Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Marlee Tuskes / WAER News

The career and work of one of Syracuse’s most celebrated artists will be getting extra attention as part of the PBS series A Craftsman’s Legacy.  David MacDonald taught at Syracuse University for 40 years as part of the artist’s legacy that goes back more than 50…when he got his start in art school.

"I started out making ugly little pots like every introductory student does," MacDonald recalled.

But the medium quickly appealed to him.

Film lovers and those who want to work in the business had many interesting choices this weekend as the Syracuse International Film Festival concluded.  The program included numerous screenings of films from many other countries, forums highlighting the craft, and other special features. 

Zachary Antell /

The Syracuse International Film Festival presented 9 selected short movies to showcase new filmmakers of Syracuse University this weekend.

The two-hour screening began with “The Stranger” by Siyang Zhang, a 20-minute Chinese movie that depicts the complexity of relationships and sense of loneliness in a foreign land. It was followed by films with topics ranging from homosexuality, open relationships, and star-obsession, to slavery and self-love.

Shradha Rao/WAER News

A group of local film enthusiasts and film professionals gathered in the newly built facility, ‘The Film Hub’ Saturday in DeWitt for the ‘Filmmakers Forum,’ as part of the Syracuse International Film Festival.  Local filmmakers and others who want to work in the industry got to engage with an eclectic panel of documentary filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, directors and producers.

The Syracuse International Film Festival featured  “Dragons: Real Myths and Unreal Creatures” by Marc Fafard as one of its first presentations.  Fafard also directed “Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia”, and was motivated to turn to dragons for a follow up.  He gave the audience a visual feast at the Museum of Science and Technology’s I-MAX theater.  

Human Rights Film Festival

The films featured in this year’s Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival are aimed at giving the audience a sense of “place.”  The festival begins today with “The Man Who Saw Too Much,” about the career of a photographer in Mexico whose job it was to capture death and violence in Mexico City. Director Trisha Ziff says Enrique Metinides was the eyes of a community.

Onondaga County Lawmakers reviewed the County Executive’s budget proposal for parks and recreation.  Tucked inside is a substantial $75,000 that isn’t specifically named but was presumed to be budgeted for Syracuse Jazz Fest.   There appears to be an indication that the funding could also be tied to a change in venue.

Sophia Morris / WAER News

  Two former major league baseball players helped kick off Hispanic Heritage Month in Syracuse today by sharing their experiences as Latinos in the sport.  Carlos Baerga is a former second baseman from Puerto Rico who signed on at age 16. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

  Those who live, work, or visit parts of downtown Syracuse will soon be able to try their hand at playing some musical instruments.  The drums, bells, and pipes will be installed in clusters at three locations as part of an effort to bring music to the community.  Symphoria Managing Director Catherine Underhill says the instruments will be weatherproof and ADA accessible.

"They're all melodic, they're all tuned so they're harmonious one with another," Underhill said.  "They'll all be in ensemble formation, so you can just walk up and make some music."

John Smith / WAER News

  Indian Village at the New York State Fair will see $750,000 worth of improvements over the next year as the state continues it's $50 million makeover of the fairgrounds.  The announcement came during Six Nations Day at the New York State Fair Friday.  

The Indian Village has virtually stayed the same at the state fair for years now.  However, that’s about to change.   Superintendent of the Village Norm Jimerson says the news is lifting the members’ spirits.