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Sociology Alumni Weekend Focuses on Neighborhood Revitalization Efforts

The Buffalo State Sociology Alumni Chapter is inviting the public to attend an event this weekend, at which people will be able to learn about Black Rock and surrounding neighborhoods. So often an invitation to is needed to get those unfamiliar with a neighborhood to visit. By hosting a Welcome Reception Happy Hour, as well as discussions and tours, the hope is to roll out the red carpet for anyone who has thought about visiting Black Rock, but for some reason hasn’t. Hosted by a number of grassroots activists, historians and business owners, the affair kicks off with a happy hour on Friday, April 20 at the Black Rock Kitchen and Bar. Here’s all the info:
Join the Buffalo State Sociology Alumni Chapter April 19-21 for a weekend filled with great events and reunion activities. With panel discussions, campus and community tours, and receptions, this weekend has a little something for everyone!
Friday, April 20
Welcome Reception Happy Hour
5:00-7:00 p.m.
Black Rock Kitchen and Bar
491 Amherst Street
Buffalo, NY 14207
Susan K. Cholewa, ’86, has been a catalyst for the Black Rock neighborhood revitalization efforts. She will join us for happy hour to talk about the social impact she has experienced in the Black Rock and Buffalo State neighborhoods. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres provided by the Buffalo State Alumni Association. Cash bar.
Saturday, April 21
10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Experience a full day of activities on campus designed especially for Buffalo State sociology alumni, including panel discussions, tours, reflections on how sociology and Buffalo State has influenced lives…and more! Cost $15 per person for all activities.
Sociology Alumni Panel Discussion
E. H. Butler Library 210
10:00 a.m.-noon
Lunch served at 11:30 a.m.
All human societies are defined by the degree to which they reflect healthy vibrant communities. Join us for a panel discussion with Susan Cholewa, ’86, Mark Goldman, and Gary Welborn, Ph.D., for a sociological inquiry into how these concepts are illustrated with the revitalization of neighborhoods and communities surrounding Buffalo State College.
Susan Cholewa has been a French teacher for more than 25 years. A love of Buffalo architecture and urban revitalization motivated her to purchase an old storefront at 464 Amherst Street in 2006, just north of Buffalo State College. This building is now 464 gallery and artist space and continues to attract many students and artists from near and far. In 2008, she purchased an additional building at 491 Amherst Street, which is now the European-style bistro Black Rock Kitchen and Bar. As one of the vice presidents of the Grant Amherst Business Association, she continues to be active in helping to revitalize the historic Black Rock area of Buffalo.
Born in New York City, Mark Goldman was a student in Buffalo and has been a resident for 40 years. He has written three books on Buffalo history as well as played an active role in community revitalization efforts as a business owner and volunteer. As the author of High Hopes: The Rise and Decline of Buffalo, New York; City on the Lake: The Challenge of Change in Buffalo, New York; and City on the Edge: Buffalo, New York, Goldman has also contributed to the revitalization of key Buffalo districts with the Calumet Arts Café on Chippewa Street 20 years ago, the Allen Street Hardware Café in Allentown, and most recently the Black Rock Kitchen and Bar on Amherst Street. “I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the historical development of Black Rock,” Goldman said. “Now we’re back here, 40 years later. We’ve remodeled a fabulous 1890s storefront and, working with the building’s owner, a dynamic entrepreneur named Susan Cholewa, we are opening a place that will feel as real and as authentic as the neighborhood it’s in. Being authentic, being real and committed to a grounded mission is what has led our businesses to be successful and to play a role in the life of their host neighborhoods.”
Gary Welborn, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of sociology and faculty coordinator for service learning at Buffalo State College, has been a grassroots activist on Buffalo’s West Side for more than 20 years. Since joining the Buffalo State Sociology Department in 1993, Welborn has focused his work on building community-college relations, with a particular emphasis on engagement with refugee communities in the area. Through his position as faculty coordinator for service learning, which he has held since 2003, and in many other ways, he has been leading efforts for Buffalo State to become a community-engaged campus.
12:30-2:00 p.m.
Come and see how we have grown! If you have not seen the beautiful Buffalo State campus recently, you will be surprised. Buffalo State’s revitalization is in full swing, with the focus on providing an unparalleled educational environment. Buffalo State is engaged in a roster of capital projects that will result in nearly $350 million in new construction and improvements by 2016. Construction will include a new Science and Mathematics Complex and a new Technology Building. Major rehabilitation projects will include extensive renovations to Rockwell Hall’s third floor as well as the Campbell Student Union. There is also much excitement about projects in our surrounding community, and we would like to take you on a journey to experience our campus community. On the registration form, please select the tours that interest you. Choices include the Buffalo State campus, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Amherst-Grant Street revitalization and possibly the Richardson Olmsted Complex towers. Tours will be selected based on popularity.
Alumni Gathering
E. H. Butler Library 210
2:00-2:45 p.m.
Return to E. H. Butler Library to mix and mingle with fellow alumni and share reflections on “How Sociology and Buffalo State Influenced My Life.”

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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