Performing Arts and Culture

Performing arts, cultural exhibitions and collections, lectures and presentations.

Through its Engage CNY initiative, the non-profit organization CNY Arts has recently completed a thorough inventory and survey of the arts, and of citizens' views and preferences about arts and culture in the Central New York region.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Stephen Butler, the executive director of CNY Arts, about the findings, and about the plan that has been developed in light of them.  They also discuss the Syracuse Symphony and the Everson Museum.


Symphoria, the successor to the defunct Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, has one year under its belt.  And organizers believe so far, so good.

And as the fledgling orchestra closes the books on its first year, Symphoria managing director Catherine Underhill estimates musicians played to 45,000 people. It has been trying to attract a new audience, with things like its “Spark” series, which creates more social music going experiences. But Underhill says the organization knows they need to keep growing.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be nominated to run for a second term as governor Thursday.

Before the happens, two other incumbents will be endorsed for a second full term; State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The only surprise expected at the convention is the announcement of Cuomo's running mate. Several names have been mentioned to replace Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, who has opted not to seek a second term.

The governor and his aides have been keeping that name close to the vest. They're expected to reveal their choice later Wednesday.

Audio postcard: Sackets Harbor choral group rehearses

Mar 8, 2014
Joanna Richards / WRVO

The Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble is preparing for a spring concert in Watertown. Joanna Richards dropped by the group’s second rehearsal to learn about choral music, and have a listen.

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Students in the Syracuse City School District are among the stars in the Redhouse Arts Center production of "The Music Man." The idea was to turn River City, Iowa into a multicultural melting pot by doing colorblind casting, and at the same time give the students real-world experience working with professional actors.

Over the past year, life has been a struggle for 16-year-old, Tajanae Lane. She has had to move from Syracuse to New Jersey then back to Syracuse after her father was arrested for robbing a bank. 

Area film festivals highlight human rights issues

Sep 28, 2013
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO

Human rights issues -- including the ongoing civil war in Syria -- are being highlighted at different film festivals in Syracuse this fall.

Abdulwahab Tahhan left Aleppo, Syria 11 months ago. He was living in a refugee camp in Turkey when the documentary "The Suffering Grasses" was filmed. That film was screened at the ArtRage Gallery in Syracuse Tuesday night and Tahan spoke with the audience via Skype from the U.K. where he now lives.

CNY Arts

How could we craft a more community-friendly plan for arts and culture in the Central New York region, and how could that help revitalize the quality of life and the economy in the area?  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Steve Butler, the executive director of CNYArts, discusses his organization's efforts to create such a plan through its Engage CNY initiative.

Syracuse University

In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, James Haywood Rolling, Jr., an expert on arts education and the author of Swarm Intelligence, draws on theories of group behavior in the animal world in order to argue for new ways of nurturing creativity in the education of our children.  Find out what a flock of birds has to tell us about individual artistic creation.

Ayesha Khan Interview

Apr 10, 2012

SUNY Oswego's ARTSwego program has been part of a pilot project called, "Caravanserai" which brings Pakistani artists to rural communities to bring better understanding of Muslim entertainment and cultures. WRVO's Mark Lavonier met with filmmaker Ayesha Khan on her recent visit where she gave a talk called, "Women Crossing Boundaries," and showed her recent film, "Made in Pakistan".

Jim Greene is not an academic Dickens scholar, but he plays Dickens and runs the Dickens Christmas Festival in Skaneateles.  In this holiday version of the Campbell Conversations, he talks - often in the character of Dickens - about the meaning and the writing of "A Christmas Carol," the Christmas holidays, and his experiences in the town.  Given the stark portrayals of poverty in his writing, what would Dickens have made of the Occupy Wall Street Movement?  Here’s one person’s take.  All in all, the conversation contains holiday wisdom worthy of Dickens’s tale.

The stage lights again are back on at the Landmark Theatre in Downtown Syracuse.  A  stage house expansion and renovation of the historic theatre is done, with a grand reopening celebration Fridat night, and a performance by comedian Bill Cosby Saturday night. Landmark Executive Director Denise DerRenzo says the changes mostly stretch from the proscenium stage back.

Caravanserai has headed to upstate New York with several performances dedicated to the mission of bringing the music and arts of the East to the region. WRVO's Mark Lavonier met with tabla drum master Ustad Tari Khan to find out more about one of the esteemed artists on the road with Caravanserai.

Click "Listen" above to hear from Ustad Tari Khan.

Tuned To Yesterday

Oct 19, 2011

#451 - Drama: Everyman's Theater "The Women Stayed At Home" 12/20/40, Bright Star "Oil Stock Swindle" 10/23/52

Tuned To Yesterday features programs from radio's golden era. Drama, Comedy, Western, Sci-Fi and more. Produced by Mark Lavonier.

Tuned To Yesterday

Oct 18, 2011

#450 - Mystery: Richard Diamond, Private Detective "Leon Jacoby" 11/19/49, Ellery Queen "Dead Man's Cavern" 4/13/44

Tuned To Yesterday features programs from radio's golden era. Drama, Comedy, Western, Sci-Fi and more. Produced by Mark Lavonier.

Tuned To Yesterday

Oct 18, 2011

#449 - Adventure: I Was A Communist For The FBI "I Walk Alone" 1950's, Cloak And Dagger "Operation Sellout" 9/22/50

Tuned To Yesterday features programs from radio's golden era. Drama, Comedy, Western, Sci-Fi and more. Produced by Mark Lavonier.

The new Onondaga County budget includes a new model shaped by County Executive Joanie Mahoney and the ways and means committee to direct support for arts and cultural organizations.

As WRVO's Joyce Gramza reports, it's a win for the arts, but for music, not so much.

The hoax put the Onondaga County Hamlet of Cardiff in newspaper headlines across the world. But it's been more than a century since the Cardiff Giant was unearthed and there is an effort underway to make sure that "the hoax that fooled America" is never forgotten.

You might not think of central New York as a home for world-class sculpture, but it is.  Utica's annualS culpture-Space brings artists from all over, to enjoy the freedom to create all kinds of sculpture.

Sarah Beck gives us a tour of the city's sculpture landscape.

There are well-known communities around the world that embrace sculpture as a community art form.  You see it in the photos from places such as Athens and Rome. But many sculptors on this side of the Atlantic recognize a place in Utica as a home for sculpture as well.

In the first of two stories, WRVO's Sarah Beck introduces us to Utica's "Sculpture-Space."

Hear Part Two of Sarah's story Wednesday on WRVO's Morning Edition.

Musicians will be back on stage at the Civic Center in Syracuse this weekend, as the lifeboat organization of the bankrupt Syracuse Symphony Orchestra goes on stage for a special performance.  Jon Garland, Chairman of Symphony Syracuse says it'll look like what you've seen in the past.

Symphonies around the country have been struggled through cuts to arts funding. This year, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra was supposed to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Instead, it declared bankruptcy in June.

SYRACUSE, NY (wrvo) - At Syracuse's Museum of Science and Technology, you can see a small piece of the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers.

It's part of one of dozens of traveling exhibits that were set up around the state to remind people of what happened ten years ago on September 11.

WRVO's Ellen Abbott takes us on a tour. © Copyright 2011, wrvo



WATERTOWN, NY (August 2, 2011) - An arts organization is trying to bring more opportunities to artists in Watertown and surrounding areas, and more cultural events to residents.

The North Country Arts Council was born out of a declining artists' guild a few years ago. Now with a space in downtown Watertown and some successful fundraising behind it, WRVO's north country correspondent Joanna Richards tells us the group is becoming an active force in the community.

The rundown for Monday's playhouse on the WRVO Stations

Oswego, NY – 1010 Chandu the Magician: In the Pyramid with Nadji, 7/15/48, MBS

1030 Suspense: Green Idol, Parker Fennelly, 9/17/61, CBS

1100 Mr. And Mrs. North: Operation Murder, 9/17/54, AFRS

1130 Line-Up: Bill Johnstone, 9/17/52, CBS