an appropriate candidate for the auditorium name.

Although Case had never met Owen — he was music director from 1927 to 1964 — she’s had a sense of who he was.

“I can feel Frank E. Owen’s work and spirit in our music department today,” she said. “(Naming the auditorium after him) will allow us to honor all past, present and future musicians.”

Williams first gave a brief history lesson on other well-known city icons, such as VanDetta Stadium named as a “fantastic testament” to the positive accomplishments of Coach Daniel VanDetta. Williams then turned to Owen. “This man graced us for 27 years,” Williams said. He added that it would be only fitting to honor him as so many athletic coaches and athletes have been recognized with the Athletic Hall of Fame.

The board required no more discussion when it came time to vote. The move was approved by a vote of yes from Barbara Bowman, Jennifer Lendvay, Michelle Humes, John Marucci and Chezeray Rolle, and the lone no vote from Benedict. Benedict had previously said she wasn’t against Owen but did not agree that pieces of school property should be named after a particular person. 

She announced the board's next move after the vote.

“We will be dedicating the auditorium to Frank E. Owen,” she said.

May 4, 2022 - 3:36pm
posted by Press Release in Musicians Of Note, batavia, Batavia HS, music, arts, education, news.

Press release:

Musicians of Note, an event honoring past Batavia High School graduates who have made an impact in music, will host its 3rd annual ceremony on Friday, May 13, 2022, in the Batavia High School Auditorium at 7:00 pm. 

Honorees will be recognized with a video presentation and performance ensembles to celebrate their achievements. A plaque featuring their accomplishments will be displayed on the new Musicians of Note wall at Batavia High School. 

This year’s five recipients of the 3rd annual Musician of Note Award include: 

Lyle Mark: Class of 1938,  

  • US Navy, WWII, Leader of Mellville, Rhode Island Naval Base Dance Band
  • 27-year career as music director for Elba Central School
  • A 34-year member of Genesee Symphony
  • A more than 50-year member of Batavia Concert Band
  • Private music instructor and mentor to area students and musicians

Beth Ann Lambein Hooker: Class of 1963  

  • Julia E. Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, BS Music Education-Voice Major, graduated 1967
  • Taught Grades K-12 Vocal Music Oak field-Alabama, Baldwinsville & LeRoy, New York 33 Years (1967-2000)
  • Methodist Church Youth & Sanctuary Choir Director (16 Years)
  • Directed/Produced/Appeared in 132 Theatrical Productions over 54 years (1968-2022)

Mark Hoerbelt: Class of 1986

  • Baritone In All-State Chorus (1985)
  • Area All-State Chorus and Orchestra (violin) (1983-1985) 
  • Teacher at Alexander High School/Middle School (2005-present) 
  • Music minister at Resurrection Parish (1999-present)
  • Genesee Chorale conductor (2000-2005) 

Jacqueline Siegel McLean: Class of 2002

  • Choir Director at Newfield Central School District (2006-2010)
  • Choir Director at LeRoy Central School District (2010-present)
  • Golden Apple Award Recipient 2018
  • LeRoy Musical Artistic Director of Stars of Tomorrow, award-winning musical program (2010-present)\
  • Proud music educator of several Conference All-State, Area All-State, and All-County students  (2006-present)

Cindy Baldwin: Retired Music Teacher BCSD 1984-2011

  • Batavia String Teacher (1984-2011)
  • Department Chair (2001-2011)
  • NYSCAME President (2006-07)
  • RPO String Educator Of The Year (2008)
  • Active Performer (1964-present)

Tickets for the May 13 event are on sale in the Main Office at Batavia High School for $10. You may also email Jane Haggett at [email protected] to reserve your tickets, which will be available at the will-call table the night of the event. 

May 4, 2022 - 2:44pm


Press release:

The Batavia Society of Artists' Member Spring Art Show is in the Richmond Memorial Library's Gallery Room, 19 Ross St., Batavia  till May 26th.  There are 15 artists contributing to the show.  We are showcasing Rick Ellingham as our Featured Artist in this show. There are a total of 60 pieces of art.  The Public is invited to the Free Opening Reception on Tuesday May 10th, 6:30 - 8pm.  The artwork is being Judged by Retired Middle School Art Teacher Kathy Schwank.  Winners will be announced at the opening reception.

We are also having a Silent Auction on a painting donated to the Batavia Society of Artists by Adrian Morris.  He painted this while demonstrating Acrylic Slap & Dash Landscape at our February demo.




April 30, 2022 - 11:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Chris Jacobs, news, arts, GO ART!, batavia.


The winning piece in this year's NY-27 Congressional Art Competition was executed with exemplary technical skill and creative energy, said Mary Jo Whitman, education/SCR director for GO Art!, and competition judge.

The winning painting was a self-portrait by Sarah Durkin, a senior at Iroquois High School. Whitman praised it its technical execution in part because of the difficulty of the medium, oil pastel.

"It's not just traditional portraiture but putting it in the setting and the way she executed the interior of the car,  the complementary colors between the blues and the reds, the sunset in the car," she said. "It was just very well executed and had a kind of very postmodern feel to it."

Heller was unable to attend today's event because she was at a university accepting a scholarship.

Second place went to Kaylee Ziobro of Eden HS, and third to Kendall Heller, also of Iroquois.

Heller's painting will hang in the hallway that leads from the congressional office to the Capitol Building for a year, said Rep. Chris Jacobs, who was on hand to meet the young artists who entered the competition and present the awards. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story reversed the names of the first and third place winners.  It's corrected now. The Batavian regrets the error.

Video Sponsor






April 30, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in ABBAmania, music, arts, entertainment, news, Batavia Downs.


ABBAmania, Canada's top ABBA tribute band, played Batavia Downs on Friday night, with a Cher tribute artist opening the show.












April 30, 2022 - 12:27am

Press release:

We are honored to be partnering with Batavia Downs gaming to host the first of its kind fundraising concert that will benefit our local UMMC Hospital (Rochester Regional Health), our new YMCA, Strong Memorial Hospital and research at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

Now in its fifth year as a concert venue, Batavia Downs has been averaging about 3000 to 5000 concertgoers per show as part of their Rockin The Downs Concert Series. Although our Concert is not part of this series and tickets must be purchased separately, we are hoping to draw the same kind of crowd with our Nationally recognized headliner Bruce In The USA and local guests including 97 Rock’s Dave “DJ” Jickster and Comedian Nick Marra. As an added bonus from our friends at Batavia Downs everyone that buys a ticket will receive a $15 free play. . “Wouldn’t it be amazing if a bunch of the concertgoers went back inside at the end of the night and won lots of money, with their free play”?

This concert will be the largest event that we have ever attempted and we are very excited to bring so many people together for yet another fun fundraising event. Sponsorship opportunities include special seating, tickets to the show, $30 of free play, signage, verbal promotion, and shout-outs during the concert. For more information about our three sponsorship tiers, visit RickyPalermoFoundation.

Tickets are selling nicely so if you want to look into joining our concert you can go to my site www.RickyPalermofoundation.org OR go to EVENTS while looking at the Batavia Downs concerts. You could also look for our QR code, which will also guide you to the information needed to buy tickets.

Special thanks to Batavia Downs CEO Henry Wojtaszek, Concert Manager Ryan Hasenauer, Kathy Paradowski and so many others who have been great to work with.

April 25, 2022 - 10:44pm
Video Sponsor
Video: 2019 Ramble Music and Arts Festival


There’s one thing for certain with the City of Batavia lately: entertainment is not taking a back seat to anything.

Live and DJ music, arts, a dunk tank, parades, dancers and food will be filling up calendars from May 30 to July 2 now that City Council has reviewed the requests and passed them on to a business meeting for official votes.

During its Monday conference session, the council looked over several requests for downtown events, from an old standby, the Memorial Day parade, to a new happening of a carnival.

Participants will be lining up at Eastowne Plaza the morning of Memorial Day and walking along Main Street to Bank Street, settling into the city parking lot on Alva Place. A yearly event to honor military veterans, the parade is being organized by City Council member Bob Bialkowski. It’s to begin at 9:45 a.m. and end before 11 a.m.
For more information about this event, go to: www.batavianewyork.com

Next up is a GLOW OUT 5K Run and Celebration that begins and ends at Centennial Park. This event is set for 5 to 9 p.m. on June 9.

GLOW OUT also has scheduled a parade and festival from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 11 at Batavia City Centre parking lot downtown. Some 15 vendors and an estimated 600 participants are expected for the event, according to the organizer, GLOW OUT President Gregory Hallock. It begins on Richmond Avenue in front of Centennial Park and winds around Bank and Ross streets, Washington and Ellicott avenues and back to Centennial.

Also on June 11 (expected to be very busy Saturday), is the Eli Fish Brewing Company Carnival in Jackson Square. Various food dishes from Eli Fish, beer, carnival games, a dunk tank, live entertainment and vendor booths are on the event menu from 4 to 10 p.m.

Council members had few, if any, questions or comments about the events, all of which have completed event request forms and supporting documentation. Council President Eugene Jankowski noted that the GLOW OUT parade is on the same day as the carnival, but there shouldn’t be any conflicts.

“I know these are two on the same day, one is in the square and the carnival itself is not going to require anything from the city,” he said. 

For more information about the carnival, go to: https://www.facebook.com/elifishbrewing/

A former Ramble event that now includes a GO ART! Music and Art Festival, is set to run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 2 downtown. Two stages for music from 20 to 30 bands, an Artisan Alley of artist demonstrations, an arts and craft vendor fair, food trucks, a folk art stage with dancers and other performers and a children's craft area will spill out from Jackson Square onto Jackson and School streets and into a portion of the Save-A-Lot parking lot.

Costs for these events include $2,571 for the Memorial Day parade, with $922 for city police and $1,649.17 for the Bureau of Maintenance; $538 each for the GLOW OUT 5K Run and Celebration and parade and festival ($1,076 total); $538 for city police and $919.29 for the GO ART! Music and Art Festival and no costs involved for the Eli Fish Carnival. 

The following disclaimer is included on the Event Summary page of the council’s meeting packet: 

“Event sponsors are responsible for any costs that may be incurred from their event and have been made aware of estimate costs, if any.”

Bialkowski wanted to clarify how conference meetings work, given that council seems to be voting once at a conference and then once again at a business meeting. 

“I think we’ve been remiss in conference meetings,” he said. 

Council gives a general consensus agreement about moving the agenda item forward to a business meeting, Jankowski said. “There’s been some confusion that we’re voting twice,” he said. The consensus is merely a group agreement to put the official vote onto the business agenda after discussing details in a conference work session, he said. 

The next council business meeting will be at 7 p.m. May 9 in Council Chambers, second floor, City Hall.

April 22, 2022 - 4:42pm
posted by Press Release in pembroke, schools, arts, education, news, Pembroke Central Schools.

Press release:

Pembroke Central School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.  Now in its 23rd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Pembroke Central School District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“Our K-12 music department and the consistent quality of vocal and instrumental instruction it has provided to our young Dragons has been nothing short of amazing!” said Superintendent Matthew Calderón. “Receiving this designation for three years in a row is no surprise to me and will have an ongoing positive impact on the district’s music education program.”

Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs. During the pandemic, music and arts programs were a vital component to keeping students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for well-rounded educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Success and Achievement grants. NAMM Foundation research has revealed that these grants are being widely used by school districts to address instructional gaps in access to music and arts education. 

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music: After two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college as well. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound: young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

April 16, 2022 - 12:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, arts, entertainment, news, batavia.


Lucine Kauffman, right, reacts to a generous tip she received during Friday night's celebrity bartender challenge at GO Art! in Batavia.

Lucine, former supervisor for the Town of Elba, was up against her husband, local author Bill Kauffman.

The winner on Friday was Lucine, who earned $65.32 in tips to $62.01 for Bill.

All the tips are donations to GO Art!

April 15, 2022 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, news, arts, education, notify.


Willow Amherein dances in her rehearsal for a green screen video production during the final day, today, of GO Art!'s spring week-long art camp for children.

GO Art! offers art camps during school breaks -- winter and spring -- to expose children to as much art as possible.

Many of the classes during the camp were taught by guest artists. The artists included:

  • Blanca Rodriguez from Avon, originally from Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico. She demonstrated and helped the campers make traditional foods: tortillas, pico de gallo and a drink, agua de jamaica (Hibiscus flower "tea".)
  • Womba Africa, a Ghanaian drumming and dance group from Rochester. Their leader is Quaye Odai, and two other members of the group came on Friday, Odai and Raymon. They came to the U.S. in 2019 and settled in Rochester. They perform for all kinds of community events, concerts and do assemblies or visits to schools.
  • Grandmaster Yuanming Zhang, who earned international recognition for his expertise in medical qigong, internal martial arts, energy painting & calligraphy, practical application of the Yi-Jing, and remote energy healing. He did Calligraphy with the kids.

The students also painted and made 3D mosaics.

At the end of an interview, Mary Jo Whitman, education/SCR director for GO Art! as a group working at paintings on a nearby table, "What is art?" and Kashmarae Wissinger spoke up immediately: "It's everything!"

"That's right," Whitman said. "It's everything and that's the goal of our program."

Photos by Howard Owens



Jodi Fisher working with students on their green screen video projects.



Mary Jo Whitman mixing paint for a student.


Thera Sanchez helping a student with her art project.

April 14, 2022 - 4:55pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, arts, news.

Press Release:

The Digital Art program at Genesee Community College is proud to share this year's juried student exhibit with the entire community at the Roz Steiner Art Gallery on the Batavia Campus. The exhibit, prepared entirely by GCC students, is titled Illusion and will be on display from April 21 to May 12, 2022.

This exhibition will feature digital prints on paper and fabric, projections and media displays created by the digital art students. A juried exhibition artwork is selected through a competitive process. Images and information for the artwork are submitted and will be selected by a juror. Mary Jo Whitman, education director for the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!), served as juror for the 2022 Digital Art Student Exhibit. It is a high honor for the students to have their work chosen for display and accolades will be presented.

Whitman holds an MA in Critical Museum Studies from the University of Buffalo, a BA in Sculpture with a minor in Art History from SUNY Brockport and is a GCC alum with an AAS in Fine Arts. "I'm thrilled and honored to be jurying the 2022 Digital Art Student Exhibit." Whitman said, "Over the past several years, I have witnessed so much talent coming from the students at GCC and this year is no exception. With so many impressive submissions, jurying the exhibit was by no means an easy task. The Digital Art and Photography students should be very proud of themselves for their outstanding work this year."

The entire community is invited to attend the Opening Reception in the Gallery lobby on Thursday, April 21, 2022, from 12:30 - 2 p.m. The public is also invited to attend an Awards Reception that evening, from 5 - 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served at both receptions.

The Roz Steiner Art Gallery hours are Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information on all upcoming events at the Roz Steiner Art Gallery visit https://www.genesee.edu/home/campus-life/arts/gallery/.

April 8, 2022 - 7:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, arts, entertainment, news.


The Genesee Orleans Regional Arts Council, GO Art!, handed out $107,000 in grants to about three dozen arts organizations and artists on Thursday.

These "re-grants" are state-sponsored and in a program designed by the Legislature to promote the arts in every region in the state.  All 62 counties in the state have organizations that are in charge of ensuring the grants are distributed to worthwhile local arts projects.

"The goal is to make state arts support available to geographically, economically, and ethnically diverse segments of the state’s population.," said Mary Jo Whitman, program chair.

The grants are available through four programs: Reach, Ripple, Spark, and the Restart NY Regrant Program.

Here is an explanation of the programs and a list of the recipients:

Reach :
The GO ART! Community Arts Grants (Reach Grants) provide seed grants to individual artists, collectives and arts organizations for projects and activities that enable Genesee and Orleans County communities to experience and engage with the performing, literary, media, and visual arts. Each year the program supports over arts projects, including concerts, performances, public art, exhibitions, screenings, festivals, workshops, readings, and more. 

  • Orleans County YMCA – YMCA Visual Community Culture - $4,500
  • Village of Albion -  Concerts on the Canal - $2,410
  • Lyndonville Lions Club – I Hear the Music - $5,000
  • Cobble Stone Museum – The Cobblestone Museum Arts Series for 2022 - $5,000
  • Village of Holley- Concerts in Canal Park - $220
  • Yates Community Library – More than just books - $4,950
  • Village of Medina – Painting of Murals - $3,460
  • Eric Weatherbee – the Humble Bard Presents - $2,500
  • Gilliam Grant Community Center – Collage of Art - $4,450
  • Bergen Historical Society – Silent Film Series - $3,000
  • The Elba Betterment Community – EBC Presents Art around Town - $2,350
  • Holland Purchase Historical Society – Holland Land Office Museum Guest Speaker and Concert Series -$3,250
  • Genesee Symphony Orchestra – The Genesee Symphony Orchestra’s 76th Season - $5,000
  • Batavia Central School District Foundation – Pop Up Art Show - $1,685
  • Byron Bergen Public Library – Art and Music in Our Community – Enriching Lives Through the Arts - $4,459
  • Batavia Players – 2022 Theatre Season - $5,000
  • Genesee Chorale – Genesee Choral 2022 Season - $5,000
  • Batavia Concert Band – 2022 Summer Concert Series - $5,000
  • Hollwedel Memorial Library – Shake on the Lake presents MacBeth - $5,000
  • Batavia Community Garden – Community Garden in Bloom
  • Oakfield Betterment Community – Labor Daze - $5,000
  • Genesee County Chamber of Commerce – Genesee County Mural Trail - $4,500
  • Woodward Memorial Library – Art on the Go - $1,286
  • Haxton Memorial Library – Talented Thursdays - $5,000

Ripple :
The GO ART! Individual Artist Commission (RIPPLE Grant) supports local, artist-initiated activities, and highlights the role of artists as important members of the community. The Commission is for artistic projects with outstanding artistic merit that work within a community setting. 

  • Eric Weatherbee – The Humble Bard Magazine - $2,500
  • Mandy Humphrey – Beacon Street Mural - $2,000
  • Bart Dentino – Concert in the Classroom: Can you see what you hear? - $2,500

Spark :
The Arts Education Program (Spark Grant) supports arts education projects for youth and/or senior learners. Emphasis is placed on the depth and quality of the creative process through which participants learn through or about the arts. Projects must focus on the exploration of art and the artistic process.

  • Judd Sunshine – Erie Canal Songwriting Project - $3,300
  • Bart Denton – The spaces Between the Leaves - $2,500

The Restart NY Regrant Program (grant cycle July 1, 2021, and June 31, 2022) $35,000 in grants.
The Restart NY Regrant Program was developed as part of an initiative to spur the revitalization of New York's creative economy. The program was administered through a network of local and regional organizations through a transparent peer panel funding process and was available to artists and organizations in each of the state's 62 counties. Organizations or individuals with a fiscal agent that met NYSCA and GO ART! criteria could request regrant funds. 

Through the Restart NY Regrant Program, GO ART!, NYSCA and the New York State Legislature hoped to provide immediate support to promote arts experiences and fuel the reopening and recovery of performance organizations and groups. Grants opportunities were prioritized for organizations and artists planning live performing arts projects, those planning projects and events that are open to and engage public participation and audiences in Genesee and/or Orleans counties, were encouraged and eligible to apply for funding. 


  • Oakfield Betterment Committee
  • Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden
  • GLOW Out!
  • Gilliam-Grant Center
  • Batavia Concert Band
  • St Mark’s Episcopal Church
  • The Landmark Society of Genesee County

Top Photo: Ryan Duffy, director of the Holland Land Office Museum, makes a brief statement after receiving a grant on behalf of HLOM while City Council President Eugene Jankowski and Mary Jo Whitman look on.

Photos by Howard Owens.


Mary Jo Whitman


GO Art! Board President Stuart McLean


Tom Tiefel, Bergen Town Historian.


Pauli Miano, with Kelly Dudley, of the Elba Betterment Committee, accepts a grant on behalf of their organization.

April 7, 2022 - 5:21pm
posted by Press Release in Forum Players, arts, theater, news, entertainment.

Press release:

The Forum Players will be presenting Alice In Wonderland by Brainerd Duffield, an adaption of the classic tale written by Lewis Carroll. Performances will be held on April 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College.

After a chance meeting with the White Rabbit, Alice finds herself tumbling down a seemingly endless rabbit hole. Once she reaches the bottom, she finds her world has been turned upside-down. She meets the tempestuous Queen of Hearts who invites her to play a game of croquet. Things only get more peculiar from there. From dangerous encounters with vengeful queens, to new companions who may not have Alice's best interests in mind, Wonderland soon loses its luster. If Alice has any hope of getting home to her cat Dinah, she must traverse through Wonderland to the border of Looking-Glass Land. From there she'll have to travel square by square on a giant chessboard. Only once she reaches the eighth row and becomes a Queen herself can she be free to go home.

Brainerd Duffield's adaption of Lewis Carroll's classic tale takes on a much darker tone. Alice and her adventures through Wonderland become an allegory for a child facing the nightmare of growing up. It's a coming of age story where the dream becomes a nightmare. Take an expedition into Wonderland and see a fresh look at the horror of the journey to adulthood.

This show features themes of abuse, bullying, drug addiction, alcoholism, narcissism, peer pressure and selfishness. It is not suitable for young children. There are some scenes that may be too intense for children under 16. This is not a children's theatre production. No child will be permitted without an adult.

Alice in Wonderland by Brainerd Duffield features an international cast of GCC students. Audiences will enjoy the many talents of the following Forum Players:

  • Jillian Curtis, LeRoy NY as Alice
  • Gyandro Marselia, Willemstad, Curacao as The White Rabbit
  • Mya Thomas, Akron NY as the Queen of Hearts
  • Rob Reiss, Elba NY as the Mad Hatter, The Executioner
  • Haylea-Ann Self, Brocton NY as the Caterpillar, The March Hare
  • James Barcomb, Batavia, NY as the Duchess, Cheshire Cat, Gryphon
  • Francesca Pieter, Willemstad, Antilles, Netherlands as the Red/White Queens
  • Reina Fujikawa, Sakaide, Kagawa as the Mouse, Dormouse
  • Jessie Pierce, Batavia, NY as the Mock Turtle
  • Raylynn Ryan, Fillmore NY as Tweedledee, Knave of Hearts
  • Celeste T. Dzielski, Rochester NY as Tweedledum, Humpty Dumpty, King of Hearts
  • Crimson Allis, Gasport, NY as the Fish Footman
  • Cheri Pekurny, Binghamton NY as the Frog Footman
  • Cheri Pekurny, Crimson Allis, Belancia Joseph (Jamaica, NY) as the Cards
  • Ayaka Nakamura (Osaka, Japan), Tiffanie Drum, Tiffany Smith (Arkport NY) as the Flowers
  • Ayaka Nakamura, Tiffanie Drum (Cohocton, NY), Tiffany Smith, Cheri Pekurny, Crimson Allis as the Dance Ensemble
  • Rob Reiss Special Sequences

Director Maryanne Arena shares, "This beloved tale is what nightmares are made of, and being a teenager is a nightmare! We are not telling this tale to play to children, using fun, one dimensional characters. Rather, we are exploring the expectations and circumstances or growing up in a world where you feel you don't belong. A world of monsters, bullies, and questions with no answers. Alice In Wonderland by Brainerd Duffield can be told with a variety of themes in mind. We wanted to explore the pains of middle years of growth and not knowing where one belongs. Not a child, yet, not an adult; Alice fights for survival and the strength to overcome the many nightmares of youth. Please enjoy this interesting tale of youth. Maybe you can find yourself and the monsters that pursued you in your youth."

Production Staff

  • Directed and Staged by: Maryanne Arena
  • Production Designer: Brodie McPherson
  • Musical Director: Lauren Picarro-Hoerbelt
  • Choreographer: Tara Freitag
  • Assistant Director: Rob Reiss
  • Stage Manager : Hayley Jo Denaro
  • Audio Engineer: Chris Stawiasz
  • Light Board Operator: Yuina Otsuka
  • Run Crew: Trevor Clark, Kaine D'eredita, Lindsey Windham
  • Costume Run Crew: Julianna Turoldo
  • Costume Designer: Beth Ohman
  • Wardrobe Supervisor: Loy Gross
  • Posters: GCC Digital Arts and Pam Swarts
  • PR, Photos: GCC Marketing Communications
  • Arts Center Assistant/Box Office Attendant: Jessica Skehan
  • Promotional Materials: GCC Marketing Communications & Jessica Skehan

You may contact the Stuart Steiner Theatre box office for more information and ticket sales. They can be reached by phone at (585) 343-0055 x6490, or by sending an email to [email protected]. Seating is limited and advance reservations are strongly advised. The show is designed for mature audiences only.

March 30, 2022 - 7:25pm

Don Burns did something recently he probably never imagined when he graduated from Batavia High School in 1992 -- dress up as Darth Vader and recite one of Shakespeare's famous monologues in the Richmond Mausoleum. 

Burns, now a teacher in Rochester, was both Darth Vader and executive producer of a Star Wars fan film, Tomorrow & Tomorrow.

The production was a project of 501st Legion's Garrison Excelsior, a worldwide not-for-profit costuming group that raises awareness and money for charities while spreading its members' love for Star Wars.

So far, the film has raised $1,200 for Make-A-Wish.

Burns and another Garrison conceived of the film.

"While researching for upcoming lessons, I happened upon a short film about a Stormtrooper reciting Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech," Burns said. "As an English teacher, and Darth Vader, I've mused with Vader as the title character in Macbeth and was disappointed that I was beaten to the punch. My friend, who is a mask-maker by profession, encouraged me  to look further into it and together we mapped out a way to get it done."

Half the movie was shot at Rochester's Sunken Garden and half at the mausoleum in Batavia.

The film was directed by Joseph Palluconi. The editor was Mark Lukenbill

"When all was said and done, it turned out better than I ever had a right to imagine," Burns said.

Here's a behind-the-scenes video about the making of the film.

March 30, 2022 - 5:51pm


Downtown Batavia will be booming with live music once again this summer, organizer Paul Draper says.

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the annual Ramble event will resume on July 2 at Jackson Square.

“We’ve partnered with GO ART! this year to help us not only grow the entire event but also bring more of a presence to the ‘arts’ side of the festival,” Draper said to The Batavian Wednesday. “We are very excited about the partnership and are looking forward to bringing them into the fold.”

The event’s name has been tweaked to The Batavia Ramble Explore Art & Music Festival. Downtown Batavia is to be filled with art displays, family-friendly activities and, of course, a line-up of hometown bands for a Saturday full of live music.

There are sparse details on the GO ART! and Batavia Ramble Facebook pages, but both promise updates as they become available. Executive Director Gregory Hallock was not available for comment. GO ART! staff posted about the long-awaited return:

“It’s going to be an incredible festival with a ton of great bands, artists, vendors and food. Applications for vendors/bands/artists will be available soon!”

Batavia Ramble has posted an application for bands, with the fair warning that slots are filling up fast for this year.

For more information, go to: facebook.com/thebataviaramble

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break