Arts and Culture
World-class galleries, a robust theater scene and music for every ear make Western New York a major arts destination.
Our riches include the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Where else can you find:
- One of the country’s biggest art festivals?
- An internationally celebrated symphony?
- Unique theatrical, musical and dance performances year round?
- One of the world’s finest collections of modern art?
- One of the most successful Shakespeare festivals?
- The state’s largest theater community outside of New York City?
- More Frank Lloyd Wright buildings than any other city except Chicago?
Buffalo? Yes, Buffalo.
Vibrant Visual Arts
There’s good reason American Style magazine consistently places Buffalo in the top five arts destinations among mid-sized cities.
With more than 50 public and private galleries, Western New York is a magnet for those who appreciate art and those who create it.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery houses an internationally renowned collection of 20th-century painting and sculpture.
The world’s largest collection of works by visionary painter Charles E. Burchfield is found at The Burchfield Penney Art Center.
Founded by ’70s icons Cindy Sherman and Robert Longo, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center challenges and extends traditional boundaries with its avant-garde art, film and musical programming.
The UB Art Galleries further enrich the area’s artistic offerings.
Across the region, a wide range of galleries feature work by artists in various mediums. In the nearby village of East Aurora, the Roycroft renaissance artisans keep the American Arts and Crafts tradition alive.
The New York Times calls Buffalo “a textbook for a course in modern American buildings” and “home to some of the greatest American architecture of the late-19th and early-20th centuries.”
Our architecture represents the works of H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan, Eliel and Eero Saarinen and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Among our must-see landmarks:
- Wright’s Darwin D. Martin Complex and Graycliff Estate
- Daniel Burnham’s Ellicott Square Building
- Buffalo City Hall, an Art Deco monument designed by John J. Wade
- The Buffalo History Museum, built for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition
- The country’s largest collection of historic grain elevators
- Kleinhans Music Hall, a modernist masterpiece with pitch-perfect acoustics
- Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, one of fewer than a dozen Victorian conservatories left in the U.S.
- Delaware Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, father of American landscape architecture
If you’re a classical music buff, you don’t want to miss a chance to hear the internationally renowned Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in concert. In addition to the BPO, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society plays in the perfect acoustics of Kleinhans Music Hall.
UB’s Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall features a full slate of performances throughout the year.
If you prefer pop, rock or country, First Niagara Center and the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center attract the hottest national acts. UB’s own Center for the Arts hosts an impressive slate of concerts, in addition to speakers, theater and dance.
The Buffalo area is home to a number of hugely popular summer concert series. One of the largest, Canalside, is situated in downtown Buffalo along the waterfront, and features some of the top acts from the U.S. and Canada.
Numerous smaller clubs feature emerging local performers, touring bands and first-rate jazz acts, while local bars feature local micro brews, exotic cocktails and a wide variety of foods to nibble on.
A mecca for local and national talent, the city’s Theater District is one of the largest concentrations of theaters in the United States.
Western New York’s 20-plus theater companies present the spectrum of dramatic literature, from Greek tragedy to cutting-edge new plays.
The Theater District is anchored by Shea’s Performing Arts Center, which hosts touring Broadway musicals and concerts.
UB's Center for the Arts also hosts a number of theatrical productions.
In the summer, thousands of theater buffs flock to Shakespeare in Delaware Park, one of the country’s largest and most successful outdoor Shakespeare festivals. Only New York City draws more people for a free Shakespeare festival.