Top 7 Arts and Culture Events to Check Out in April

Allentown First Fridays
Photo from Allentown First Fridays

It’s finally starting to feel like spring in Buffalo – so get out of the house & shake off those long Buffalo winter blues at one of these fantastic arts and culture events happening around Western New York this April!


April’s First Friday Gallery Walk

April 6, 6 – 9 pm

Allen Street

Allen has long been one of the artsiest streets in Buffalo, and that tradition continues strong with the First Friday Gallery Walk series. Every month, Allen’s numerous galleries, shops, and restaurants explode into a luminous community-scape featuring art openings, poetry readings, musical performances, and more. This month, one of the must-see stops along the walk is Andie Jairam’s Kweku Anansi Fables up at El Museo Gallery (91 Allen Street). Jairam, an artist from Atlanta, explores themes of ancestry, myth, and historic whitewashing in these afrofuturistic pieces. The prints, costumes, and sculptures in this exhibit work together to tell the sci-fi story of a West African scientist who creates cybernetic spiders – and then gets bitten by one.

Most events are free & open to the public; some events have a small admission fee. Check out the event page to find out more.



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The Last Detail: A Four-Day Festival of Classical Performances with an Eclectic Twist

April 12 – 15, times vary

Burchfield Penney Art Center

The Burchfield Penney is ever-expanding its already cutting-edge programming, and this four-day festival is an incredible example of that. Offering a vibrant mix of poetry, opera, and experimental and classical music, The Last Detail is sure to be an innovative celebration of contemporary art. The festival opens on April 12 with a performance of activist and poet Ed Sander’s opera Cassandra and wraps up on April 15 with the Open! String Ensemble performing the work of Tony Conrad (whose work is also on view at the Albright-Knox right now). In between, you can enjoy classical music from the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo as well as experimental, “ambient soundscapes” from Joe Rozler.

Events are either $10 or free with gallery admission. Find event times and pricing info here.


Photo from Delayed

Delayed Opening Reception

April 14, 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Big Orbit Gallery (hosted by CEPA Gallery)

Real talk – this is one of the events we are most excited for this month. Since its inception in 1991, Big Orbit Gallery has been dedicated to promoting under-represented and emerging voices in the local arts community. On April 14 they will be hosting an opening for the works of Megan Metté, Evelyne Leblanc-Roberge, and Megan Scheffer, three artists who have collaborated to create this exhibit centered on the theme of waiting. Filled with multi-genre works, including images, sounds, and 3D objects, this exhibit prompts the viewer to confront the amount of time in our lives we spend waiting, the things we wait for, and why we wait. In a culture of instant gratification, this exhibit asks us to pay attention and feels more necessary than ever.

This is a free event. Learn more here.


Trimania 2018: A Fundraiser for Buffalo Arts Studio

April 14, 8 pm – 1 am

Tri-Main Center

We all know that Buffalo’s resurgence finds its heart in abandoned structures like the grain silos and old factories, but the Tri-Main might be the most vibrant example in the whole city. A former manufacturing facility, this massive 6-floor building now boasts public art galleries, private artists’ studios, small businesses, nonprofits, and community organizations. On April 14, they will showcase and celebrate their diverse community at Trimania, their annual fundraiser. This is one party you do not want to miss. The entire building will be bursting with live bands, DJs, dance performances, poetry readings, and art exhibits. It’s a dizzying and exciting celebration of Buffalo’s incredible art scene and our surging renaissance.

Tickets range from $25 for general admission to $80 for VIP. Learn more & purchase tickets here.



Photo from Gelatin Plate

Gelatin Plate Printmaking

April 18, 6 – 9 pm

The Western New York Book Arts Center (WNYBAC, pronounced “winnie back”)

The Western New York Book Arts Center is one of those spaces that takes you right back to an earlier time while also feeling incredibly present. Their mission centers on promoting letterpress printing and book-related arts, a mission that might seem out-of-place in our increasingly digital landscape. But with their vibrant rotation of art openings, gallery exhibits, open studio time, and workshops, WNYBAC strikes the perfect balance between nostalgia and innovation. This month, they are offering some stellar workshops, one of which is Gelatin Plate Printmaking led by artist Debra Eck. These unique, colorful pieces make beautiful conversations starters, and are so much fun to create – no experience needed!

This workshop costs $50 for the general public, $45 for WNYBAC members and students, and includes all the materials necessary to create multiple take-home prints. Register for this workshop here.


Radical Women’s Night Out

April 19, 5:30 – 9 pm

Albright Knox Art Gallery

Let us just say – the Albright Knox has been absolutely SLAYING with the exhibition We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women 1965-1985 and all the programming they’ve scheduled around it. This month, they’ll be offering a free performance and discussion focused on celebrating black women and the tireless art they have been creating for decades. The evening will open with a dance performance by professor and professional dancer Naila Ansari, followed by a conversation with artists Lessica Lynne and Jae Jarrell. These intimate conversations, which include time for audience questions, offer a personal introduction into the themes of the exhibition.

As a part of this event, gallery admission will be free – so after you enjoy the talk make sure to head upstairs to check out the exhibit itself! However, pre-registration is required, which you can do here.



Babel featuring Junot Díaz

April 20, 8 pm – 10 pm

Kleinhans Music Hall (hosted by Just Buffalo Literary Center)

Whether or not you are a reader, the Babel series is a perfect space to engage in a discussion about the politics and the power of words. And whether or not you’ve ever read (or even heard of!) Junot Díaz, he is definitely someone to keep on your radar. His novel The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao earned him a Pulitzer Prize and has been described as “the best novel of the 21st century to date.”

Tickets range from $10 – $35 (VIP tickets are sold out). Learn more & get tickets here before they sell out completely!

Paige Melin
Author: Paige Melin

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