So far, July has been a rousing success for Buffalo and Western New York as a whole. You had the Taste of Buffalo taking over our tongues and tummies. You also had the Rolling Stones rocking out and sending sweet songs into our ears (if you were lucky enough to be there!). Then there was the annual City of Night, which took place in the Old First Ward. This festival is viewed as one of the hottest art tickets in the country, having received grants, large and small. It brought many out-of-town visitors to the Queen City and, despite mixed reviews on Facebook, was a giant success.
Major events such as City of Night are proof that the revitalization of Western New York is a very real thing. Colin Dabkowski of The Buffalo News sums it up best: “In the minds of many participants in Buffalo’s great cultural renaissance, the 4-year-old City of Night festival has become synonymous with the riverside venue it helped to revive: Silo City. But this year, the cross-disciplinary art, music and cultural festival – created by Emerging Leaders of the Arts Buffalo in 2011 as a showcase for off-the-radar work by young artists – is pulling up stakes from the gritty grain silos and moving a few blocks north to the Old First Ward.”
Due to the event’s success, Silo City exploded into relevance; now everyone in Western New York is at least familiar with it. The thinking behind the relocation of City of Night is a simple one: perhaps it was finally time to move to another “neglected” part of the city. One of the main aims of City of Night is to show people a different side of Buffalo. Dana Saylor, one of the event’s founders, said, “We realized that this is a creative place-making event, and it is helping transform in a positive way the places that we go to. So we wanted to share the love in another place.”
Positive transformation, ultimately, should be the goal of every Buffalonian interested in the region’s revival. We know that’s one of our goals at SPEED Global, helping the city achieve relevance in all sectors, from top to bottom; because the backbone of the region’s economy is the willingness of each of us to go that extra mile, to be almost like a truck transporting goods or services to someone’s heart. We know a thing or two about that!