Microplastic Recycling Bins Hit the Streets

CEPA Gallery has collaborated with artist Nicole Chochrek to launch a new public “art bin” project that will teach people the importance of recycling plastics. As microplastics in the environment become ever-present – even in fish, animals, and humans – it’s time to figure out how we can begin to make some big changes in the way that we live. Our current consumption habits are not working, and will continue to adversely affect the planet.

To that end, six plastic collection boxes, built from retired newspaper recycling bins, will be places at strategic locations throughout the region, in hopes that people will dispose of plastic before it can enter into the environment in the form of near-invisible nanoparticles.

Chochrek’s work is based on the accessibility and digestibility of information, deep listening, and shared responsibilities.

According to Chochrek, these are not typical recycling containers. Rather, they are meant to keep smaller scraps of plastic off the sidewalks, streets, lawns, parks… and even our homes. If you have ever conducted a cleanup in a commercial district, then you have noticed that upon sweeping, much of the smaller debris is that of small pieces of plastic. When a rainstorm comes along, those pieces of plastic are swept away, down the sewer drains. During heavier storms, the plastics are diverted to combined sewer overflows, that wash the plastic particles directly into our waterways. From there, they continue to break down into microplastics.

The public can participate in this project by collecting small plastics from home or outside.

Says Chochrek, “There is a lot of healthy skepticism around recycling, and whether or not it has the impact it claims to have. This project appropriates the existing system while providing transparency and educational resources. It gives participants the opportunity to learn about the significance of their contributions and to see how it is collected and transformed. We focus on the smaller plastics, that are often missed and can’t be recycled in traditional ways. The goal of these Microplastic Recycling Bins serves to beautify our communities, build stewardship of the land, and educate us on the impact of plastic pollution. It extends a colorful invitation that I hope encourages participation and cultivates creative solutions.”

As an interdisciplinary artist, Chochrek utilizes performative frameworks to explore contemporary issues of environmental disparities. 

The installation of the six Microplastic Recycling Bins will coincide with neighborhood cleanups, as well as small celebrations. Chochrek will host the initial installation celebration and community clean-up event on May 31 at Springville Center for the Arts. The plastic pieces collected by each bin will ultimately converted into “beautiful trash-as-art objects,” to demonstrate that there are creative ways to upcycle plastics.

“That’s the magic. The plastic collected will not only be forever out of our lands but also given new value as fine art objects that continue to advocate for environmental stewardship through Chochrek’s art practice,” says Veronique Cote, project curator, and Florida Atlantic University Galleries Director. “By selling  beautiful trash as art objects, she questions our value systems. She brings attention to the growing impact our waste has on the environment while simultaneously holding space for togetherness, inclusivity, and creative discussions on important topics such as neurodiversity, environmental stewardship, and human rights.”

This project guides participants in a kinesthetic learning experience per the impact of plastic pollution, and actively helps remove it from their neighborhood environment.

The boxes will be outside from June to October 2023. The public can participate in this project by collecting small plastics from home or outside.

The project is made possible by Creative Rebuild New York, a New York State Endowment for the Arts Initiative,  in partnership with the Buffalo Arts Commission, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Unity Island, The Foundry, Tifft Nature Preserve, Springville Center For-Arts, and more. For information on the project, other box locations, and dates visit:

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Big Reveal: Broadway Barns Redevelopment

The City has found a development team to redevelop the Broadway Barns at 195 Broadway, a Public Works facility located just east of Michigan Avenue. A team led by Silo City developer Anthony Ceroy of Nysko Development, Danielle Shainbrown and Nicole Komen of Bellweather Advisors, Hallmark Planning and Development, and Carmina Wood Design have been selected to take on the project which will include commercial, recreation and residential space.

According to The Buffalo News, the proposal beat out one other bidder for the site. The public works garage occupies a 4.67-acre parcel that fronts both Broadway and William Street and includes 181,150 sq.ft. of space. Originally known as the Broadway Arsenal and then the Broadway Auditorium, the building has historical significance within the community as a former sporting venue. It is considered one of the oldest surviving buildings in the country to have hosted professional hockey.

Under plans prepared by Carmina Wood Design, the facility will return to its roots with the existing building along Broadway converted to a sports complex and a U-shaped residential building in the back along William Street. Two indoor sports fields for both youth and adult play will occupy the cavernous barn section with administrative offices and a café fronting Broadway and a smaller training field, cross-fit gym and community space in the center of the block.

Along William Street, a four-story, U-shaped building with an interior courtyard and indoor parking is planned along with approximately 130 affordable residential units including two-level townhouses topped by two floors of apartments. A neighborhood restaurant and other retail space would be located on the first floor along William Street.

Construction cannot begin until Public Works operations are relocated. The City also issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to establish a combined DPW Campus to replace the Barns and other scattered facilities.  The City is still reviewing proposals for that project.  Once the facility is vacated in late-2024, the redevelopment project is expected to take two years to construct.

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Road Less Traveled Presents Buffalo Stories: A Musical Tribute to Legal Trailblazer Maryann Saccomando Freedman

Musical theater is an incredibly varied art form. Many people are familiar with musical comedy, a form that aims for laughs, jokes, and tuneful melodies.  However, some musical theater strives for more than light entertainment and divertissement. Theater company Road Less Traveled, is aiming for pathos, truth, heart, and candor in their upcoming production of Buffalo Stories.  

Buffalo Stories is a musical testament to the rich history and culture of Buffalo, and highlights the individuals who have made a significant impact on the community. The 2023 edition celebrates the life of Maryann Saccomando Freedman, a true trailblazer in the legal field. At this event, Road Less Traveled will present an original musical written about Saccomando Freedman, the first woman attorney to serve as President of the Bar Association of Erie County and the New York State Bar Association.

Saccomando Freedman’s dedication to her community is evident with her extensive work with various organizations. She graduated from law school in 1958, as one of only three women in a class of 100. She was a founding member and President of the Women Lawyers’ Association of Western New York, President of Erie County’s Aid to Indigent Prisoner’s Society, and served on the boards of Legal Services for the Elderly, Erie County Bar Foundation, and many more. She has been awarded numerous honors, including Women Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Century”, UB’s “Distinguished Alumni”, and the Buffalo Historical Society’s “Red Jacket” award.

The event includes a pre-show reception with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a performance, and a post-show reception. Seating is limited, with tickets priced at $250 per person and available through advance purchase only.

Funds raised from the event will benefit Road Less Traveled Productions.  

Road Less Traveled: Buffalo Stories
456 Main Street, Buffalo NY 14202
Saturday, June 3, 2023 | 7:00 PM
$250, Tickets 

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Facadectomy Proposed for 334 N. Oak Street

Legacy Development is still working through the results of long-term neglect of a cluster of buildings east of the Theater District where it is planning an infill/redevelopment project

In May 2020, Legacy purchased six properties located between Ellicott and Oak Streets north of Genesee Street from Bruce Adler for $2.7 million. Adler sat on the buildings for many years and under his watch 435 Ellicott Street was demolished in 2019 after a partial roof collapse.

In July 2021, the front façade of 324 North Oak Street collapsed and was demolished.  Last year, Legacy received approval to demolish a one-story building at 334 N. Oak Street, a non-contributing structure within the Genesee Gateway Historic District.

Tomorrow, the developer will be heading to the Preservation Board to demolish the rear portions of the remaining three-story building located 334 N. Oak Street. According to Legacy, the building is in “very poor condition” with significant water damage and is seeking to demolish much of it, leaving the front façade and a warehouse structure. Legacy is proposing to construct one or more buildings on the site.

Facade Stabilization Plan

From the application:

The façade and 6’ return wall would remain to tie the new build into the existing façade. Bracing from the front of the building would be installed during demolition, while additional bracing would be added on the interior once it is safe to do so.

The Preservation Board meets at 3 p.m. tomorrow, City Hall Room 901.

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Shoshone Fieldhouse Community Update Meeting

The City is planning an indoor sports field house at 445 Beard Avenue in Shoshone Park.  The approved complex will be built on the site of a pool that was demolished in 2019.  An indoor multi-purpose turf field, indoor batting cages, a multi-purpose/community room, and support spaces including toilets, storage, office space, and mechanical space are planned for the 34,500 sq.ft. facility. 

“The year round indoor facility will have a positive impact on our city’s youth for generations to come,” says Delaware District councilmember Joel Feroleto.

The City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, DPW Principal Architect, Young + Wright Architectural, and the University District Council Office will be hosting a community update meeting to discuss the proposed scope of work for the Shoshone Fieldhouse. This meeting aims to engage community members and provide an opportunity for them to ask questions and offer their feedback on the project.

TIME: 6:30PM – 7:00PM

The City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, DPW Principal Architect, Young + Wright Architectural, and the University District Council Office will be hosting a community update meeting to discuss the proposed scope of work for the Shoshone Fieldhouse. This meeting aims to engage community members and provide an opportunity for them to ask questions and offer their feedback on the project.

Shoshone Park 1978 Hertel Ave, Buffalo, NY 14214

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Black Birders Week with Buffalo’s Black Birders

There are plenty of ways for people to experience the joys of Black Birders Week, but for those who would like to be guided, Buffalo’s Black Birders has the perfect event to consider.

For those not familiar with Black Birders Week, it was conceived as a way for black nature enthusiasts to engage in the outdoor activities that they love, without the anxieties that can sometimes come along with the territory. An example of the type of anxiety that I am referring to was brought to the public eye when Christian Cooper (a black birder) was accosted by Amy Cooper (a white dog walker) in Central Park in May of 2020. The incident sparked public outrage, and fueled the inaugural Black Birders Week, held from May 31 to June 5, 2020.

Buffalo’s #BlackBirders week walk is part of a national effort and is being held in partnership with the WNY Land Conservancy and Buffalo Chapter of the Feminist Bird Club.

On Sunday, May 28, from 10:00am to 12:00pm, three of Buffalo’s Black Birders – Marcus Rosten, Schuyler Lawson, and Michelle Lawson – will lead a bird watching event at Red Jacket Riverfront Park as part of Black Birders Week (Sunday May 28 to Saturday June 3).

“Last year, we focused on celebrating lifelong journeys and connections made through birding,” said Nicole Jackson, one of this year’s #BlackBirdersWeek planning team co-chairs. “This year, #BlackBirdersWeek is taking you on a tour, focusing on themes like, how Black birders share their joy of birds through a variety of means of expression, history and culture, and citizen science. For all members of BlackAFinSTEM, birding has been an incredible journey in many different ways, and we know this to be true for other Black birders throughout America and the diaspora. We would like to engage and share the stories of as many Black birders as we can, uplifting their connections to birds. This year we are Flying Full Circle!”

Here are the event details:

The event is free and open to the public and will provide an opportunity for attendees to learn about birding while promoting diversity and inclusion in the field of bird watching. Priority registration given to BIPOC, but white allies may register starting on May 27th. Online registration is requested – register here. This link also includes more information about the walk and bios for the leaders.

Red Jacket Waterfront Park is located at 20 Smith St, Buffalo, NY 14210

For additional information and background information on #BlackBirdersWeek, please visit

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Devi Bollywood Performing Arts presents “Find Your Beat”

Devi Bollywood Performing Arts was founded in 2013 by choreographer and performer Gaitrie Subryan – you can find her story here.

Now, Gaitrie has produced a show that tells the story of a young immigrant girl’s yearning to learn more about her ancestors’ voyage from Bihar, India to Guyana, South America. The story is being expressed through Bollywood, Afro-Caribbean dance, and Indian Classical dance styles Bharatanatyam and Kathak. The result is an upcoming theatrical dance performance called “Find Your Beat.”

By producing the show, Gaitrie hopes to inspire others to learn about their own ancestral legacies, and how they themselves have been molded by a family’s journey over time. Of course the lead character is fashioned after Gaitrie’s own journey, while researching her family’s ties to Indian dance culture.

Cast and Crew

Artistic Director and Producer: Gaitrie Subryan

Creative Consultant: Victoria Perez

Choreographers: Gaitrie Subryan in collaboration with SatyaVani Akula, Sukanya Burman, Cortney Costanzo, Jayeeta Dutta, Holli Simme, Megan Rakeepile, and Nitya Vedantam

Performers: SatyaVani Akula, Sukanya Burman, Jacquie Cherry, Cortney Costanzo, Tonya Davis, Isabella Guerrucci, Jonise Hall, Dana Harris, Anika Pace, Ravi Padmanabha, Natasha Perkins, Megan Rakeepile, Holli Simme, Gaitrie Subryan, Zhanna Zhelre, accompanied with live drumming by Baba Ysa, Dev, Marlo, Marvin, Taharka. 

Lighting Designer: Devon Hard

Devi Bollywood Performing Arts presents Find Your Beat

June 15 and 16, 2023

7:30 PM

Shea’s 710 Theatre | 710 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14202

Find out more about the show:

Get Your tickets @

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Catalyze cuts ribbon on 6.4 MW solar farm in Amherst… with sheep!

Catalyze – a clean energy transition company that finances, builds, owns and operates solar, battery storage and electric vehicle charging systems for commercial and industrial customers – recently held a ribbon cutting for its solar farm in Amherst, NY.

The energy produced at the 6.4 MW solar farm will be allocated to the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA), which serves low-to-moderate income residential customers. Ampion, a community solar subscription management company, enrolled the BMHA into the program, resulting in the subscription of over 1,300 housing units.

The sustainable energy project is helping the Town of Amherst to fulfill its role as a NYSERDA Clean Energy Community; the project is twofold – to contribute to New York’s goals of distributed solar generation, and to benefit disadvantaged communities.

NYS is targeting 6 GW of distributed solar by 2025, 70 percent renewable energy by 2030, and 40 percent of clean energy investments benefiting disadvantaged communities. 

“We’re proud to support New York’s efforts in building a clean, resilient and low-cost grid powered by renewable energy,” said Steve Luker, CEO of Catalyze. “Community solar projects like Amherst offer the opportunity to provide lower energy costs and renewable energy access to everyone, including low-to-moderate income communities.”

In an interesting environmental twist, the solar farm is using grazing sheep to maintain the property’s grounds, which are “shepherded” by a landowner of the Amherst community.

Catalyze is owned by leading energy investors EnCap Investments L.P. and Actis.

To learn more about Catalyze’s leadership team, visit

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Delaware Park’s Free 2023 Summer Season of Shakespeare in Delaware Park

Get ready an enchanting evening under the stars with the Free Summer Season of Shakespeare in Delaware Park (SDP). SDP has just unveiled an exciting lineup for their 48th Summer Season, promising another year of high-quality professional theater. As one of the largest and second oldest FREE outdoor Shakespeare festivals in the nation, SDP continues to captivate audiences with their outstanding productions.

This summer, theater enthusiasts in Buffalo can look forward to an enchanting season of Shakespeare’s works. The festivities begin on June 14th with SDP’s touring show, WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A PLAY, directed by the talented Norm Sham. This unique production will bring Shakespeare’s timeless works to neighborhoods across Western New York, featuring four gifted actors delivering an hour-long performance near you. Opening Night will take place at the Roycroft Inn at 7 pm.

On June 22, SDP returns to its iconic hillside stage in Delaware Park with the classic play MEASURE FOR MEASURE. Directed by Virginia Monte, this production stars Daniel Lendzian, Gretchen Didio, Luke Brewer, and Lisa Ludwig, and offers what promises to be a riveting interpretation of Shakespeare’s thought-provoking work with a musical twist. Audiences can catch this performance from Tuesday to Sunday at 7:15 pm from June 22 to July 16.

But the excitement doesn’t end there. SDP has a special treat for Shakespeare enthusiasts with their presentation of ROMEO AND JULIET, directed by Chris Kelly. Featuring Aidan Conklin and Erin Grace Kelly as the iconic star-crossed lovers, supported by seasoned SDP actors Chris Hatch and Pamela Rose Mangus in the roles of the Friar and Nurse. This magical production will open on July 27 and run until August 20.

All main stage shows will be held every evening, except Mondays, at 7:15 pm on Shakespeare Hill on the SAUL ELKIN STAGE in Delaware Park, located next to Hoyt Lake and behind the Rose Garden off Lincoln Parkway near the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. For further information, including dates and locations of WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A PLAY, visit the official website at

Prepare your picnic baskets and mark your calendars! Shakespeare in Delaware Park is sure to offer another enchanting summer filled with passion, tragedy, and timeless beauty, set in our beautiful and historic Delaware Park.

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Raw Renewal Yoga and Barre Centric step up to Mid City Apartments Building

A fit city is a happy city. There is a growing trend for neighborhoods to have their own fitness studios, whether it’s yoga or CrossFit. Years ago, giant gyms were the trend, which meant that people traveled from further away to work out. Not so much these days, especially with the newest fitness trends and routines that are being offered, such as pilates, Zumba, cycling classes, etc.

Having a neighborhood gym within walking or biking distance is a big deal for a lot of people. That’s why it’s great to see that Sinatra & Co.’s Mid City Apartments project has landed its first commercial health and wellness tenants. Raw Renewal Yoga (formerly on Court Street, downtown) and Barre Centric (Clarence and East Aurora locations) will be collaboratively occupying spaces within the first floor of the building.

The Mid City Apartments building, located at 1661 Main Street, was aptly named for its central location along a thoroughfare to downtown Buffalo. The building is relatively close to the Elmwood Village, the Medical Campus, and is easily accessible to East Side residents. It’s also along the Metro Rail route, for added convenience.

The teaming up of Raw Renewal Yoga and Barre Centric certainly provides a new spin on the concept of RawBarre. It’s going to be exciting to see these amazing shop fronts activated, by two fitness gurus that have already made a name for themselves in the region.

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