Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, is inviting area high school students to participate in the annual Congressional Art Competition. The winning artist from New York’s 27th Congressional District will travel to Washington, D.C., and have his or her artwork displayed in the Capitol for a year. Submissions are due by April 13. For more information, students should check with their school’s art teacher or call Emily Knight at (585) 519-4002.


CEPA Gallery and Just Buffalo Literary Center will offer Reclaiming Buffalo, a free after-school program for students ages 10 to 16. The students will photograph buildings they would like to “reclaim” and learn how to use Photoshop to transform the buildings. The students will also put their vision into words using prose and poetry. The program will offer two sessions from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays or Wednesdays for eight weeks beginning either April 9 or 10 at CEPA Gallery, 617 Main St. For more information, call 856-2717.


The Greater Buffalo Youth Ballet will perform “Firebird” and excerpts from “LaFayadere” and “Danse Macabre” at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts, North Campus, Amherst. Tickets are $21.50; $19.50 for seniors and children 12 and under.


Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway, will host a screening of “Girl Rising” for students and their families, faculty and alumnae from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday to mark Women’s History Month. The film focuses on the lives of nine girls from different parts of the world. The promise of an education provides hope in the face of adversity. A reception will follow the screening. For more information, visit


• Just Buffalo Literary Center and the International Institute present BABEL Community Night celebrating Africa and the United Kingdom from 6 to 7:30 p.m. today at the Karpeles Manuscript Library, 453 Porter Ave. Admission is free; food tickets are $8.

• Author Alexandria Fuller will present a lecture, question-and-answer session and book signing at 8 tonight in Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle. Fuller will also meet with students this afternoon at Kleinhans.

• Students in grades seven through 12 are invited to enter an essay contest inspired by author Julia Alvarez’s “In the Time of the Butterflies.” The winner will meet the author and have his or her essay published in The Buffalo News. Deadline is March 15. For more information and contest rules, visit


The winners of the 36th annual Carter G. Woodson Essay Contest are:

Grades 10-12: first place – Dajanyque Peay, grade 10, home-schooled; second place – Kevin Roulhac, grade 12, home-schooled; third place – Niko Feliciano, grade 10, Hutchinson-Central Technical High School.

Grades seven to nine: first place – Paw Wah, grade eight, Lafayette High School; second place – Maliha Methila, grade seven, Lorraine Elementary School; third place, Sibaridibo Banuma, grade eight, Highgate Heights Elementary School.

Grades four to six: first place – Andrew Amos, grade five, Cleveland-Hill Elementary School; second place – Frank Williams III, grade six, NativityMiguel Middle School; third place – Janaia Lewis, grade five, Futures Academy.


The Bravo String Quartet along with members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Iroquois High School orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Iroquois High School, 2111 Girdle Road, Elma. A free-will offering will be accepted. Earlier that day, members of the quartet will give a master class to the high school orchestra. For more information, call 655-2407.


Cassadaga Valley High School will present “The Brain From Planet X” at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday, March 15 and 16. Tickets are $6-$8. Call 962-8581 to reserve seating.


Amherst Youth Engaged in Service will honor many of its volunteers at an awards ceremony next Thursday:

• President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award for their service to the community in 2012: Clare Banigan, Morgan Cicero, Caterina Covelli, Marin Jankovic, Vignesh Krishnan, Jiyoon Lee, Ruby Matricardi, Gina Nasca, Nicole Sandretto, Leena Sen, Rachel Thomeer, Allan Yu and Laura Zu.

• Gold Award (for students who have volunteered more than 100 hours within the past year): Clare Banigan, Marin Jankovic, Vignesh Krishnan, Ruby Matricardi, Gina Nasca, Nicole Sandretto and Rachel Thomeer.

• Silver Award (for students who have volunteered 50-99 hours within the past year): Henry Chen, Morgan Cicero, Caterina Covelli, Ariel Dai, Eric Dohn, Andrew Harris, Jiyoon Lee, Alyssa Loecher, Leena Sen, Sonya Singh, Colin Teal, Helen Xu, Andrea Yamutuale, Sherry Yao, Allan Yu, Laura Zu and Virginia Zu.

• Bronze Award (for students who have volunteered 25-49 hours within the past year): Daniel Armetta, Nicholas Athans, Monilola Awolesi, Serena Barr, Erika Betz, James Billingham, Lloyd Brown, Taylor Brown, Danilla Casseri, Eleni Casseri, Ji Soo Choi, Matthew Dolly, Edison Er, Seraaj Fayyaz, Cassie Fee, Kiran Garg, Soumya Gupta, Melissa Helm, Ruthie Hewson, Madison Irene, Renuka Kannappan, Christian Kim, Amelia Lee, Aditya Nair, Kwamina Otseidu, Ray Ouchi, Meredith Parenti, Quinn Pastor, Natalie Popielski, Nick Powell, Omkar Pratapwar, Megan Putzig, Michelle Qiu, Akash Shah, Gregory Sibick, Vikram Singh, Erik Soucy, Natalie Stefanick, Haley Stogsdill, Jenna Stogsdill, Yuhan Sun, Chelsea Thomeer, Alina Versalova, Caroline Wang, Xinlin (Simon) Wu, Sally Yi and Melanie Zimmer.


The Buffalo History Museum will present its Family History Club. Each club meeting will include crafts, tours and a scavenger hunt. The club’s first meeting will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the museum, Elmwood Avenue and Nottingham Terrace. This week’s theme is trains. Cost is $5-$10 for children; free for adults. For more information, call 873-9644, Ext. 0, or visit


Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center is holding a training session for volunteers from 8:30 a.m. to noon March 16 in Gateway Executive Office, 3556 Lakeshore Road, Blasdell. Cost is $25 for nonmembers. For information, call 627-4560.


The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda, will present a program for home-schooled students and their families from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Thursday. The event will feature a tour and hands-on activities. Cost is $6 per person. Bag lunches are welcome. Preregistration and payment are required by Monday; call 693-1885.


Auditions for the Artpark production of “The Sound of Music” will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Niagara University Annex, Porter Road, Niagara Falls. A wide variety of roles are available for children ages 7 to 17 and apprentice roles for 16- and 17-year-olds as part of the ensemble. All positions are paid. Bring sheet music, a headshot and resumé. Callbacks will be held Sunday. No appointment is necessary. Email for more information.


The University at Buffalo, North Campus, Amherst, will host the 27th annual Science Exploration Day from 9:15 a.m. to 1:05 p.m. Wednesday. High school students from throughout Western New York will participate in experiments and tours and hear scientists, engineers and health care professionals speak about their respective fields. Cost is $35. For information, visit