10 Culture & Arts Events You Should Attend This July

Shakespeare in the Park
Shakespeare in the Park / Step Out Buffalo

Another July, another summer month – and we’re certainly not complaining. But don’t let this month pass you by, Buffalo. Lucky for us, culture and arts events does not mean staying indoors. From a consortium of literary events and theatrical productions, to the 90th anniversary of a national landmark and a festival of landmark proportion, this July is shaping up to be one worth the hype.

Here are 10 culture and arts events that should be on your radar this month:




1. Poetry Bang Bang Presents: Salon for Salome

Monday, July 1, 8-9pm

Nietzsche’s 248 Allen Street

The first Monday of every Month, this event will be a great night to kick off a great month filled with a variety pack of literary events. As an all women poetry show, this evening features incredible, multi-talented poets; Lissa Roads, Halley Marie Shaw, and Megan Medina of The Stripteasers. Has it been a Manic Monday? Even more reason to stop down after happy hour, grab a drink or two, and enjoy this monthly extravaganza of words at one of Buffalo’s marquee establishments.


2. Poetry Open Mic at Caffe Aroma

Every Other Wednesday, July 3, July 17, July 31, 8-10pm

Caffe Aroma, 957 Elmwood Avenue

Another incredible poetry series we highly recommend is the bi-weekly open mic night hosted by literary mavericks Justin Karcher and Ben Brindise at Caffe Aroma. The month of July will not have one, not two, but three open mics! Every other Wednesday, there are usually 15 open mic slots, and rest assured with the rising comfort of summer weather, it’s a good idea to make this event an early arrival on your agenda. Since last year the poetry open mic has garnered nationally-renowned poets such as Emily O’Neil, Ariel Francisco, and Jeremy Radin. They’ve also had previous guests like Skyler Jaye Rutkowski and Brittany Carey from local literary luminaries host. This series is open for anyone looking to pour their heart out and read to an audience. With late happy hour drink specials, one can be sure to have a marvelous time at this event whether you’re reading or listening.


3. Not Sorry: Portraits by Prisma Vice

Friday, July 5, 6-10pm

Pine Apple Company, 65 Allen Street

Buffalo Photographer Prisma Vice’s (AKA Sam Tilkins) “Not Sorry,” is the perfect way to kick off the month. Described as an unapologetic celebration of women and the embracing of sexuality against the grain of world still restricted social and systematic norms. There will be a special set featuring the mixed-out stylings of DJ Lil Gabby, and will be part of Allentown’s First Friday Gallery Walk. For more info visit the Facebook Event.


4. Writing Invasion

Thursday, July 11, 7-8pm

Buffalo Reading Park at Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Avenue

It’s that time of the year – the library open it’s doors and gives every “Buffaloving” denizen a space to test their writing muscles. Prompts will be on hand to inspire or give you that push to get you started. So whether you are an aspiring writer or established novelist, everyone is welcome. And remember, it’s never too late or too early to explore your talents. Learn more here.


5. East Side Festival at Central Terminal

Saturday, July 13, 1:30-9pm

Central Terminal, 495 Paderewski Drive

In celebration of the Central Terminal’s 90th Anniversary, there will be a spectacular festival to embrace the rich history of one of Buffalo’s most beloved landmarks, The Central Terminal. To commemorate to this once bustling epicenter of rail transport, will be a menagerie of cultural celebrations. From a drum and dance performance from the African-American Cultural Center to performances from the Harmony Polish Folk Ensemble, to a grand finale by the BPO, this will be a true occasion to remember. There will be concession tickets available for food and drink. For more info on this free event, visit bpo.org.

6. Spotlight on the Youth Open Mic

Thursday, July 17, 5:30-7:30pm

Shea’s Smith Theatre, 658 Main Street

An event is presented by Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT) for the teens trying to find an open space to express their artistic selves. Open to artists, poets and songwriters between ages 13 and 19, it’s a wonderful showcase spearheaded by poet and BCAT youth coordinator, Tom Dreitlein. This event is free and open to the public. Free Pizza will also be provided. Learn more here.


Silo City Reading Series
Silo City Reading Series / Photo x Nancy Parisi

7. Silo City Reading Series: Smith, Williams, Wajed, Hop Hop

Saturday, July 20, 7-9:30pm

105 Silo City Row, Buffalo

July’s Silo City Reading Series provides a cavalcade of talent. This event is free and open to the public and will feature vendors too. Here’s what to expect from this night of poetry, music, and visual art in an unexpected venue:

  • Headliner Danez Smith is the author of award-winning literary masterpieces such as Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press 2017) and [insert] boy (YesYes Books 2014).
  • Poetry by Eve Williams, whose work has been featured in Sun Magazine, My Next Buffalo Heart Anthology and Peach Ma. She’s been on the 2018 National Poetry Slam Team and is a Two-time representative in WoWPS (Women of the World Poetry Slam).
  • Art installations by Edreys Wajed, an artist, educator, and performer whose work has been featured on the cover of Foundlings Press Chapbook Contest, at the Western NY Book Arts Center, and a mural off of Michigan Ave, commemorating his history.
  • Music by Hop Hop, an Indie hip-hop artist that’s the quintessence of musical creative.



Shakespeare in the Park
Shakespeare in the Park / Step Out Buffalo

8. Opening Night: Love’s Labour’s Lost at Shakespeare in the Park

Thursday, July 25, 6:15-10:15PM

Shakespeare Hill, Delaware Park,

As mentioned in a previous list, Shakespeare in the Park, is one of the city’s greatest cultural staples. And the beauty about the month of July is that The Tempest still runs until the 14th, and only 11 days later, Love’s Labour’s Lost premiers. The show starts with an opening night reception from 6:15pm – 7:15pm. Then “it’s showtime!” Love’s Labour’s Lost is a witty, humorous, politically-driven tale. So if you missed the first one, take advantage of the summer month and head over to Shakespeare hill at Delaware Park, lay a blanket, picnic supplies, a bottle of wine, and see a show for all to enjoy. This event is free and open to the public. Learn more here.


9. Forget Me Not at Buffalo Infringement Festival

Thursday, July 25, 7:30-9pm

Irish Classical Theatre, Andrews Theatre, 625 Main Street

On the same night as Shakespeare in the Park’s opening night, another unique theatrical production will be taking place. Forget Me Not, is a whimsical play about the connection between the love of family and the hardships of war, both on the battlefront and back home. Tickets are only $10 and are worth the price for this beautiful show that Buffalo Theater Guide has called “a powerful and thoughtful work.” Get your tickets while you can and don’t miss an awesome event to kick off Infringement festival. Get tickets here.


10. Buffalo Infringement Festival

Wednesday, July 24 – Sunday, August 4, various times

Speaking of Infringement… For 11 days from the last week of July, to the first few days of August, arts communities from every corner of the queen city gather for another year inspired by grassroots responses to the corporate consumerism stamped onto so many arts events. This sprawling “event” is free and open to the public with venues all over the flowing concrete arteries deep in the heart of Allentown. Expect comedies, monologues, theater groups, blues performances, jazz and EDM shows, chalk drawings, Improv showcases, acoustic sets, hip hop jams, gallery exhibitions and so much more. Make sure you’re up to date on the venues (big and small) in this year’s Infringement Fest, because it’s sure to be a can’t-miss experience, as usual. Learn more here.

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