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When people think of Buffalo, the music scene is usually not the first thing to come to mind.

Music is Art, however, holds an annual festival that celebrates all art forms and artists in the Buffalo Niagara region. Founded in 2002, by Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac, Music is Art works to enlighten and ignite a personal connection to the artistic merit and acceptance of all forms of music. Last Saturday, behind the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the 10th MiA Festival took place. The 12-hour event brought together more than 100 bands, dance groups and spoken word artists on seven stages.

The festival also exposed the community to the area's teen musicians and artists. Lead singer of the Brimstone Blondes, Matthew Lippman, a senior at City Honors, said " a really cool thing. Buffalo isn't known as a big music community, and it was great having a festival completely dedicated to music and art."

Willow Greene, a junior at City Honors, said, "I like watching friends' bands play, it's exciting for them to have an opportunity to show their talent."

The Brimstone Blondes were the winner of the Judges Prize at MiA Battle of the Bands this year. Through the MiA Battle of the Bands, three high school bands are guaranteed spots at the festival, providing a great opportunity for local teen musicians. First-prize winner Victory for Poland, second-prize winner Wildcard and third-prize winner Landslide were featured throughout the day.

Additionally, the festival provided entertainment for diverse audiences. From the more adult-geared bands to the Kids Village stage located near the playground, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Courtney Browning, a senior at Frontier High School, said, "Music is Art is a festival where everyone gets together and enjoys music, and there are activities for all age levels."

There was plenty for kids to do, including interactive performances and three parades throughout the day that audience members of all ages could walk in.

Allie Vuich, a freshman at Leonardo DaVinci High School, performed with the Belly Dance Academy.

"It was just great to see all of the different acts." Allie said. "I didn't know there would be so many belly dancers there. I liked all of the different dances that the dancers did, which was pretty cool. just had this awesome vibe about it."

All genres and art forms were displayed at the festival, from the more traditional bands and dancers, to live sculptures and spoken word.

Freshman Erika Obenauer from City Honors really got a lot out of the spoken word stage.

"I found the spoken word to be eye opening, it really takes a lot of courage to get up on a stage and speak their mind so freely," Erika said. "This kind of open artistic expression keeps music lovers coming back year after year.

Plus, as Eli Jackson, a sophomore at Tapestry Charter School, said, "Who doesn't love supporting local music?"



Lillian Kahris is a sophomore at City Honors.