1. Dan Shanahan, co-founder of Buffalo’s Torn Space Theater, will speak in the Nancy Haberman Gacioch Entrepreneurship Lecture Series on “Nonprofit Initiatives in the Community and Revitalization Through the Arts” from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Wick Center Alumni Lounge at Daemen College, 4380 Main St., Snyder. Following at 6:30 in Daemen’s new Visual and Performing Arts Center is “Culture Now,” the first in a series of panel discussions by cultural leaders on issues facing the arts in Western New York. Both are free and open to the public.
2. Officials from FedEx, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and Buffalo Niagara International Airport, along with municipal emergency services directors, will gather at 10 a.m. in Air Cargo Buffalo, 301 Cayuga Drive, Cheektowaga, to welcome a 727-200F aircraft, which FedEx is presenting to the airport’s Rescue and Fire Fighting unit. The plane is expected to be used extensively for training exercises.
3. Trucks from the Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Department will be rolling down streets in the Town of Tonawanda from 6 to 8 p.m., not in pursuit of smoke and flames, but to pick up bags of food from the front porches for the fire company’s food drive. Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 286 and Girl Scout Troops 782 and 30612 distributed the bags to homes and businesses in recent weeks.
4. Internationally acclaimed Canadian theater organist Lance Luce hasn’t been seen in this area since 2005, the last time he gave a concert in the Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda. A fixture in the Organ Grinder Restaurant in Toronto for eight years and currently on the staff of the Fox Theatre in Detroit, he returns to play the Riviera’s Mighty Wurlitzer at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. Admission is free for students 18 and under.
5. Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton brings his Christmas show to the Events Center in Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls for seven performances, beginning at 1:30 p.m. today and continuing with matinee and evening shows through Sunday. Newton has plenty of songs of the season to draw from – he’s released three albums of holiday music. Tickets start at $20.
6. The most exotic music in the area tonight will be emanating from Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst and from Rosch Recital Hall at Fredonia State College. At UB, Norrbotten NEO, a seven-member avant-garde ensemble from the far north in Sweden, will perform winter-themed contemporary pieces at 7:30. Tickets are $8 to $20. In Fredonia, at 8, the World Mallets Ensemble, directed by Tiffany Nicely and made up predominantly of marimbas, will play original arrangements of traditional music from Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ghana and Guinea. Admission is free.
7. Two buses of Buffalo students, parents, educators and community members will set off this morning to become part of what will be a 700-member contingent descending on Albany to tell state officials about what is missing in their schools. The “Educate NY Now Express” will be stopping along the Thruway for media events and to pick up more supporters. The group is expected to arrive at the state capital at about 3:15 p.m.