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Squeaky Wheel celebrates 30 years in Buffalo

Everyone should have access to media and the tools required to create and share it.

That remains the simple if not so simply accomplished goal of Squeaky Wheel, the community-based, artistically adventurous arts organization that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Community access and education has always been the driving force at Squeaky Wheel, which recently relocated to new digs on the ground floor of the Market Arcade Building on Main Street. But it also has been an incubator for experimental art, launching and fostering the careers of countless video and media artists eager to extend Buffalo’s legacy as an avant-garde mecca well into the 21st century.

This weekend, the organization will celebrate its 30th birthday with a series of events, starting with a cocktail party from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday in its new headquarters at 617 Main St. On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the celebration moves to the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave.) for a conference on media art that will wrap up on Sunday with panel discussions featuring Squeaky Wheel staffers past and present and musical performances.

It’s all in the service of Squeaky Wheel’s mission as a pioneering local arts organization: To foster “a community that uses film and digital media to celebrate freedom of expression and diversity of voice.”

More info is at squeaky.org or 884-7172.

– Colin Dabkowski