Silo City hosts the return of the Buffalo Humanities Festival
Not without complications, the region saw the return of many of its beloved festivals in 2021. Like most, the Buffalo Humanities Festival was not held last year, but it returns this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, at a new spot, Silo City. Christina Milletti, Executive Director of the Humanities Institute, sees the festival as a chance "to talk about ideas. To imagine together. To try to sort through the most important issues of the day."
A series of panel discussions exploring the theme "Utopia" will run each day of the event, which is free of charge though online registration is encouraged.
“We experience who we are, who we want to be in connection, in reference to narratives," said David Castillo, Director of the Humanities Institute.
"As we look at the challenges we’re facing we need to rethink about the stories we’re telling ourselves. We need to think of, not just the stories that exist, but the stories that haven’t been told yet. And that’s where ‘Utopia’ comes in. Those stories that haven’t been told yet.”
Scholars from the University at Buffalo, Canisius College, Daemen College, among others, will lead the panel discussions. Some of the titles include "New York Utopias: Past, Present and Future," "Walt Whitman's Beloved Coimmunity: The Calamus Project," and "Spirits of Feminism: Raising Radicals from the Dead in Lilydale, NY."
"What we always try to do is engage the audience in a conversation so that we’re all participating together as a community towards imagining a better future,” Milletti said.
The discussions will be held in two open spaces at Silo City. Those who have not been vaccainated against COVID-19 will be asked to wear masks. Road construction is in place on way to the venue so organizers ask attendees to be patient as they make their way to the site. Each day's session begins at 12:30.
”Any number of institutions across the country are starting to realize that Humanities can’t be separated from our data-driven colleagues," Milletti said.
"We’re all seeing the facts and figures about climate crisis and social injustice. We can read the statistics, but you frequently need the Humanities to interpret them and to answer the questions about the data."