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Lewiston Arts Cafe Brings Together Local Artists

These cold and dull Tuesday nights are about to be revamped with live entertainment from award-winning local poets and musicians, one poem and song at a time.

Beginning on Tuesday, February 11, the Lewiston Opera Hall (732 Center St.) will host poetry and live music from the Buffalo and Lewiston communities. Sponsored by Just Buffalo Literary Center and the Lewiston Council on the Arts, the new Lewiston Arts Café series will run 7-8:30pm on the second Tuesday of every other month. In addition to live entertainment there will also be refreshments, book/ CD sales, and time allotted to meet the artists.

“Just Buffalo Literary Center is so proud to be partnering with the Lewiston Council on the Arts to launch this new series,” Just Buffalo’s artistic director Barbara Cole said. “We are very fortunate that Western New York has such a rich and diverse poetry community that can support an ever-expanding variety of new and ongoing literary series.”

As Irene Rykaszewski, executive director of Lewiston Council on the Arts explains, “Our goal is to provide access to high quality cultural experiences in Niagara County and to expand opportunities for artists to present their original work. This series represents a new direction for the Art Council and we are so excited to complement poetry readings with the performance of original music.”

Perry Nicholas, co-curator of the Lewiston Arts Café series, organized the poetry lineups in collaboration with musician Maria Sebastian who curated the musical acts for the series. “We wanted to create an informal, creative atmosphere where anyone interested in the arts could meet and experience both original poetry and music,” Nicholas said. “Our goal for this venture is to further unite our poetry and music communities.”

Nicholas and Sebastian make a powerful duo; he is a Pushcart-nominated poet with four books of poetry and she has won 15 Western New York music awards, including Buffalo Spree’s Album of the Year for her 2009 album Yellow Envelope. Sebastian’s music has been placed in television and films and she has recorded and toured with many national musicians including 10,000 Maniacs, Roger McGuinn, and Richie Havens.

The poetry and music pairings they’ve scheduled are equally impressive. The series will kick off on February 11 with poet E. R. Baxter III and a musical performance by Alison Pipitone, who is said to be “Buffalo’s first lady of original roots music.” The recipient of more than a dozen music awards, Pipitone has a vast fan base following her national tour.

Future events include:

• April 8: Perry Nicholas with Maria Sebastian as well as an additional acoustic set from John Brady.

• June 10: Jennifer Campbell and Tom Stahl.

• September 9: Ken Feltges and Dee Adams.

Events are free for members of Just Buffalo Literary Center and the Lewiston Council on the Arts and cost only $2 for the general public. Learn more at

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