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Speakeasy, Buffalo-Style

By Dana L. Saylor-Furman:
Buffalo has always loved to drink.  As a local historian and genealogist, I’ve learned a great deal about Buffalo’s storied drinking past: impressive German immigrant-built breweries, the old brewery-supplied corner taverns, and Prohibition-era hijinks in places like the Town Ballroom’s basement.  And, I’ve witnessed our modern late-night party scene till 4 am (or later).
So, when I began planning our next ELAB Big-Ass Party, I thought, “Speakeasy!”, without any hesitation.  I just needed a place to hold the soiree.  After seeing a Buffalo Rising article, I called up Iskalo Development about their art deco-style 5 East Huron building; the former Waldorf Lunch Counter, later Howard’s Shoes.  I toured the large and unique space, and immediately started lining up a sultry musical performance, collaborative group art installation, silent films, food, and drink.  
For those of you scratching your heads, “ELAB” is Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo.  We’re a group of emerging/evolving artists of many disciplines, helping each other network, learn, grow, and collaborate. Our mission is to elevate the arts in our area, and bring to light the vast independent talent of Western New York. We hold regular events, such as a monthly art critique, artist networking, workshops, and we create public art (Grant/Amherst mural).  Special events include field trips, and symposiums like our Creative Conversation last October at the Larkin at Exchange building.  Headed up by president Marcus L. Wise of 464 Gallery, the core group consists of artists and arts supporters Tara Bystran Sasiadek, Marissa Lehner, Rich Tomasello, Sam Sacco, Rachel Sandle, Matt Grote, and Cori Wolff. Many members have been around since the founding of ELAB in January of 2010.  Our twice-a-year Big-Ass Parties are a way for us to raise funds, and have fun, celebrating the progress and connections we’ve made.

So if you’re down with ELAB, or want to get to know us, and would like an opportunity to party in your favorite 1920’s garb, please join us at SPEAKEASY on Saturday, February 18th, 8pm till late.  Come mingle with the best and brightest in Buffalo’s creative scene. Tickets are $7 in advance from Buffalo First, or $10 at the door. 

RSVP for SPEAKEASY on Facebook:

Dana Saylor is an artist, genealogist and historian, whose work can be found at 

Poster design by Jonathon Furman of Derailleur/Nuthatch Design

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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