Next Buffalo speaker

Rodney Garrison

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May 11, 8:30am • Hotel Henry • part of a series on Commitment

Meet Meghan Cyr, the CMbuf featured teammate for April! Meghan answered some very important questions for us, so next time you see her at an event, you’ll know her feelings about coffee. Thanks for all you do, Meghan, to share our events with the global community. 

1. Dog or cat? I do love dogs. They’re adorable! However, there’s something about a cat’s personality that I jive better with.

2. Phone call or text? Generally, texts are great as I can get back to them when I get a minute. I tend to be all over the place! However, I love a good “catching-up” phone call.

3. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.

4. Morning or evening? I take my quiet mornings (with an earl grey tea), extremely seriously.

5. Facebook or Twitter? Instagram always.

6. Ice cream or frozen yogurt? I’m actually lactose intolerant! As far as dessert goes I’m a huge baked goods fan. Donuts anyone?

7. iOS or Andriod? I actually just switched from being 100% Mac/iOS since middle school, to an Andriod phone. It’s great I love it.

8. Big party or small gathering? Small gatherings. Introvert status!

9. Coffee or tea? Tea. Earl Grey. Heat the water just under boil. Leave the bag in.  

10. Jogging or hiking?
Jogging.

11. Hamburger or Taco? Hamburger. If you haven’t been to Marble & Rye for their burger, you should clear your schedule and go now. Get the egg on it. You won’t be disappointed. I’ve yet to find one that tops it.

12. Money or free time? Enough money to have some stress free, free time.

13. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? I grew up in Maine and there’s nothing like the salty air by the sea to set things straight.

14. Toilet paper: over or under? Over. This shouldn’t be a debate.

15. Rain or snow? Spring rain. Summer storm. First snow. - Keeping this from Andrea

16. Singing or dancing? I do a lot of singing in my car so.

17. Horror Movie or Comedy? Horror. Specifically the badly filmed/acted horror movie that ends up being hilarious in its own way.

18. City or Countryside? City.

19. Winter or summer? Summer. Please. They tell me it’s coming but the weather lately begs to differ.

20. Beer or wine? I love a dry cider.

21. Ninjas or pirates? Pirates of the Caribbean is a huge guilty pleasure.


Welcome to our monthly interview series, #buffaloiscreative, introducing stellar members of our CMbuf community. Make sure to update your profile for an opportunity to be featured on our blog, newsletter and social media accounts!

This month we’re happy to share an interview with Michael Weidrich, Executive Director at Young Audiences WNY.


What is your special creative force?
I’m very left brain / right brain. I’m very creative yet analytical, so often my brain tackles things in multiple ways and comes up with creative new views. I’m a weird hybrid of artist and business person. 

In the spirit of April 2018’s theme, #CMgame, can you describe how Buffalo inspires your creativity and curiosity?
Buffalo has always had amazing artistic and cultural treasures that helped shape me as a young adult along with my time at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. Those experiences made me the person I am today with a passion for the arts and propelled me forward all these years. Coming back to Buffalo 25 years later, I am rediscovering this area with all its new cultural gems, revisiting all the old ones, and exploring what’s developed here since I left. I am inspired by all the growth the city has been through in recent years and excited to be a part of its next chapter.

What project are you working on right now that we should all know about?
As the new Executive Director of Young Audiences of Western New York, I’ve taken the reins of a 56 year old organization that truly is the leader in arts in education in this area. Right now we’re looking to recruit new teaching artists in all forms & disciplines to expand our roster of programs, and get out into more schools in Western New York. The impact of our programs on your people cannot be understated and every additional program we book, increases that impact exponentially. With funding for the arts being cut in our schools year after year, we have had to become more creative to bring the arts to our youth. 

Where in Buffalo do you go to be most inspired?
Coming to work every day inspires me. Talking with our teaching artists and hearing about their programs inspires me. Going into the schools and community centers and seeing our young people so engaged in the arts inspires me. And just being back in Buffalo, and seeing all the positive growth and change, continues to inspire me. 

Thanks, Michael!

April’s theme is GAMEThroughout human history, games were about winning or losing.Author James P. Carse extends this concept beautifully in Finite and Infinite Games: “A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”Which game are you playing with your art?It’s a question worth asking everyday. Is this decision, this attitude, sending you down a short game or long game? The same energy that we spend chasing rewards and likes can be refocused to loving our craft and shipping our best work.Keep your eyes on the journey, not the prize.This month is presented by our global partner MailChimp. This month’s global exploration of Game was chosen by our Liège chapter and illustrated by Jeffrey Phillips.

Meet Andrea Wenglowskyj, our featured teammate for March 2018! She is one of the organizers of CMbuf and you can read her brief interview below regarding her love for tacos and toilet paper placement.

1. Dog or cat? I don’t have a pet, but I think I’d like a dog I could carry in a shoulder bag.

2. Phone call or text? Either is fine. Just be in touch.

3. Chocolate or vanilla? Swirl.

4. Morning or evening? Morning. Post-coffee morning.

5. Facebook or Twitter? Instagram?

6. Ice cream or frozen yogurt? I say yes please to all frozen treats. Do you have a Yonanas machine, too?

7. iOS or Andriod? iOS

8. Big party or small gathering? All of it! (I stole this one from Emily Louis!

)9. Coffee or tea? COFFEE. Specifically La Colombe out of an Aeropress because I am a total effing snob.

10. Jogging or hiking? Ideally, hiking. Realistically, the elliptical.

11. Hamburger or Taco? Tacos, burrito bowl, La Divina, hard shell, soft shell, crema, cilantro.

12. Money or free time? Passive income.

13. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? Week at the beach. Watermelon. Flag in the sand.

14. Toilet paper: over or under? Over x a million.

15. Rain or snow? Spring rain. Summer storm. First snow.

16. Singing or dancing? These days, I sing all of the Frozen soundtrack with my 3 year old and I am getting pretttttayyy good at it.

17. Horror Movie or Comedy? Comedy! Unless it’s a Get Out kind of horror. That brilliance I can get behind.

18. City or Countryside? City city city.

19. Winter or summer? Summer, please.

20. Beer or wine? Wine and hoppy IPAs.

21. Ninjas or pirates? I admire the athleticism of a ninja, but I do have to admire a pirate’s booty.

Welcome to our second installment of Buffalo Changemaker of the Month of March 2018, celebrating the inspiring organizations working hard to make Buffalo better.

We’re so excited to share the story of Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals (BULYP). They are a unique entity of the Buffalo Urban League designed to serve as an empowerment forum for individuals compromised primarily in the age range of 21 to 40 living in Buffalo. BULYP advocates and supports the mission of the Buffalo Urban League by training the next generation of leaders through volunteer opportunities, political engagement, personal and professional development, and fund development. Hear more from Kendra Brim, BULYP President:

Welcome to our monthly interview series, #buffaloiscreative, introducing stellar members of our CMbuf community. Make sure to update your profile for an opportunity to be featured on our blog, newsletter and social media accounts!

This month we’re happy to share the story of We Stole the Show! You can listen to them here.

Hailing from Buffalo, NY, We Stole The Show is known for flaunting a style that commands attention. Hip hop has seen few groups so unassuming yet enterprising in their delivery of bars that evoke pure, vivid imagery. This duo layers inventive beats with the perfect balance of political realism and comedic observations.

We Stole the Show takes inspiration from across genres, combining wildly different but collaborative sounds, not unlike the duo itself, Phee and Source Academy Kid (S.A.K.). Listen closely and you’ll hear layers of jazz, soul, and psychedelic rock combining to create a sound for every mood. Ranging from traditional hip hop that encourages an introspective vibe to danceable EDM that compels you to move, We Stole the Show is unmatched in their ability to engage an audience, whether listening live or streaming tracks.

We Stole the Show is about being a place for subcultures to meet, engage, and emerge – using music to reinforce awareness of their audience’s existence. Together, Source Academy Kid and Phee create an enlightened experience for their fans, one that encourages evolution and growth of their own humanity. Not afraid to be outspoken, We Stole the Show uses their music to call attention to inescapable realities for people of color in today’s society, and creates a platform for grass roots activism and community involvement.


What is your special creative force?

S.A.K. - The ability to tell stories through sounds, visuals and performance is my special creative force.
Phee - My creative force is comedy and the sarcastic attitude that comes through in my music, and on screen.  My perspective shapes my ideas.

In the spirit of March 2018’s theme, CMcourage, can you share a story about an act of courage (by you or that inspired you) that has influenced your work?

S.A.K - My friends in the United Melanin Society inspire me by the way they face their fears and work through obstacles in their lives, while still creating quality art. The glow up is not always shiny and healing is hard. I appreciate them letting me in on their process.
Phee - Rhys made a film called To Free A Butterfly about a de-arrest he saw in Cleveland that inspired me to come up with the name for our album series, “The Green Book”. The Green Book was a guidebook for Black travelers in the 30’s through the 60’s that helped them avoid racist businesses by listing safe places to eat sleep and relax.

What project are you working on right now that we should all know about?

We’re working on new music and music videos for The Green Book series. We’re also performing in Europe for the first time, during Tallin Music Week in Tallin, Estonia in April. 


Where in Buffalo do you go to be most inspired?

S.A.K - I go into nature when its nice out, and to events by the DOPE Collective, Dreamland, The Slime Shack and others, to trade ideas and stories with artists like Curtis Lovell, Truey V, Ooze Gang, Rodegues, Femme Noire, Drea D'nur, Edryes Wajed and more. The artistic community keeps me inspired.
Phee - I go to DIY events, local house parties and shows.

March’s theme is COURAGEWhen researching or writing about courage, other traits fall into the mix: risk, vulnerability, curiosity, empathy, and action.It seems, then, that courage has nothing to do with your title or level of expertise. It’s not for the few or the gifted. It’s an act of humanity, of choosing to take an action that is risky because it demands vulnerability and curiosity.Courage has no specific form and knows no bounds. From starting a side project to the act of listening when you would rather interject, every day we are wrapped in opportunities to exercise courage.We need your courage. It’s going to be risky and will require vulnerability. A posture of empathy and curiosity will empower you. And above all, you must take action.This month is presented by our global partner WordPress.comThis month’s global exploration of Courage was chosen by our Oakland chapter and illustrated by Annie Wong.

Meet Emily Louis, the CMbuf featured teammate for February! Emily answered some very important questions for us, so next time you see her at an event, you’ll know her status on burgers. Thanks for all you do, Emily, to make our events run so smoothly. 

1. Dog or cat? Dog (Don’t tell my cat. I also don’t have a dog.)

2. Phone call or text? Phone call- I get distracted easily by shiny things so texts often float float float away to never be responded to.

3. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla 

4. Morning or evening? Morning. Recently discovered thanks to my 2-year-old human alarm clock. 

5. Facebook or Twitter? Snapchat… although maybe not anymore 😫

6. Ice cream or frozen yogurt? Ice cream #OG

7. iOS or Andriod? iOS

8. Big party or small gathering? All of it!

9. Coffee or tea? COFFEE 😍 

10. Jogging or hiking? Jogging

11. Hamburger or Taco? I could eat a burger at every meal, legit

12. Money or free time? I’d prefer just feeling like I don’t need either because I’m living my best life 🙌🏼

13. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? Amusement park, I can’t sit still for too long

14. Toilet paper: over or under? This 100% should not be a debate- it’s OVER people

15. Rain or snow? Rain. I love a rainy day, it’s so romantic. 

16. Singing or dancing? Singing. I am Beyonce.

17. Horror Movie or Comedy? Comedy. I can barely get through the Lion King.

18. City or Countryside? City 💯

19. Winter or summer? Fall

20. Beer or wine? I love wine as much as I love burgers.

21. Ninjas or pirates? Pirates because they don’t try to hide who they are, they’re just their authentic, unshowered selves and are like “what are you gonna do about it”.

Welcome to our first installment of Buffalo Changemaker of the Month, celebrating the inspiring organizations working hard to make Buffalo better.

We’re so excited to share the story of Buffalo String Works (BSW). They provide high-quality music instruction on stringed instruments to children of low-income, refugee and immigrant parents in Buffalo’s West Side. Hear more from Yuki Numata-Resnick, BSW’s co-founder and artistic director:

Welcome to our monthly interview series, #buffaloiscreative, introducing stellar members of our CMbuf community. Make sure to update your profile for an opportunity to be featured on our blog, newsletter and social media accounts!

Meet Melissa Swiatek-Odien, Owner of DIY Buffalo!

What is your special creative force?
Nature.  It comforts me when I’m sad, calms me when I’m anxious and inspires me to enjoy life and create art.
In the spirit of February 2018’s theme, #CMcuriosity, can you describe how Buffalo inspires your creativity and curiosity?
Buffalo has so many pockets of specialized communities; if you ever want to learn about something new or meet new people, there are community events big and small happening every night of the week.  Whether it’s theater, music, technology, meditation, community service, whatever; there are tons of opportunities to explore your interests and curiosities with other people.  I love reading the listings of upcoming community events or meetings in the local papers.  Even if I don’t plan to attend, I like learning about what is going on outside of my own sphere, what other people are interested in and how they spend their time; it’s kind of like an analog version of Instagram. The diversity of talents and interests in this city is really inspiring.
What project are you working on right now that we should all know about?
I’m once again combining my passions for art and gardening by creating an inventory of garden accessories that are made from recycled materials and will be available at local garden centers in the spring.  My style is playful but the pieces are functional items like planter boxes, trellises, and bee houses.  
Where in Buffalo do you go to be most inspired?
The Botanical Gardens at South Park.  Its a place where I can momentarily pause all of my other thoughts and responsibilities. I can sit and quietly reflect, sketch, enjoy nature and even workout if I want to.  I feel so refreshed after spending time there.

Thanks, Melissa!

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