For New Year’s Eve revelers, it’s sometimes tough to strike the ideal balance between overwhelming crowds and actual fun. Do you stumble from bar to bar along Allen Street or Hertel Avenue or pony up for a huge affair like the Hotel @ Lafayette’s James Bond-themed party or the Statler’s dressy ball?

Fortunately for the last-minute planners among us, there is a middle ground: The Western New York Book Arts Center’s New Year’s Eve gathering, a modestly scaled offering which has become an annual staple for members of Buffalo’s various arts communities since it launched in 2008. Aside from the company, the best part of the event may be the opportunity to watch the ball drop through the windows of the Book Arts Center (468 Washington St.) without having to venture out of doors or rub shoulders with the rabble.

This year’s event will feature an auction of work by popular local artists Ani Hoover, Katie Sehr, Amy Greenan, Craig LaRotonda, Maria Pabico LaRotonda and others. Musician Dave Kane will be playing, with all manner of hors d’oeuvres and an open bar with beer and wine. The price for the fundraiser is $70 for WNYBAC members and $80 for nonmembers. Call 348-1430 or visit

– Colin Dabkowski