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The Weekend in WNY: Canoodle with creatives

Buffalo is awash in creative types, nestled in neighborhoods such as Allentown and Elmwood, but stretching all over Western New York.

The Niagara Arts and Cultural Center – inside the former Niagara Falls High School – is a gem to the north, while the WNY Book Arts Center, proudly occupying the corner of Washington and East Mohawk, stands out as another downtown.

The two venues are different – the former is a hub for more than 70 artists that's trying something a little outside the box this weekend, while the latter is a specialty printmaking shop with an annual spirited affair on tap – but they overlap in their general purpose: to provide platforms for artistic expression.

Art of Fashion, 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (1201 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls). Tickets are $30 general, with discounts for students.

The Buffalo area is remarkably low on fashion events, which might not be shocking given the cargo shorts debacle of 2016. But there are enough clothing designers and creators that make events like Saturday's Art of Fashion – based on wearable art – possible, even popular.

Avant-garde fashion shows can be delightfully bizarre, and the "Out of This World" theme pegged for the NACC's event fits the bill. What kind of "celestial creations" will be displayed?

[Photos: Smiles at the NACC's Art of Beer in 2019]


Liquor & Letterpress, 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at WNY Book Arts Center (468 Washington St.). Cost is $35 in advance, $60 for a pair (full details here); price rises to $45 at the door.

Experience the magic of letterpress printing – and take home your masterpieces – at the Book Arts Center during a cozy evening that features local spirits, cocktails, food from Fat Bob's, beer from Community Beer Works, demos galore and the unheralded stars – those big, frosty windows that look out onto East Mohawk Street and Washington.


Buffalo Arts Studio exhibition and sale, 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 in the Tri-Main Building (2495 Main St., Suite 500). No cost to attend.

The 32 artists who work out of Buffalo Arts Studio in the Tri-Main Center will showcase more than 100 total works, beginning with a reception/open house Saturday night, then extending through Dec. 21.

The artist lineup is laid out on the Facebook event page, and donation-based beer and wine will be available. Ashker's will be on hand with snacks, too, for those watching their figures.


New York Beer Project's fourth anniversary, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15; 11 a.m. until late Saturday, Nov. 16; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17 at 6933 S. Transit Road, Lockport. Free to attend, mostly, aside from Friday night's Dueling Pianos ($10 in advance).

A whirlwind of activity is planned to celebrate NYBP's fourth birthday: Dueling Pianos returns to the brewery Friday for an engaging second-floor performance, while a cacophony of beer releases and celebrations (plus stout-infused birthday cupcakes) will conclude with music by Kevin McCarthy on Saturday.

Brunch with complimentary champagne and then the Bills game in the second-floor Gameday Lounge – which features a Squish the Fish specialty cocktail served with a glow cube – round out the weekend for the brewery that's expanded into Victor.

[Photos: Smiles at a previous Dueling Pianos visit]


Santa arrives at the Boulevard Mall, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Boulevard Mall (730 Alberta Drive, Amherst). Free to attend.

I can picture Santa and his elves working frantically in the North Pole, only for the big guy to remember he has an obligation in Amherst, NY (he's wound up in Massachusetts before and was not thrilled). Thankfully, the sleigh is well-oiled and still magical, which allows him to bypass all the traffic on Niagara Falls Boulevard.

Weird polar fantasies aside, this family-friendly event presents a Christmas tree lighting, pictures with Santa, a parade, balloon animals, face painting and more. There's no requirement to have passed Thanksgiving in order to dive into Christmas headfirst.


Everything NT, 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 at the Wurlitzer Events Center (908 Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda). Tickets are $40 in advance.

It's not an easy feat to fit everything from North Tonawanda into three hours, but someone – in this case Everything NT, Sweet Buffalo and Wurlitzer Events – has gotta try. An open bar for the duration is a fine start, with a pasta dinner, cheese-and-fruit display, coffee and dessert all included in the price.

A range of vendors – for the most part from NT – will set up, while proceeds will benefit the Niagara SPCA, which will have some of its shelter dogs on the premises.


AVA Collective & Resurgence holiday pop-up market, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at the new Resurgence Brewing Co. (55 Chicago St.). No cost to attend.

Relative newcomers to the Buffalo design world, AVA Collective has pieced together a marketplace for the new Resurgence's second floor (Tip: Look out the upstairs windows, then the balcony that overlooks brewing operations).

It's a strong lineup of vendors, ranging from soap to vintage clothing to dog treats to chocolates and more. Jimmy Macholl, Bryan Johnson and Passed Out will handle music throughout the day for what should be a lively scene.


Lemon Twist Gala 2 for Make Lemon Aide, 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at Asbury Hall in Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.). General admission is $100.

Cerebral palsy is the most common disability afflicting children's motor skills, but it hasn't deterred Lauren Walier – the founder of the Make Lemon Aide Foundation – who, despite a CP diagnosis at age 1, is now a professional ballroom dancer. Walier will perform at Saturday's fundraiser at Asbury Hall, which also features cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, music and auctions.


Depeche Mode vs. New Order dance party, 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.). Cover is $5 at the door.

This is a subtle departure from the uber-popular The Cure vs. The Smiths dance party that Transmission also throws, but both fans of Depeche Mode and New Order should be satiated on Saturday. (People are so into it that they're already assembling Spotify playlists of requests, while organizers have shared this trance-inducing graphic).


Sip & Shop by Rediscovering Lancaster, 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 on Central Avenue and West Main Street in Lancaster. Free to stroll about.

Lancaster's brick-and-mortar shops near Central and West Main will have their doors open late Friday, appealing with food-and-drink samplings at each of the 16 participants. Lancaster Coffee & Co., Dark Forest Chocolate, Broadway Deli, Skoobs Village Grille and a slew of others will each have their own reasons to explore.


Sold out: Final two nights of moe. at Town Ballroom; Goose at Nietzsche's, Nov. 16.


5 quick hitters to consider for this weekend

99 Brick Oven Bistro's sixth anniversary weekend
Shop 'Til You Drop Vendor & Craft Fair at Polish Falcons, Depew
Bkind & Dance at Lockhouse Distillery
The Draft Room's first birthday in Labatt House
Start Making Sense at Iron Works


5 events to look forward to next week

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at Town Ballroom
O.A.R. at Rapids Theatre
Shea's Shopping Soiree
Colter Bay's third anniversary
Champions for Justice at Hotel @ the Lafayette


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