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Buffalo has long been a city of immigrants. The vast diversity of our neighborhoods brings to mind the fact that being an immigrant must be quite frightening. And how much harder and scarier must it be to be a refugee fleeing a war-torn country for safety. Imagine what it must feel like to live in such fear. Stitch Buffalo is a not-for-profit organization whose mission …

WHAT IS NYSSSA? NYSSSA is a summer arts residential intensive program for students interested in ballet, choral studies, modern dance, visual arts, media arts, orchestral studies or theater. The curriculum includes individual and group instruction by college professors and/or working performers and artists. Students spend six to eight hours a day, six days a week, working …

The alarm rings at 6 a.m. and it makes me jump up. My emotions are all over the place. As I get ready, I think about the day ahead, and how for the next four weeks I will get to dance for six hours a day. Dance has been a part of my life since I was in the womb. This year I had the opportunity to attend the New York State Summer School for the Arts Modern Dance program fo…

This year, the New Year's Eve ball drop won’t be the only spectacle to take on Dec. 31 in downtown Buffalo. For the first time since 2010, and the second time ever, the Queen City will be at the center of the hockey world, as it hosts the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. Ten nations will arrive in Western New York for the tournament, which begins on Tuesday and conti…

At this point, you’ve probably hear Mariah Carey’s "All I Want for Christmas is You" enough times to last through next Christmas. It’s one of the most popular holiday songs of all time, and this isn’t by chance. What is it that makes this song, along with all the other greats, so full of holiday spirit? Simple psychology The smell of pine, the taste of peppermint, the l…

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Nathan White sits back in his chair, head down, grinning at his creation. The result of months worth of button pushing and mix checking had come to this: "Mirage." The 14-year-old music producer from Amherst says it’s been exactly a day and a year since its official release. In that time, White has been able to build a name for himself in the crowded, ultra-competitive wo…

In 2017, it is virtually impossible to avoid offending one of the 323 million people residing in the United States. Christmas is about as traditional as it gets. With the holiday season upon us, the common debate over the use of "Merry Christmas" is one example of how a simple phrase is picked apart and pinned as offensive. Those who oppose the use of "Merry Christmas" d…

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The day was April 20, 1999. The location: Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire inside the building, killing 15 people, including themselves. While this event wasn’t technically the first "school shooting," it is one of the most famous in United States history. Since then, other school shootings include Sandy Hook Ele…

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Let me get one thing straight: I love Buffalo. Absolutely love it. I grew up here, hope to build my dream home here, and quite possibly, will probably die in the frozen tundra that is (not) Buffalo. But let me get something else straight: Buffalo is shortening my life. And it’s not because I’m throwing out my back shoveling feet of snow (I actually enjoy that activity) o…

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For a half hour every school day, Mehri Fakharzadeh’s mother watches her phone. She is hoping it doesn’t ring or buzz with a text. She is hoping that Mehri is OK. That’s because Mehri, who is a sophomore at Mount St. Mary Academy, has several food allergies. Along with trying to stay healthy by avoiding contact with the foods that can make her ill, Mehri is also trying to…

I’ve always considered the "Thor" movies to be the weaker entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and despite the sheer quality of most other films in the franchise, 2013’s "Thor: the Dark World" although not terrible, might’ve been the worst of them. So naturally, I was a little skeptical that Thor’s third solo outing would still come up short. As presumptuous as that w…

The D.C. cinematic universe films (aside from "Wonder Woman") hold up for a very short time. They appear good – or at least entertaining – at first, but when they’re actually thought about in any real capacity, they tend to wither under the lights. "Batman v. Superman" is overstuffed, confused and tries to rely on fans’ knowledge of the characters and plot points instead …

Every Buffalonian knows the saying. Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills. A strong performance from the Buffalo defense, who had been thrashed for an average of 45 points per game in their previous three match-ups, helped secure a 16-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs this past Sunday. After three straight embarrassing losses at the hands of the New York …

When you see Jesse Williams on screen as Dr. Jackson Avery in "Grey’s Anatomy," what you notice first are his striking good looks. Then you notice the undoubtable charisma that jumps through the screen. Some might know him only from "Grey’s Anatomy," but the reason Jesse Williams was the student-choice for University at Buffalo’s Distinguished Speakers Series is his civil…

The holidays are not about the gifts we receive. They are about recognizing the blessings we have and helping others who are not as fortunate. Most of us know the larger, more common organizations around Western New York that raise money for charities around the holidays. Tops Friendly Markets has their "Little Brown Bag of Hope," where people can donate $5 to $20 in food …