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Calendar preview: Open and Out


The fall season means colder weather is gradually closing in, but Rochester is opening up this week. Some big-deal grand openings are on the near horizon, infusing hope on the landscape – while still more events urge us to engage in new ways of understanding what’s always been and how it could be moving forward.

The anticipated opening of George Eastman Museum’s new main entrance is just a day away. The project started before 2020’s flash went off and left us to process the negatives. The Thomas Tischer Visitor Center opens this weekend (Friday for members, Saturday to the general public), to refresh our experience of one of Rochester’s esteemed cultural institutions. The new entrance will also serve as an exhibit space of the can’t-miss “Colorama” installation. Seriously — at 48 feet wide, you can’t miss it.

Another long-awaited Rochester opening happens this Sunday: La Marketa at the International Plaza. La Marketa is the realization of a years-long vision for North Clinton Avenue, a park-like hub of the community that provides both Public Market-style access to foods, goods, and atmosphere, as well as opportunities for neighborhood residents to develop their own businesses. At last, some good news for our city.

If you prefer online openings these days, you can log on this Sunday to the Deaf Rochester Film Festival, presented in partnership with the Dyer Arts Center at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The opening ceremony begins at 7 p.m., kicking off a week of international films, panel discussions, workshops, and showcases relating both to the medium and the Deaf experience. DRFF’s closing will be a celebration —an awards ceremony on October 18, 7 p.m. This virtual festival is free to attend, but registration is required. A mask is not.

If you’re uncertain about coming out, perhaps this Sunday will be an inspiration. October 11 is National Coming Out Day, dedicated to simply cherishing people as they are. This day is not just a chance for individuals in the LGBTQ+ community to come out, but it’s a chance for everyone to out homophobia in favor of promoting a supportive and loving society.  Human Rights Campaign’s resource page for National Coming Out Day can be found here.

There are more opportunities to promote social justice this weekend. On Saturday, starting at 2 p.m., a rally will be held at Genesee Valley Park’s Canalside Shelter: “Fund Healthcare Not Police!” Following the death of Daniel Prude, the urgent call remains to implement appropriate responses to mental health emergencies. But the health care conversation is even broader, and this rally will include a workshop and push for state-wide healthcare coverage through legislation of the New York Health Act. Masks and physical distancing are required.

And finally, the Grassroots Radio Conference is Oct. 9 through 11. This annual event amplifies the impact of community-based local radio, uniting a fiercely independent network of low-power FM stations across the country. Rochester is home to several of these stations, including WXIR 100.9 FM at the RCTV Media Center, the Ibero-American Action League’s Poder 97.1 FM, and the Multi-use Community Cultural Center-affiliated WAYO 104.3 FM. In fact, Rashida Burch-Washington of WXIR will present a talk on “Engaging Youth Safely During a Pandemic.” WXOX in Louisville hosts this year’s virtual iteration, coming through a difficult year after the death of Breonna Taylor. The conference will examine the role of community radio in the midst of a pandemic, its relationship to the Black Lives Matter movement, and the importance of engaging prospective voters during a bonkers election season. The keynote speakers include such prominent figures as musicians Chuck D and Will Oldham, also known as Bonnie “Prince” Billy. But anybody, including you, can be a part of this change in the air.

Keep up to date with full listings of local online events on the CITY Events Calendar. Do you have an event you wish to include? You can submit online, or email event information to [email protected]