Buffalo Humanities Festival: Contact Shannon Risk for tickets

In Upcoming Events, by , on September 25th, 2014

The University at Buffalo (UB) Humanities Institute (HI) will present the first annual Buffalo Humanities Festival on Friday, Sept. 26, and Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Burchfield Penney Art Center, and SUNY Buffalo State. The Festival’s theme is “Migration Nation: Moving Stories.”  With a day and a half of talks, music, conversations, dance, and food, the festival seeks to answer the deceptively simple question, “How did we get here?”  At a time when most commentary about migration and immigration is marred by ideologically rigid formulations, the festival instead seeks to raise the level of civic discourse in Western New York by exploring the topic through history, literature, and the arts.  It also aims to do so in an atmosphere that is fresh, lively, and fun. Gary Shteyngart, the New York Times–bestselling author of Little Failure, kicks off the festival on Friday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m. in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.  Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students.  The festival continues on Saturday, Sept. 27, with sixteen interactive talks by Western New York’s most gifted humanities teachers and scholars, at the Burchfield Penney Art Center and Ketchum Hall at SUNY Buffalo State.  During each of the hour-long sessions, speakers will engage audience members on topics such as “Photography and Burmese Immigrants in WNY,” “Songs of the Dust Bowl Migration,” “Tuscaroras, Still Stirring About,” and “Many Middle Passages from Africa to America.”  Talks will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Daypasses for Saturday’s events, only $12 for adults and $10 for students, also offer admission to a screening of short films about migration. Saturday also features a number of events that are free and open to the public in the outdoor space on Rockwell Quad (behind Rockwell Hall, between the Burchfield Penney and Ketchum Hall).  A puppet parade at noon will delight viewers of all ages.  The performance space includes music and dance by artists such as Mohamed Diaby (Guinean drum and dance), Gaitrie Devi (Bollywood dancing), and Le Ballet Touba (African dance).  The conversation station allows for in-depth discussions with recent migrants.  And vendors from the West Side Bazaar will offer handcrafted goods and food. The festival is a collaboration among five Western New York institutions of higher education:  in addition to UB, partners include Canisius College, Niagara University, SUNY Buffalo State, and SUNY Fredonia. NU faculty member, Shannon Risk, has limited supplies and post cards for those interested in distributing materials to their groups. Contact her at srisk@niagara.edu.