ART | New Shows Opening

Welcome to an artful summer, Rochester. Since the weather has been so lovely, and perfect for a road trip, why not journey out to Canandaigua and take in some of the Finger Lakes art scene? On Thursday, May 31, Wood Library (28 S. Main St., Canandaigua) will host a 6-8 p.m. reception for “The Finger Lakes: Above and Below.” Gloria Betlam’s paintings meld iconic and personal images of the region with illustrations of the geology of shale beds and pathways from fracking wells to aquifers. The show will remain on view through July 12, when it will travel to the Livingston Art Center in Mt. Morris. For information, call 394-1381.

Kick off your weekend on Friday, June 1, with First Friday openings in and around the city ( Studio 215 (Hungerford Building, door 2, floor 4, suite 443E, 1115 E. Main St.) will host “School’s Out for Summer 2,” on Friday, June 1, 6-9 p.m., featuring works by students from Buckman Heights Elementary School, inspired by the artwork of Dallas, Texas illustrator José Cruz. For info, call 490-1210, or email

Also opening on Friday, 6-10 p.m., is “Wayward Dreams,” a solo show of magical, nostalgic photographs by Alison Tyne, at Black Radish Studio Gallery (Village Gate D Entrance, 274 N. Goodman St., suite 501). The show remains on view through June 30; for more info contact

It’s June, so it’s time for one of Rochester’s most successful and beloved art-based fundraisers. Rochester Contemporary (137 East Ave.) will host “6x6x2012: Bigger and Better” on Saturday, June 2, 6-10 p.m. If you don’t know the drill by now, visit to learn more, preview artworks, and find out which Buddhist monk and which acclaimed composer (among many other celebrities) created and donated artworks for this year’s sale. Call 461-2222 or visit the site for additional info.

Erich Lehman, owner of the formerly nomadic 1975 Gallery, recently announced the big news that it has a permanent home at 89 Charlotte St., in the building that used to house The Little Bakery. The site is being made more charming than ever by clockwork crow murals and an ongoing installation, and on Saturday, June 2, 4-10 p.m., you can check out what they’ve been up to. “Spyglass” is a viewing experience brought to you by Sarah C. Rutherford and Brandon Colaprete. The installation will be viewable during limited showings through June 16. For more information and updates, check and

Ock Hee’s Gallery (2 Lehigh St., Honeoye Falls) will display masterful sculptural works in “The Inner World of Dario Tazzioli,” on view through August 25. The Italian artist will be present Saturday, June 2, noon-5 p.m. for a reception, and will conduct demos in stone carving and fresco painting during the course of the exhibit. For info, call 624-4730, or email — BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

SPECIAL EVENT | African American Genealogy Conference

I’m a mutt. My family bloodlines are from all over Europe, and though it’s a tricky, tangled task, one thing I have taken for granted is that if I wanted to, I could find out a lot more about my family tree. Now, it may be difficult for many of us to understand the importance of such a matter — knowing who your people are and were — unless you’re faced with the near impossibility of finding out. Such is the case for most African Americans, who cannot trace their families back further than the person who arrived here in bondage, if they can even identify who that person was.

On Friday-Saturday, June 1-2, the Maafa Celebration Committee in collaboration with Akwaaba and Community Residents will host a two-day African American Genealogy Conference at Wilson Academy (200 Genesee St.). The June 1 session takes place 6-8:30 p.m. and the June 2 session is scheduled for 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The conference will include a pep rally, screening of “Roots” part I, guest speakers, a panel discussion with genealogy specialists, food, vendors, and workshops. Conference fees are $15 per adult, $20 for couples, $10 for seniors (60+), and $25 per family (six-person limit, adults and children aged 7-17). For more information or to register, contact Robin at 546-7067, or Diane at 313-3685.

Besides identity, what else has been stolen from African Americans? Credit for originating all of the good music. I’m serious. Celebrate the roots of what makes you feel good at the 4th Annual Black Music Month Celebration on Saturday, June 2. The event takes place at RCTV15 (21 Gorham St., off St. Paul), 2-8 p.m., and will include entertainers, food, and product vendors, and activities for children. For more info, call 325-1238. —BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

DANCE | Borinquen Dance: Faces of El Caribe

Giving back has never been easier, as enjoying this visually exquisite performance will ultimately benefit local youth. Borinquen Dance Theatre will host its 31st anniversary celebration, “Faces of El Caribe: Caribbean Fusion,” on Saturday, June 2, at the Rochester Museum & Science Center (657 East Ave.). Nydia Padilla-Rodriguez’s Borinquen Dance Theatre was founded in 1981 and is known for combining a unique blend of Puerto Rican folkloric and Latin contemporary style dance. Proceeds from Saturday’s performance in the Eisenhart Auditorium will benefit children’s theater and youth programs. A reception and silent auction will start at 5:30 p.m. and the dance performance will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets for the performance are $50 and the patron’s reception will cost $250. Tickets are available at — BY ANNE RITZ

THEATER | “Calamari Sisters’ Big Fat Italian Wedding”

The Calamari Sisters have been thrilling Rochester audiences for the past several years with shows at Downstairs Cabaret Theatre. This summer Rochesterians can watch Carmela and Delphine cook their way through a night of hilarity with their third show, “Calamari Sisters’ Big Italian Wedding,” which is currently playing in the sisters’ new home at the East End Performing Arts Center through the end of August. The squabbling siblings sing, dance, and cook to favorites like “Love and Marriage,” “Chapel of Love,” and “Daddy’s Little Girl” in this all-new show.

The East End Theater is located at 727 E. Main St. Show times vary per week; check the website for a full schedules. Tickets cost $39-$45 and are available online at or by calling the box office at 420-8338. — BY ANNE RITZ

FESTIVALS | Neighborhood Festivals

Throughout the summer, there will be a number of festivals held to celebrate our local communities. The East End Music Festival will begin Friday, June 1, and will be held again Friday, July 13, and Friday, August 10. The festival encompasses music, food, and vendors in the East End neighborhood. The June 1 festival will be “A Tribute to Tributes,” featuring several cover bands throughout the evening. For more information, visit

Fairport will host its annual Canal Days Art Celebration June 1-3. The celebration begins Friday with a kick-off party at 4:30 p.m. There will be food vendors, musical performances, and several activities up until 9:30 p.m. Come back Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for more food and fun. Activities include an emerging-artists display, classic cars, a battle of the bands, parade, and the annual Rubber Duck Race on Sunday at 3 p.m. For more information, visit

Lastly, celebrate the 19th Ward with the annual Square Fair at Aberdeen Square Park. The fair will be held on Saturday, June 2, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Get there early for a pancake breakfast 8-10 a.m., followed by vendors, entertainment, food and children’s games 10 a.m.-4 p.m. At 12:30 p.m., meet at the Ebenezer Baptist Church (174 Thurston Road) for a parade. For more information, visit — BY ANNE RITZ

FESTIVAL | Greek Festival

From Thursday, May 31, through Sunday, June 3, the Greek Festival will transform the lawn of the Greek Orthodox Church on East Avenue into an outpost of the Mediterranean. One of the main attractions of this annual festival is the food. Look for your favorite Greek dishes, including gyro sandwiches, homemade spanakopita, pastichio, moussaka, stuffed peppers, and lamb shanks. Wash down your dinner with Greek imported beer or wine. Leave room for fried dough, Greek style. Loukoumades are small balls of dough, fried and covered in a honey syrup. Also for desert, try traditional baklava with a custom cup of Greek coffee.

Learn how to create your own Greek dishes during cooking demos at select times Friday-Sunday, with sessions on how to create baklava and koulourakia. Your tour of Greece will not be complete without shopping the agora, the Greek marketplace. There will be several boutiques where you can purchase clothing, jewelry, books, and specialty foods. Bring the kids to Kiddie Village, a mini festival for children featuring a climbing wall and other activities. And catch Greek dancers daily, with lessons Friday at 3:30 & 4:30 p.m., Saturday at 3 & 4 p.m., and Sunday at 3 & 4 p.m.

The church is located on 962 East Ave. Festival hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. For more information, visit or call 244-3377. — BY ANNE RITZ

COMEDY | The Capitol Steps

Fans of political humor will want to take in a night of skits and song parodies with The Capitol Steps. The Jewish Family Service of Rochester will be hosting the troupe for the annual JFS gala on Sunday, June 3, at Temple B’rith Kodesh (2131 Elmwood Ave.). The Capitol Steps troupe has been performing political satire for 30 years, playing venues across the country with its comedy and songs. The show costs 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $45. (Specially priced patron tickets are also available, and include dinner catered by Chef Tony Gullace from Max of Eastman Place at 5 p.m.) For more information visit or call 461-0110. — BY ANNE RITZ


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