The Art of Beer, the eats-and-drinks festival and beer exploring session that’s in its seventh year, is the biggest annual fundraiser for the Niagara Arts & Cultural Center in Niagara Falls. Tonight, festival organizers will try to fill the building to keep it alive.

The building, formerly Niagara Falls High School, was rescued from the wrecking ball by volunteers in 2001. It’s a beehive of cultural activities, including two theaters, 60 artist studios and summer art programs for kids.

This year it’s at risk after the City Council cut $30,000 in support. So brewers, bakers and restaurants are stepping up to fortify the Art of Beer event, with a chance to taste more than 50 brews. New this year are Community Beer Works and Pan Am Grill & Brewery, joining Flying Bison Brewery, Pearl Street Grill, the Brickyard Pub, Village Pub, Certo Brothers Distributing and Try-It Distributing.

Lewiston Village Pub, Brickyard Pub & BBQ, Tim Horton’s, Applewood Estates Catering, Conference Center Niagara Falls, Yvonne’s Bakery & Cafe and Pi Pastry Shop will serve food and desserts.

For the $35 ticket, attendees get to try all the beer and food, and take home a souvenir glass, plus enjoy live blues and displays of brewery art and artifacts. Plus maybe help save the NACC.

It’s from 6 to 9 tonight in the NACC (1201 Pine Ave. Niagara Falls). For more information, see, or call 282-7530.

– Andrew Z. Galarneau