By: Cindy Eberl Lawicki, Independent Health Self Funded Services
After a long rain-filled spring, warm sunshine greeted us as we kicked off Arts, Culture, and Tourism Day at Kleinhans Music Hall. After opening remarks by Althea, Anthony Lelito, ACTH planning team captain shared the day’s objectives:
- Explore some of the “hidden gems” of Buffalo’s arts and culture scene.
- Visit organizations that have played a role in Buffalo’s history, as well as organizations that are shaping the future.
- Learn how the city and region have grown and changed throughout history; and what is in store for the future of the arts, culture, and tourism sectors of our community.
The day was a joint session of Rising Leaders and Class Experience. Our first speaker was Joel Dombrowski, Chief Fun Officer, Buffalo History Tours with an informative and entertaining historical perspective on Buffalo. He shared his personal journey to start his own business and advised us to “find the intersection of passion and competence” to discover our true calling. Joel was not only informative, but also hilarious telling us “I’m Irish, Polish, and German- there is nothing you can do to a potato that I haven’t seen.”
Our second presenter was President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, Patrick Kaler. He spoke to the group about all things Buffalo, and the new and exciting events that are reshaping our region. Patrick became a champion of the area and all it has to offer after relocating to Buffalo in 2014. http://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com. The group then departed to a variety of site visits. Some of the local treasures we visited included:
- Shea’s Smith
- Common Roots Urban Garden
- Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle
- North Park Theatre
- Silo City
- Central Terminal
- Torn Space Theatre
Our last speaker of the day was Douglas Love, CEO of Explore and More Children’s Museum. Doug shared the exciting plans for the new 43,000 square foot museum in the Canalside. We got a sneak peek into schematic designs and themes of the new museum, which will appeal to kids of all ages! The museum is scheduled to open in late 2018!
To wrap up the day we engaged in an hilarious game of Buffalo Trivia and put our new found knowledge to the test. The patio of the Marcy Casino was a scenic spot to enjoy beverages and bits! Thank you to Brian Burke for sponsoring the afternoon’s nosh!
Our day of discovery showed how our city has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, from a redeveloped waterfront and revitalized neighborhoods to a burgeoning craft beer scene and over $1 billion in new investments.
From the little city that thought it could blossoms a city that shows it can!