Pumpkins and witches and art events – oh my! IMO October is very possibly the best month of the year for several reasons, but on this list we’re narrowing it down to one category – arts and culture events. Since Joe Biden’s talk in the Distinguished Speaker series at UB is already sold out – boo!, here are our top picks for must-attend arts and culture happenings in October. Happy falling, fam!
1. BABEL: Mohsin Hamid
Wednesday, October 3, 8 pm
Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle
Imagine a future where people from opposite ends of the earth can simply walk through a doorway to visit one another, sharing food, languages, music, and friendship. This is the world Mohsin Hamid imagines in his shattering recent novel, Exit West. Hamid will be visiting Buffalo on October 3 as the first of this season’s visiting authors in Just Buffalo Literary Center’s BABEL Series, which brings internationally-renowned authors to Buffalo for an evening of presenting about their work. Exit West has been praised by NPR as “the best writing of Hamid’s career,” was listed as one of the Ten Best Books of 2017 by the New York Times Book Review, and even made an appearance on former President Barack Obama’s list of his favorite books of 2017. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to meet Hamid, hear him speak about his work, and even get him to sign your book. Learn more and purchase tickets ($35 General Admission, $30 with a BECPL Library Card, $10 with a student ID) to this event here.
2. Climbing PoeTree: Live in Buffalo!
Saturday, October 6, 7 – 9 pm
Matt Urban Center, 1081 Broadway
Described by Cornel West as a “soulful expression,” Climbing PoeTree is an explosive multi-media spoken word hip hop duo who are motivated by the belief that poetry and art have the power to change the world. For the third year in a row, they are coming back to Buffalo to electrify the city with their infectious beats and their message of hope, love, and justice for all. The duo, made up of artists and activists Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman, have performed all over the world with artists like Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe, Madonna, and Angela Davis.
This event is free, open to the public, and even includes light refreshments! Make sure to come out and enjoy this invigorating, inspirational experience. Learn more about Climbing PoeTree here, and check out some of their music here.
3. Humble Creatures
Friday, October 5, 6 – 9 pm
Pine Apple Company, 65 Allen St.
Okay, so we’re all guilty of having killed a spider, centipede, or other creepy crawly in our lives. But if you’ve ever felt a moment of guilt when doing it, then let us introduce you to Samantha Hensley, whose work asks us to reconsider the “humble,” crawly little critters that give us the creeps on the reg. As the artist’s statement for the exhibition describes, ”bugs are trying … they are doing their very best … and they may not know love, or envy, but they hurt like anything else.”
Her whimsical, Alice-in-Wonderland-like pieces bring human qualities to these creatures and are both disgusting and adorable at the same time. Make sure to check out this exhibition while it’s up, or join for the opening, which is free and open to the public. Check out Hensley’s work on Instagram at @samsketchbook, and learn more about this event here.
4. Drea Sings Nina at the Hotel Henry Jazz Concert Series
Wednesday, October 10, 7:30 – 9:30 pm
If you’ve never heard the absolutely dreamy, dulcet tones of Drea d’Nur, you’re missing out big time – and we don’t just throw that statement out casually around here. D’Nur is a vocalist and pianist hailing from Buffalo who has performed internationally and this month she will be performing her tribute to Nina Simone as a part of JazzBufflo’s Concert Series at Hotel Henry.
D’Nur’s Simone tribute has been performed locally at Kleinhans Music Hall and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, but if you have yet to hear her tribute this event is not to be missed. She was a 2017 Spark Awards Artist of the Year, and she has album credits on the new Gorillaz album, HUMANZ. Check out some of d’Nur’s previous performances here, and learn more about the event here. Tickets are $17 general admission.
Thursday, October 18, 6 pm
Asbury Hall at Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave.
Let’s be real – we’ve all listened to TED talks while eating dinner, walking on the treadmill, vegging out on a Sunday morning, or in a state where we’re just looking from some words of wisdom from people who have been around the block (possibly at the office while you’re supposed to be working). TEDx Buffalo is your chance to experience a Ted talk IRL.
2018 marks the seventh year this event has taken place in Buffalo, bringing together local figureheads like Phil Odonkor, Ines Stuckert, and Annie Brady to speak about their own experiences and the wisdom they’ve culled along the way. Come on out for this event as Asbury Hall – a magical space inside of local musician and internationally-renowned artist Ani DiFranco’s Babeville – for an evening of wisdom, inspiration, and, in TED speak, “ideas worth spreading.” Tickets are $20 general admission. Learn more and buy tickets here.
Saturday, October 20, 7 – 9 pm
University Heights Community Laboratory, 9 W Northrup Place
Lovers of Halloween and the arts, unite! This event is a perfect way to kick off All Hallows season with an ensemble of sketches written, produced, and performed by local artists. This inaugural festival is sure to spook and surprise, with a diverse line-up of one-act plays written by local playwrights all with the goal of raising funds for Green Buffalo Productions, an organization dedicated to connecting local playwrights and producers with opportunities to see their works brought to life.
Tickets to this event are limited, so if you’re interested in Halloweenish theatre you better jump on this now. Tickets are $10 and all proceeds support Green Buffalo Productions. Our biggest question is: can audience members come in costume? Learn more and purchase tickets here.