This just in…”Buffalo is #1 for arts and culture of mid-sized cities.” Interesting how a place so severly crippled by the cuts to arts programs, still ranks number one among medium sized cities. One would be lead to believe that the city is stirring with culture and thriving with budding and well recognized/appreciated artists. Hmmm! For those of you that live in Buffalo, PLEASE put a brother down with the special 3-D glasses, because I must be missing all the good parts of the movie.

In 2005, the city was badly wounded by a deep budget cut, where the first thing to bleed out were the art programs and cultural societies, which still haven’t fully recovered. I was once the Assistant for Community programs for one of the most recognized Art galleries in the world, right here in Buffalo, and I painfully watched 20% of the staff get walked out in one day due to the cuts. I also witnessed an entire community of well-deserving children and parents, already economically and emotionally strained, become abandoned overnight by the withdraw of the support of the FREE art programs afforded them.

Since that time, there have been a couple of improvements, but why is it, that as a Buffalo resident, I still find it hard to experience the joy and jubilation of the arts that its been recently recognized for?

I WILL say this, the Buffalo Society of Artists surely opened my eyes to some really hardcore, dedicated and talented individuals, whom refuse to let the “arts flower” wither, whether in the cold of winter or the heat of summer, the cultural rose will stand strong and the torch will remain lit. There are armies of artists, art administrators and institutions that are doing ALL that they can do to make keep this city #1 among mid-sized cities in the arts, with very little money, and we must all support and applaud their efforts, because it is them alone that fight the good fight for what remains.


About by Edreys

Edreys Wajed is a catalyst of inspiration and a walking enterprise of all things creative. The Buffalo native boasts a toolbox chock-full with talents and experiences ranging from a visual artist, jewelry designer and musical entertainer, to an educator and entrepreneur with notable recognitions respectfully in each. His approach in each endeavor is soundly unique, high quality and signature in presentation, having found his course as a creator early in life. As early as 14 years of age, when his mother invested in a pair of hair clippers for him, seeing as she could no longer afford to pay for his haircuts, Edreys taught himself the trade of barbering and soon began making money for himself in the basement of his childhood home. With his artistic ability he also began growing a client base and reputation for customized hats and clothes as well as logo design by hand, long before learning graphics in college. His creativity, craftsmanship and passion to inspire people are what drives his spirit of entrepreneurship. From having run his own stationery boutique and art gallery shared with his wife; touring nationally and internationally as a hip hop artist, Edreys is exceptionally diverse with his avenues of expression, including the fine craft of jewelry making, passed down from his father and master craftsman. Edreys is most recently recognized locally for his contribution as an artist on the Freedom Wall which features 28 civil rights dignitaries, 7 of which he painted with his unique style and use of line. “Creativity is my neighbor, I live by it,” says Edreys. View all posts by by Edreys

One response to “IN YURRR FAAAYSE!!!

  • karima

    #1 for arts and culture among mid-size cities!!!?????…….how was this survey taken?……who did they talk to?… can they justify these stats?…….i’m jus’ wonderin’……

    for almost 15 years, i have worked as a full-time professional storyteller… bookings have been cut in half since 20001…..still, i love what i do so i’ve figured out creative ways to keep it movin’……i have found most Buffalo artists to be #1 in creativity, dedication, perseverance, and courage……

    i love what i do so much that i’d do it for nothing…..and sometimes i have to do it for nothing….if buffalo is #1, it must be because we artists are #1…..i wonder when this city will come to believe, as we do, that ART is central to LIFE……I wonder when us #1 artist-folks will be financially rewarded for working so hard and for making buffalo #1 for arts and culture among mid-size cities……

    jus’ wonderin’…..



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