Three days after the horrific massacre that unfolded in a Buffalo supermarket on May 14, I sat down to tape a podcast with the brilliant artist, Edreys Wajed. Edreys co-curated the last exhibition, In These Truths, that the Albright-Knox would present at AK Northland, the museum’s temporary home during construction. I thought Edreys might want to postpone the taping, as our entire community, but especially the black community, was reeling.
But Edreys did want to go ahead, in his mind, it was ever more important to foster dialogue in our community- and he is right. The Art Dome, a new podcast hosted by Brooke LeBoeuf, is about creating connections and conversation around the visual arts in Buffalo and Western New York. We have so many spokes in the wheel, yet our hub, the places where we can cross-pollinate, sparking further creativity, needs to be more vibrant and inclusive.
Many groups in Buffalo are talking about change. Wanting to ensure that once the media attention goes away, the collective awareness of the evils in our society that hold all of us back, is not forgotten. That we find ways to keep moving forward together in a better way. All of these initiatives are critical, yet we still need to solve the challenge of having conversations with people whose lives are as separated as the physical highway that tore apart Buffalo neighborhoods as it created a fast exit out of the city to the suburbs. Convening and talking with those we know and are yet to know is how we will ground the efforts being made by our government, businesses and non-profits to create lasting change.
In the face of such enormous challenges, it is easily overwhelming when you think about how you as an individual can make a difference. I certainly felt this way in the aftermath of May 14. When you realize that you need to forge ahead in the area you have influence in, you must trust that through the combined efforts of many, true transformational change will happen. So my area is the visual arts – and this podcast, which I am sponsoring for its initial year, comes from my belief that every action, innovation, and change starts with a conversation.
Introducing a new Buffalo-centered visual-arts podcast sponsored by Innovation Philanthropy.