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The BAVPA Beacon is sad to report the passing of BAVPA friend and AACC Cultural Center’s ( https://www.aaccbuffalo.org/ ) Executive Director, AGNES BAIN. The BAVPA alumni, staff, faculty and friends offer our condolences to the BAIN family, they are in our thoughts and prayers.

TheChallengerNews.com article, The Passing of The African American Cultural Center’s Amazing Agnes Bain: https://thechallengernews.com/2020/02/the-passing-of-the-african-american-cultural-centers-amazing-agnes-bain/.


Educator, Saxophonist and Composer JAMES BRANDON LEWIS (2001) performs at The Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, FL April 6. http://www.jblewis.com/.

Brandon to perform at Sounds of Justice: Sun Ra Arkestra & William Parker’s Curtis Mayfield Project ( http://thetownhall.org/event/sounds- of-justice-sun-ra-arkestra ) in NYC March 4 at 7PM. For tickets, go to link.

Lewis’ CD, An Unruly Manifesto ( https://jamesbrandonlewis.bandcamp.com/releases ), is available for purchase.

VICTORIA PEREZ (1997) is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Raices Theatre Company (www.raicestheatrecompany.com), SMIRNA MERCEDES-PEREZ (1992) and LISETTE DEJESUS are RTC members; the theatre ensemble is celebrating its sixth anniversary.

Victoria with Cookin’ at the Cookery’s performers Zoë Scruggs and Ember Tate.

VICTORIA PEREZ (1997) directed MusicalFare Theatre's ( https://musicalfare.com/ ) production, Cooking at the Cookery on stage through March 8. The musical is based on the career of jazz and blues singer Alberta Hunter; for tickets and show times, go to link.

BuffaloNews.com/Cookin’ at the Cookery review:https://buffalonews.com/2020/02/06/musicalfare-breaks-out-the-blues-with-buoyant-cookin- at-the-cookery/.

TheatreTalkBuffalo.com article, The "Cookin' at the Cookery" Quiz:https://www.theatertalkbuffalo.com/post/the-cookin-at-the-cookery- quiz?fbclid=IwAR3K3Xkc9Ntz64Xp-7wD2D21-uAqM2aAENCFONjIyZdWbzR2Ybu8XBZuNDw.

BuffaloNews.com article, Bringing Alberta Hunter to life with “COOKIN' AT THE COOKERY”:https://buffalonews.com/sponsored/bringing- alberta-hunter-to-life-with-cookin-at-the-cookery/.

CenterTheatreGroup.com/Blues music related article, 10 BLUESWOMEN WHO CHANGED MUSIC FOREVER: https://www.centertheatregroup.org/news-and-blogs/news/2016/september/10-blueswomen-who-changed-music- forever/?fbclid=IwAR2MX2ho3TmLuuLU8DsffTgLQtmR_aSV4g9zLjI-sju6zzU5UBjUbNK__WM.

Smirna performs in the O'Connell & Company’s ( www.oconnellandcompany.com ) comedy, Glorious through March 1. For tickets and show times, go to link.

BuffaloNews.com review, Funny and sweet, O'Connell & Company's 'Glorious!' charts the desire for fame: https://buffalonews.com/2020/02/07/funny-and-sweet-oconnell-companys-glorious-charts-the-desire-for-fame/.

SCOTT “GUS” POITRAS (1992) is the advanced carpenter in the San Francisco, CA staging of J.K. Rowling’s stage play, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Curran Theatre in San Francisco, CA:https://www.harrypottertheplay.com/san-francisco/.

RD.com article, 18 Secret Spots in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: https://www.rd.com/advice/travel/wizarding-world-of-harry-potter- secret-spots/.

Broadway.com article, Paul Thornley Will Return to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as Ron Weasley; More New Casting Announced: https://www.broadway.com/buzz/198305/paul-thornley-will-return-to-harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-as-ron-weasley-more-new-casting- announced/?fbclid=IwAR1WM49779l_6X9XqqBZTLdUPnskmV3VJ9pfA5JSp24SrxRib3x7lXNI07g.

BroadwayWorld.com article, VIDEO: See The Transformation Of HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD's West End Draco, James Howard: https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/VIDEO-See-The-Transformation-Of-HARRY-POTTER-AND-THE-CURSED-CHILDs-West-End- Draco-James-Howard-20200211.

Kearth101.Radio.com/Harry Potter review, Lara Scott Reviews 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' Play in San Francisco: https://kearth101.radio.com/blogs/lara-scott/harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-review.

Playbill.com article, Japanese-Language Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Sets 2022 Premiere in Tokyo: http://www.playbill.com/article/japanese-language-harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-sets-2022-premiere-in-tokyo.

Poitras was production carpenter in the Broadway musical comedy The Prom ( https://theprommusical.com/ ) closed August 18.

Playbill.com article, Watch Broadway Inspirational Voices Sing Their Gospel Version of ‘The Lady’s Improving’ From The Prom: http://www.playbill.com/article/watch-broadway-inspirational-voices-sing-their-gospel-version-of-the-ladys-improving-from-the-prom.

DailyMail.co.UK article, Kerry Washington looks serious as she gives a press conference while shooting Netflix's The Prom: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-8008195/Kerry-Washington-looks-gives-press-conference-shooting-Netflixs-Prom.html.

DailyMail.co.UK article, Nicole Kidman is a feast for the eyes in a bubble gum pink coat and blue mini while filming Ryan Murphy's Broadway adaptation of The Prom:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-8014029/Nicole-Kidman-rocks-bubblegum-pink-coat-blue-mini-filming- Ryan-Murphys-Prom.html.

Broadway.com article, Meryl & Me: Beth Leavel on Swapping Roles with Streep in The Prom & Devil Wears Prada: https://www.broadway.com/buzz/198222/meryl-me-beth-leavel-on-swapping-roles-with-streep-in-the-prom-devil- wears-prada/. Enter for a chance to win Broadway.com’s Biggest Fan Contest ( https://www.broadway.com/biggestfan/ ) and win a trip to the Audience Choice Award. Contest entry deadline, March 23.

NewYorkUpstate.com/ JULIAN MONTAGUE (1991) related article, 10 things you need to know about the Buffalo arts scene: https://www.newyorkupstate.com/buffalo/2020/02/10-things-you -need- to-know-about-the-buffalo-arts-scene.html.

Erie County Comptroller STEFAN MYCHAJLIW (1991) is running for NYS-District 27 Congressional seat vacated by Chris Collins January 22; the special election announced by NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo is slated for April 28.

TheLCN.com news article, Conservatives eschew endorsement in anticipated special election: https://thelcn.com/lcn01/conservatives- eschew-endorsement-in-anticipated-special-election-20200128.

NiagaraGazette.com article, GOP officials endorse Mychajliw for Congress:https://www.niagara-gazette.com/news/local_news/gop-officials- endorse-mychajliw-for-congress/article_aa70b9d3-4538-51c1-aab8-5b11a4690b4d.html.

Author/Dancer/African Drum Instructor and Educator KRISTIN CRAGE’s (1988) publication, Woman to Woman-The Conversation, Part I is available for purchase: https://www.amazon.com/ Woman-Conversation-Part-I/dp/0692164618.

Woman to Woman-The Conversation, Part I Book Overview

This series is about the conversations we never had, need to have, and still can have. It’s about growing from girl to woman - living, loving and learning while finding self-worth and dignity in the face of serious setbacks and major challenges. This is the journey of releasing pain and anger, no judgment and no-holds-barred and finding the way to love. The Woman to Woman series is for every woman.

WGRZ-TV Channel 2’s CLAUDINE EWING (1988) and GABRIEL ROBERE’ (2005) appeared in the 2018 action/sci-fi horror film, The First Purge, ( https://www.uphe.com/movies/the-first-purge ) starring Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Oscar winner Marisa Tomei and Patch Dorragh.

ScreenRant.com article, The Purge Theory: Purge Night Will Expand Internationally:https://screenrant.com/purge-season-3-theory- international-expansion-purge-night-reason/.

Movies.Mxdwn.com article, ‘Purge 5’ Casts ‘True Detective’ Actress Leven Rambin:https://movies.mxdwn.com/news/purge-5-casts-true- detective-actress-leven-rambin/.

Composer, Musician, Educator and Mostly Modern Music member ROBERT PATERSON (1988), are accepting applications for the Mostly Modern Festival June 7-27: https://robertpaterson.com/.

The MMF’s application deadline ( https://mostlymodernfestival.org ) for instrumentalists, vocalists and conductors is March 1.

Robert Paterson: The Four Seasons at concert ( hosted by AME), April 7 at 8PM. For tickets, go to https://www.americanmodernrecordings.com/robert-paterson-and-american-modern-ensemble-the-four-seasons.

LISA VITRANO (1988) to direct Road Less Traveled Productions (https://www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org/ ) 10-Minute play, Across the Galaxies (or Last Year's Wookie), Vitrano’s play along with several or shorts to be staged May 4 at 7:30PM.

Singer, Multi-instrumentalist, Poet, Songwriter, Activist and Businesswoman ANI DIFRANCO (1987), performs at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe in in Stateline, NV February 21 at 7:30PM. For late February concert dates, go to https://www.righteousbabe.com/.

DifFranco portrayed the character of Persephone on the Anaïs Mitchell’s concept album ( available now on Righteous Babe’s record label:https://www.righteousbabe.com/.

The Broadway musical Hadestown ( https://www.hadestown.com/ ) is onstage at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Hadestown is the first Broadway musical to feature a book, music, and lyrics by a sole female writer since Elizabeth Swados’ 1978 .

Broadway.com article, Tony-Winning Hadestown Helmer Rachel Chavkin Sets Feature Film Directing Debut with Thriller Shrew's Nest: https://www.broadway.com/buzz/198392/tony-winning-hadestown-helmer-rachel-chavkin-sets-feature-film-directing-debut-with-thriller- shrews-nest/?fbclid=IwAR2p22BSz9uU5nMF63vOyUg4FojLtr50KEHpVg_0tnqj-5ykULhvrdroLNI.

BroadwayWorld.com article, HADESTOWN Announces Initial 2021 Tour Dates:https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/HADESTOWN- Announces-Initial-2021-Tour-Dates-20200203.

Broadway.com/Hadestown related article, Raise Your Cup: See The Cast of Hadestown Celebrate Their Grammy Win: https://www.broadway.com/buzz/198268/raise-your-cup-see-the-cast-of-hadestown-celebrate-their- grammy-win/?fbclid=IwAR0nkAJzNEIjxePO7Rn0Izk5ZNU1FjP1kiZxzXZ-qUyaAATVglw2qXb_dhY.

Hadestown won Best Theatre Album at the Grammy Awards ceremony held January 26. BroadwayWorld.com article: https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/HADESTOWN-Wins-the-Grammy-for-Best-Musical-Theater-Album- 20200126?fbclid=IwAR27fg_fh2XqYYuhIir7ZUUCeW2rx70RY8dDKHQ7hK__5nrRROPHqKvF-1A.

BestofNJ.com interview, Broadway Actor Reeve Carney Talks Hadestown: https://bestofnj.com/features/entertainment/broadway-actor-reeve- carney-talks-hadestown/.

Blog.Patron.com article, Ani DiFranco On Why She Never Signed With a Major Label:https://blog.patreon.com/ani- difranco?fbclid=IwAR1rwTOU1sTZS7qHuWcXcjxeYpgxqfjnkWhO5ghIR8B_KsD_Ur5S3LwTrJY .

DfiFranco along with America’s best bakers, activists, and outspoken women are featured in the new cookbook, Rage Baking:The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury, and Women's Voices written by Katherine Alford and Kathy Gunst;https://www.simonandschuster.com.

DiFranco’s memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream and audio recording are available for purchase: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/558143/no-walls-and-the-recurring-dream-by-ani-difranco/9780735225176/.

JESSE L. MARTIN (1987) portrays Central City Police Department’s Captain Joe West on the CW-TV ( http://www.cwtv.com/) superhero series, The Flash.


Upcoming Flash episodes, Death of the Speed Force (March 3), The Exorcism of Nash Wells ( March 10) and So Long and Goodnight March 20. SpoilerTV.com article, The Flash - Episode 6.14 - 6.16 - Titles Revealed:https://www.spoilertv.com/2020/01/the-flash-episode-614-616- titles.html.

GateWorld.net article, Amanda Tapping Is Directing On The Flash:https://www.gateworld.net/news/2020/02/amanda-tapping-directing-flash- cw/.

CBR.com article, Grodd Returns to The Flash, But He May No Longer Be a [SPOILER]https://www.cbr.com/flash-gorilla-grodd-no-longer- villain/.

CareerMatt.com article, The Flash season 6 spoilers: When is Gorilla Grodd returning ( https://cartermatt.com/387484/the-flash-season-6- spoilers-when-is-gorilla-grodd-returning/ ), Grodd Friended Me episode airs February 25.

ComicBook.com article, The Flash and Elongated Man Finally Meet "A Girl Named Sue" (https://comicbook.com/dc/2020/01/31/sue-dibny-the- flash-girl-named-sue-natalie-dreyfuss/.

A Girl Named Sue episode photos ( https://www.cinemablend.com/television/2489979/the-flash-reveals-first-look-at-ralphs-comic -lover-sue-dibny ), the episode airs February 18.

TVGuide.com article, The Flash Finally Let Iris West Be Black, and Now the Show Is the Best It's Ever Been: https://www.tvguide.com/news/cw-the-flash-candice-patton-iris-west/.

ScreenRant.com/The Flash related article, 10 Best Musical Episodes Of Non-Musical TV Shows:https://screenrant.com/best-musical- episodes-of-tv-shows-scrubs-psych-buffy/.

Variety.com article, ‘Law & Order’ Finally Set for Streaming Debut on NBC Universal’s Peacock ( https://www.peacocktv.com/ ) later this year:https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/law-and-order-how-to-stream-peacock-1203469642/.

Ultimate-Guitar.com article, The Story Behind Mysterious 'Law & Order' DUN DUN Sound:https://www.ultimate- guitar.com/articles/features/the_story_behind_mysterious_law__order_dun_dun_sound-102335.

Rent’s Jonathan Larson/Tick Tick...Boom! film production news:https://www.broadway.com/buzz/198253/joshua-henry-judith-light-bradley- whitford-join-cast-of-tick-tickboom-film/?fbclid=IwAR33G_Ccj5jz_sFw2uPF0lKMobjtyS9LSW-cTOH65q2yjo7JKwsZkYnLDyU.

Deadline.com article, ‘Chandelier’ Choreographer Ryan Heffington Joins Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘tick, tick…BOOM!’ For Netflix: https://deadline.com/2020/01/chandelier-choreographer-ryan-heffington-joins-lin-manuel-mirandas-tick-tick-boom-for-netflix- 1202841163/#comments.


Erie County Legislator and BAVPA alumna APRIL BASKIN hosted the 2nd Annual Black History Bee at East Community High School in Buffalo February 8.

BAVPA, along with several Buffalo high schools competed in the Senior Division, (9-12) grade and the elementary school Junior Division ( 5-8 grade) history bee competition.

ChallengerNews.com article, Erie County Legislator April N. M. Baskin To Host 2nd Annual Black History Bee: https://thechallengernews.com/2020/02/erie-county-legislator-april-n-m-baskin-to-host-2nd-annual-black-history-bee/.

Author A.A. LEWIS wrote the Buffalo-Based 90’s urban novels,The 716 Back to Business, The 716 Love & Consequences and The 716 Ladies First are available for purchase: https://dspublishing.net/.

KEN C. SAYRES is the author of the marriage publication, Love is Not Enough But with God: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-is-not-enough-6.

Pure Ink Poetry Founder ( http://www.pureinkpoetry.com/home-1.html )Slam Poet BRANDON WILLIAMSON hosts The Write Thing reading series ( https://www.medaille.edu/write-thing-reading-series-2019-20-brandon- ) at Medaille College’s Main Building, 4th Floor March 26 at 7PM, free admission and open to the public.

PHIL DAVIS is the CEO of Alemaedae Theatre Productions. Davis’ company will be holding auditions for The Call comedy stage play at The Oakk Room,1435 Main Street, Buffalo February 23 from 6PM-8PM. For more information: https://www.atpgalaxy.com.

Blues Musician LUCKY PETERSON attended BAVPA 1978-1979. Peterson will be in concert at Chabada in Angers, FR April 1 at 8:30 PM: https://luckypeterson.com.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the American Theatre Wing are pleased to announce that the 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is open to receive applications from any high school student with a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production. Musical theater encompasses a wide range of musical styles including hip-hop, rock, R&B, country, jazz, and more. This year marks the third national competition.

The 2020 application portal ( https://songwritingchallenge.secure-platform.com) is open until March 6 at 12PM midnight ET.

AmericanTheatre.com article about the songwriting contest:https://www.americantheatre.org/2020/01/24/the-neas-gen-z-musicals- program/?fbclid=IwAR37QKuotmI6FhCTVlUMqG_Vkrs7cc3_LEieU2nnR5N-hYTDtL2MBw4dS1g.

Fire Award Speculative Fiction Novel Competition ( http://fire.mountainbrookink.com/contest/ ) are accepting submissions open through March 31 with $25.00 entrance fee. For more details, go to link.

Time.com article, 6 Films to Watch for Black History Month, Recommended by an Expert:https://time.com/5774140/black-history-month- movies/.

TheMarySue.com article, 10 classic and contemporary novels to read for Black History Month:https://www.themarysue.com/10-black-classic- and-contemporary-novels-for-black-history-month/?fbclid=IwAR1OoYVo8zlbozSlqCCFt5HVfUmvJXswGLCOqQpmZx6HNfEX0PnIWp1i1pc.


KELLY BEUTH is a BAVPA Theatre teacher and Subversive Theatre Collective’s (www.subversivetheatre.org ) co-artistic director. STC presents. Beuth’s also a member of the Brazened Faced Varlets Theatre Company:http://www.varlets.org/.

Subversive presents Two Afternoons at Kelly's ( MARGO DAVIS appears in the production ), May 16-June 5 and Mercury Fur January 17- February 8. For tickets and show time, go to link.

Actor, Director and Acting Instructor JOSIE DIVINCENZO ( http://www.josiedivincenzo.com/ ) conducts Film and TV acting classes. For more information, see poster or go to link.

SAUL ELKIN is founder of the Jewish Repertory Theatre of WNY (http://jewishrepertorytheatre.com/) and Shakespeare in Delaware Park: http://shakespeareindelawarepark.org/. SDP presents June 17-July 12 and A Midsummer Night’s Dream July 23-August 26, free admission.

JRT presents What I Thought I Knew featuring JOSIE DIVINCENZO through March 1. StepOutBuffalo.com articles about the OMG ( https://stepoutbuffalo.com/events/oh-my-god/ ) and What I Thought productions:https://stepoutbuffalo.com/events/what-i-thought-i-knew/.

The 2020 JOANN FALLETTA International Guitar Concerto Competition to be held June 3-6; to enter and for more information, go to http://bpo.org/guitar-competition/.

Application deadline for the guitar competition must be completed and received digitally to the competition coordinator April 1, 2020 at 5PM. Falletta orchestrated the 2005 Virginia Arts Festival (https://www.vafest.org/ ) Midsummer Night’s Dream in conjunction with Ohio State University and the BPO; RON MANGUM (1988), portrayed one of the Rude Mechanicals in the production; directed by Lesley Ferris.

STEPHEN MCKINLEY HENDERSON portrays Stewart in the upcoming FX ( https://www.fxnetworks.com/ ) science fiction limited series, Devs; the series premieres on FX/ March 5.

Thrillist.com article, Everything We Know About 's 'Devs' https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/devs-fx-release-date- cast-news.

TopBuzzTimes.com article, To All Those Sci-Fi Fans Out There, Get Ready As Netflix Is About To Launch Another Terrifying Yet Enchanting Mini-Series “Devs” https://topbuzztimes.com/2020/01/22/to-all-those-sci-fi-fans-out-there-get-ready-as-netflix-is-about-to-launch-another- horrifying-yet-enchanting-mini-series-devs/.

IndieWire.com article, ‘Mrs. America’ and ‘Devs’ Will Compete as FX Shows at Emmys, Despite Airing on Hulu” https://www.indiewire.com/2020/01/mrs-america-devs-fx-emmy-hulu-1202205187/.

LORNA C. HILL's Ujima Theatre (https://www.ujimacoinc.org/ ) presents The Gospel at Colonus, April 17-May 10, 2020; BAVPA Music Teacher KAREN SAXON, Music Director.

A special performance of Gospel will take place at Albright-Knox Northland ( https://www.albrightknox.org/events/ujima-company-presents- gospel-colonus-4320 ) April 3 at 6PM. Free admission.

SANDRA LEE FOLEY-HITCHCOCK is the creator of The BAVPA Beacon’s newsletter header, BAVPA Class of 2016 logo who also designs graphics and websites. Hitchcock designed the BAVPA 41 Years strong logo honoring the past and present school colors; for more information about Hitchcock’s work, go to www.warandra- productions.com/Website_ Hosting_and_Design.html.

Dance Choreographer and Educator PEGGY SCHWARTZ and her husband MURRAY collaborated on a documentary film, Pearl Primus, Omowale, Child Returned Home at the 92nd Street “Y” in NYC ( https://www.92y.org/event/child-returned-home ) March 8 at 7PM. The 92nd Street Y was the site that Peggy and Murray held their book launch, The Dance Claimed Me: A Biography of Pearl Primus (Yale Univ Press) in 2011. Primus was an artist in residence at BAVPA in the late 70s/early 80s.


Congratulations to BAVPA student MYLES W. SOULES winning first place at the 2020 August Wilson Monologue Competition ( https://www.aaccbuffalo.org/awmc ) held at Buffalo State College February 8 at Buffalo State College; Floyd Slaughter placed second and Laree Livingston placed third.

Soules and Slaughter will compete in the August Wilson Monologue national finals ( https://www.centertheatregroup.org/programs/students- and-educators/august-wilson-monologue-competition/ ) in NYC May 4.

KAMERON WOOD (2011) was a production assistant for the BET-TV comedy series Twenties ( https://www.bet.com/shows/twenties.html), series premieres March 4.

Fox5DC.com interview, The stars of "Twenties" dish on BET's new series:https://www.fox5dc.com/video/654856.

TVInsider.com article, Lena Waithe & Susan Fales-Hill Take Viewers Inside BET's 'Twenties' (VIDEO) https://www.tvinsider.com/909353/lena- waithe-twenties-bet-preview/.

Congratulations go out to BAVPA alumni JONATHAN "DEAS on Keys" (2002) winner of three Grammy Awards; Deas plays keyboard for the Gary Clark Band:https://www.garyclarkjr.com/bio/jondeas.

LoudWire.com article, Gary Clark Jr. Beats Tool for 2020 Best Rock Song Grammy: https://loudwire.com/gary-clark-jr-2020-best-rock-song- grammy/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral.

AugustChronicle.com/Deas related article, Get to Know Austin R&B True Blue Alesia Lani: https://www.austinchronicle.com/music/2019-10- 04/get-to-know-austin-rb-true-blue-alesia-lani/.

YouTube.com video, Tameca Jones with Jonathan Deas:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6DJjchy6XM.

Celebrity Make Up Artist SIR JOHN BARNETT (2000) created the Luminess Cosmetics Limited Edition /Disney’s The Lion King Make Up Collection:https://www.luminessbeauty.com/disney/Home.

WhatsonDisneyPlus.com article, What’s New On Disney+ | The Lion King:https://whatsondisneyplus.com/whats-new-on-disney-the-lion-king/.

IndieWire.com article, VES Awards: ‘The Lion King’ and ‘The Irishman’ Win Top VFX Prizes:https://www.indiewire.com/2020/01/ves-awards- 2020-the-lion-king-the-irishman-vfx-prizes-1202206338/.

JON CESAR ( 1989) appeared in the Roswell Park 2020 Big Game Commercial |Celebrate Life commercial during Super Bowl 54 that aired on Fox ( https://www.foxsports.com/nfl/super-bowl-2020 ) February 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fmv2UBheLNg.

Artist VALENTINO DIXON visited BAVPA February 10 to conduct an art workshop with students and spoke to them about how art was his creative outlet when he was falsely accused while serving 27 years in prison. Valentino asked how art has affected their lives and plays a role in their future career goals.

Valentino’s art exhibit, VALENTINO DIXON: DRAWING MY WAY TO FREEDOM ( https://www.burchfieldpenney.org/exhibitions/current- exhibitions/ ) is on display through March 29.

WGRZ.com’s (CLAUDINE EWING, 1988) story, Valentino Dixon holds art workshop for performing arts student: https://www.wgrz.com/article/news/local/valentino-dixon-holds-art-workshop-for-performing-arts-students/71- b1e52ef0-d94d-4a2f-94cd-09ca72deac88.

Valentino with BAVPA students and CHRIS GEORGE ( Photos: YVONNE JAMES-BROWN)

Hallwalls music coordinator Musician STEVE BACZKOWSKI and Colored Musicians Club artistic director WALTER KEMP formed the .9 Miles Collaborative. The purpose of the organization is to bring together an arts community around treasured, but often overlooked arts organizations, while simultaneously bringing internationally acclaimed jazz musicians.

WNYPapers.com article, Higgins, Hallwalls & The Colored Musicians Club announce 'Point Nine Collaborative' https://www.wnypapers.com/news/article/current/2020/01/21/139826/higgins-hallwalls-the-colored-musicians- club-announce-point-nine-collaborative.

Former BAVPA Band Director/Trombonist DAVID DEWITT performs with the Blue Heron Sextet at Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota FL February 11. FloridaWeekly.com article, Sarasota Concert Association presents BLUE HERON SEXTET: https://venice.floridaweekly.com/articles/sarasota-concert-association-presents-blue-heron-sextet/.


BAVPA staged the Kenny Award winning musical West Side Story in 2016; the original BAVPA production performed at the former Pfeifer Theatre in Buffalo’s Theatre District in 1999. BAVPA MATTHEW WILSON (who portrayed Jean Valjean in Les Misérables), represented WNY at the 2019 Jimmy Awards held in NYC.

BAVPA staged West Side Story at the Pfeifer Theatre in 1999.

Legendary producer and director Harold who co-produced the original Damn Yankees and West Side Story musicals, passed away July 31 at age 91. Prince’s exhibit is on display at the NYPL (New York Public Library) ( https://www.nypl.org/events/exhibitions/company-harold-prince-broadway-producer-director-collaborator ) now through March 31.

TheWeek.com article/West Side related article, A preposterously premature prediction of next year's Oscar winners: https://theweek.com/articles/893641/preposterously-premature-prediction-next-years-oscar-winners.

CheatSheet.com article, With 'West Side Story,' 'Hamilton,' and 'In The Heights,' Movie Musicals Are Taking Over the Box Office https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/west-side-story-hamilton-in-the-heights-movie.html/.

WashingtonPost.com article, Can this generation’s Tony and Maria find their place in yet another ‘West Side Story’? https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/can-this-generations-tony-and-maria-find-their-place- in-yet-another-west-side-story/2020/02/12/bf2e9baa-4cd9-11ea-9b5c-eac5b16dafaa_story.html.

IndyStar.com article, Director of 'Sound of Music,' 'West Side Story' never forgot his Hoosier roots: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/history/retroindy/2020/02/06/sound-music-director-robert-wise- never-forgot-indiana-roots/4477230002/.

AmericanTheatre.com article, A ‘West Side Story’ That Resets the Choreographic Balance: https://www.americantheatre.org/2020/01/30/a- west-side-story-that-resets-the-choreographic-balance/.

NYTimes.com article, How ‘West Side Story’ Was Reborn:https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/magazine/west-side-story.html. StudLife.com/West Side Story related article, Broadway in Hollywood: ‘In the Heights’ and the renaissance of the blockbuster musical: https://www.studlife.com/cadenza/2020/01/30/broadway-in-hollywood-in-the-heights-and-the-renaissance-of-the-blockbuster- musical/.

BAVPA and Raices Theatre ( https://raicestheatrecompany.com/) staged In the Heights ( 2020 & 2018), see March production dates in BAVPA upcoming events section and West Side Story ( 2016, 1999.)

BroadwayWorld.com article, Lin-Manuel Miranda Wrote a New Song for the IN THE HEIGHTS Film: https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Lin-Manuel-Wrote-a-New-Song-for-the-IN-THE-HEIGHTS- Film-20200211.

Variety.com article, ‘In the Heights’ Production Designer on How Cultural Accuracy Informs the Film’s Look: https://variety.com/2020/artisans/production/in-the-heights-production-design-1203492934/.

BAVPA and Upstage New York co-produced Damn Yankees for the Artpark stage May 20-24,1987 in Lewiston, NY. The show was directed by FORTUNATO PEZZIMENTI and featured BAVPA students and faculty that included STEVEN GLASSMAN, EDSON GIFFORD III, RUSSELL LINK, CLAUDIA MARSCHALL, and the late ALLENE BUCKLEY. One of the lead roles; Mr. Applegate, was played by JESSE L. MARTIN, (1987.)

StudLife.com/Damn Yankees related article, Broadway in Hollywood: ‘In the Heights’ and the renaissance of the blockbuster musical https://www.studlife.com/cadenza/2020/01/30/broadway-in-hollywood-in-the-heights-and-the-renaissance-of-the-blockbuster -musical/.

JOSEPH MAHFOUD (1984) portrayed the lead role of Conrad Birdie in the BAVPA 1985 production, Bye Bye Birdie, directed by CLAUDIA MARSCHALL. The production featured JESSE L. MARTIN (1987), played Albert Peterson ( Conrad’s record company president andinformally his agent); GINA DORMER (1986) played Rosie, Peterson’s secretary (and girlfriend); JAMES WALKER (1987) portrayed Mr.McAfee; DENA MURRAY played Mrs. McAfee; CRYSTAL SYMS (1985) played Kim McAfee,JAY INGERSON (1987) played Randolph McAffee; the late KENNETH DOYLE (1987) played Hugo ( Kims’ boyfriend) and numerous BAVPA alumni.

StudLlife.com/Bye Bye Birdie related article, Broadway in Hollywood: ‘In the Heights’ and the renaissance of the blockbuster musical: https://www.studlife.com/cadenza/2020/01/30/broadway-in-hollywood-in-the-heights-and-the-renaissance-of-the-blockbuster-musical/.

BroadwayWorld.com article, https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/BroadwayHD-Launches-Valentines-Day-Playlist-Including-SHE-LOVES- ME-AN-AMERICAN-IN-PARIS-and-More-20200205?fbclid=IwAR1RfY16ieEyIdmPH5A7HDB1yBjWpJGqS9Dwm4PwxXkuzPcDFBVUIIu9GlY.

Swados’ The Beautiful Lady 1984 production poster.

Runaways musical directed and composer ELIZABETH SWADOS and Paul Schmidt created the 1984 musical, The Beautiful Lady. The musical will be staged at NYC’s La MaMa ( http://lamama.org/ ) April-May, 2020.

Playbill.com article, Nick Payne's Constellations, Elizabeth Swados' The Beautiful Lady, and More Part of La MaMa Winter–Spring 2020 Season: http://www.playbill.com/article/nick-paynes-constellations-elizabeth-swados-the-beautiful-lady-and-more-part-of-la-mama- winterspring-2020-season.

Swados won an for Best Director. Wikipedia.org Runaways page:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runaways_(musical).

A Buffalo production of Runaways, directed by FORTUNATO PEZZIMENTI, featured BAVPA alumni. The production was performed at Center Theatre (now Town Ballroom in downtown Buffalo in 1982; ELIZABETH SWADOS ( who created the musical), attended one of the performances.) Runaways was staged again at Artpark in Lewiston, NY in 1983; Swados passed away January 5, 2016.



BAVPA to host a meeting concerning the BPS graduation rate February 27 from 5PM-7PM, BAVPA and several Buffalo high schools has the highest graduation rate.

BuffaloNews.com article, Changes ahead for graduation requirements? State seeks input: https://buffalonews.com/2020/02/09/changes- ahead-for-graduation-requirements-state-seeks-input/.

Buffalo News article, Graduation rates stall in Buffalo, while racial gaps remain:https://buffalonews.com/2020/01/16/graduation-rates-lag-in- buffalo-racial-gaps-remain/.

Post-Journal.com article/BAVPA related article, New Grad Rules Need Input From Businesses: https://www.post-journal.com/news/page- one/2020/01/new-grad-rules-need-input-from-businesses/.

BAVPA YEARBOOK SALE BAVPA yearbooks are on sale for the following years while supplies last. 1984, 1985, 1986, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Yearbooks are $20.00 each or three for $50.00 and may be picked up at the school. For more information, contact Sheila at [email protected].

Call (716) 816-4220 or go to ( http://www.buffaloartsacademy.org/ ) for more information.


STEVE APPLER (1981), Visual Art Teacher, Amherst High School

KAREN TOMZAK (1981), Program Director of Dance at Western University, Cullowhee, North Carolina

DEBORAH LIPA-CIOTTA (1982), Tapestry Charter School, K-4 Dance Teacher

ARLENE SHORT (1982), Patient Health Navigator, Buffalo

OMAR CARTER (1984), Arts Teacher, Philadelphia, PA

CAITLIN BAUMLER-COLEMAN (1984), Tapestry Charter School, K-8, Grade ½ Teacher

TRACEY HOLT-COFIELD (1984), Principal, Tapestry Charter School, Buffalo

DONNA KERR (1984),City Honors Music, Buffalo

MICHAEL STARZYNSKI (1984), Waterfront School, 1st Grade Teacher

ARTHUR PERRY (1984), Crossing Guard, Volunteer Librarian Aid, Clear Creek Elementary School, Kileen/Temple, TX

TINA “CHRISTINA” WALKER-BYKOWICZ (1985), Nursery School and Elementary School Educator

JOSEPH MICHAEL MAHFOUD (1985), Tapestry Charter High School, Music Teacher

GEORGE DAVIS (1986), BAVPA Arts Vocal and Music Teacher

ROMONA THOMAS-REYNOLDS (1986), Principal, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Institute, Public School #39

JAY INGERSON (1987), BAVPA Arts Theatre Instructor

JODY COVINGTON (1988), BAVPA Principal

KU’WONNA MAHONE INGRAM (1988), University of Phoenix Adjunct Instructor and Principal at Lee County Youth Development Center, AL

LISA HANNA-MATHEWS (1988), Ethics and Project Management Professor, Georgetown University and University of Maryland

HOLLY QUICKSEY (1988), Ph.D. Assistant to the Dean & Assistant Director of MECHS Programs, SUNY Buffalo State College

MARC RUMMENIE (1988), The Gow School, South Wales, NY

LESLIEANNE BIRD (1990), Teaching with Orff Music and Movement Educator, North Olmstead, OH

ORNIECE HILL ( 1990), Assistant Principal, South Park High School, Buffalo

JOSEPH MOBERLY (1991), House Electrician at Shea's Buffalo Theatre

MICHAEL WEIDRICH (1991), Executive Director, Young Audiences of WNY

SEAN CLEMENTS (1992), Bronx, NY

DAVID PATERSON (1992), Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, P.S. #22, Queens, NY

MATTHEW HURLEY (1994), Middle School Teacher, Raleigh, NC

JESSE MANK (1994), Tapestry Charter High School, English Teacher

LIZ YOUNG (1995), Professor of Graphic Design and Illustration, Pace University, NY

PATRICIA ENFIELD (1996), Elementary Education

TAMMY GAGOLA (1996), Elementary Education


ERNEST KEEN (1996), Physical Education, Rochester

LISA SANTIAGO (1996), Vocal Music

LUCY ALTIERI (1997), Visual Arts

MICHEL DEVANS (1997), Tapestry Charter School, Buffalo

TANDY GREEN (1997), Elementary Education

EMILY BALL, LMT (1997) HEAT Center ( http://www.heat.center/ ) Founder, Massage Therapist; Reiki, Energy & Spirit Work Educator/Mentor

AMANDA RAYBURG (1998), Massage Therapist at HEAT Center/Holistic Healing Center, Buffalo

PAUL M. SIEKIERSKI (1999), Music

MARIA INTORRE (2000), Elementary Charter School

DENNIS YACOBUCCI (2001), Brooklyn Special Education


SHAWN M. ISAACS (2004), Assistant Director of Life Residence at Alfred University

JYESHA CLARK (2005), Founder of Ms. Jye’s Music Corner

CONNOR GRAHAM (2011), Graduate Teaching Assistant/Graduate Student at Ohio State University’s Department of Theatre

LIZ BAILEY (Unknown), Todd County Middle School, Elkton, KY

LISA BAINES-DANIELS (Unknown), BPS Adult Education Division

MICHELE DEVANS, 1st Grade Teacher at Tapestry Charter School, Buffalo

DARREN BROWN (Unknown), BPS Chief of Staff, Buffalo

GINA DORMER (Unknown) Music, School #81, Buffalo

YOLANDA FIELDS (Unknown), Buffalo Garden Walk Chairperson

RONDA GORDON (Unknown), President of the Forsyth County Association of Educators, GA

MARIA INTORRE (Unknown), BPS System

JAMES.KREATE (Unknown), Furniture and Arts and Crafts Store

DAVE RIFFLE (Unknown), BAVPA Media Communication Arts Teacher

DR. TARYN SPENCER, M.D. (Unknown), UB Medical Instructor, Internal Medicine/Preventive Medicine

ELIZABETH YOUNG (Unknown), President/Creative Director at Studio LLC


AMY (CROOKS) SCANLON (1981), Senior Lead Professional Development Trainer, MAXIMUS, Inc.

ANDY MCCLAIN (1981), Owner of Treats Unleashed, Amherst, NY

PETE GALLIVAN (1983), WGRZ-TV Channel 2 Daybreak Co-Anchor

NANCY WILLAMS-NETTLES (1984), Crisis Counselor at the YWCA of Nashville and Middle TN

UMAR ADEYOLA (1988), President and CEO, H.E.A.R.T. Foundation, Buffalo

KRISTIN CRAGE (1988), West African Ivory Coast Drum accompanist, Alvin Ailey School of Dance

PASTOR GARNEY DAVIS, JR. (1988), Founder of Impacting Love Global Ministries and CEO of Impacting Love, Inc.

CLAUDINE EWING (1988), WGRZ-TV Channel 2 Reporter/Fill-In Anchor

VINCENT MARASCHIELLO (1989), Systems Administrator, PureRED Integrated Marketing Atlanta, GA

STEVEN MARCHIONE (1989), Francesca’s Restaurant, Buffalo

REGINALD BURKE,SR. (1990), Founder of Bay Area Hoops, Tampa Bay, FL

CHAD JAKUBOWSKI (1991), Personal Trainer, Buffalo

STEFAN MYCHAJLIW (1991), Erie County Comptroller

JOSHUA P. SMITH, PHD (1996), Owner,Sato’s Japanese Restaurant, Buffalo

LUCILLE ALTIERI (1997), Presto Restaurant, Buffalo

KAMERON D. WOOD (2011), Director & Production Assistant

RICKY WHITCOMB (2004), Tour Manager, StarQuest International

CRAIG PRIDGEN (2002), Pastor and M&T Bank Analyst

RYAN APONTE (Unknown) owner of Energy Art LLC, Buffalo

APRIL BASKIN (Unknown), Erie County Legislature Majority Leader

CHARLOTTE CARWELL (Unknown) Founder, P.O.C.E. Dance & Art Institute, Buffalo

LAKEISHA CARTER (Unknown), Dance Choreographer Dance Incorporated Center for the Fine & Performing Arts, Sickerfield, NJ

STEPHANIE CALHOUN (Unknown), Assistant Attorney General, NYS Office of the Attorney General

DANIELLE CATONE (Unknown), Danielle’s Dance and Fitness School

JESSIE FISHER (Unknown), Executive Director, Preservation Buffalo Niagara

TAMMY GAVIDIN (Unknown), Dance Instructor Tonawanda Dance Arts Faculty, Tonawanda

KRIS HOLLIE (Unknown), Personal Physical Fitness Trainer for Impact Training 716 and Ascend to Greatness

KIMMY JANE (Unknown), Kimmy Jane Tattoo & Artwork, Buffalo

AQUIL JONES (Unknown), Videographer, Krump Dancer and Founder of Legacy Visions Production

MELODY JONES (Unknown), Audio Technician

CHANON JUDSON, Associate Artistic Director, Urban Bush Women Dance Company

GINA MARTINEZ (Unknown), Dance Instructor at Broadway Dancesations, Lutz, FL

EBONY PACE, Against Destruction Theatrically Founder

DAVID RIFFEL (Unknown), Niagara Arts & Cultural Center’s documentarian and arts collaborator, Niagara Falls, NY

KAT WHITEFIELD (Unknown), Photography Assistant at Locust Street Art, Buffalo

ELIZABETH YOUNG (Unknown), President/Creative Director at Buffalo Studio Labs, Buffalo

Please visit BAVPA Memories, a photo website devoted to BAVPA’s past, present, and future. To follow site postings, make suggestions, or if you have questions, go to the site link (www.bavpamemories.com) and check out the BAVPA Memories PDF.

“To follow site postings, make suggestions, or if you have questions, go to the site link and check out the BAVPA Memories posting (below).”