© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

33rd Annual Artie Awards and the Long Road to Queer Liberation

Pride month continues on Group Chat. Join guest host Naila Ansari for Bentley as she welcomes Artie Award founder Anthony Chase, his co-host Charmagne Chi, and co-founder of Upstate Black and Latino Pride, Alexandre Burgos. In its 33rd year, the Arties welcomed a sold-out crowd! Anthony reflects on how we got here and why the Buffalo theatre scene is unique. Then the entire group examines the Queer Liberation Movement over time and how pop culture influenced their journeys, including Charmagne’s role as a comedian, Alex’s advocacy work for the Black and brown Queer community, and Anthony’s recollection of the Movement in Buffalo nearly 40 years ago.

Group Chat 2024
Latest Episodes
  • “And the winner is!!!...” Join host Bentley as she chats with Artie Award nominees Michael Gilbert-Wachowiak, Alejandro Gómez, and Gabriella McKinley. They talk theatre in Buffalo and explore the impact it has in the LGBTQ+ community. The group chats about the public’s reaction to North West’s Lion King performance and shares their views on nepotism and favoritism in the theatre world. Make sure you stick around for their hilarious “the show must go on” stories!
  • Join host Bentley and our no-holds-barred trio of guests, local standup and voice of the Buffalo Bandits Allie Brady, actor, director, and host of the podcast That's Trash, Michael Gilbert-Wachowiak and zooming in from New York City, Devin-Norelle, a model, trans advocate and host of the Webby award-winning digital series from PBS Digital Studios and Buffalo Toronto Public Media, Brave Spaces. This group did not hold back while discussing NFL's Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Harrison Butker and his commencement address controversy, the threats of AI on authentic talent and storytelling, and "kicking" off Pride Month, the group passionately talked about the current media and advocacy landscape for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.
  • Join host Bentley and our trio of guests, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and contributing professor in the Africana Studies unit at SUNY Buffalo State. Dr. John Torrey, local college professor and podcaster Peter Horn, and former WBFO intern and recent graduate from Niagara University School of Theatre, Abbey Mylock, as they predict success or failure of the full line up of movies to hit theaters this summer. Then the group goes a little dark talking about the history, endurance, and popularity of true crime as a podcast and television genre. Finally, concert season in Buffalo is on deck! Who's coming to town, where are they playing, and what are some of the must-see performances on the schedule? Find out on this episode of Group Chat.
  • Join host Bentley and our trio of guests—Cory McCants, Ashleigh Chrisena Ricci, and the vibrant Yamilex Holguín Pérez—as they explore the profound impact of music, art, and nature on mental health and wellness. They discuss the rise of Chappell Roan and the therapeutic benefits of creative expression. The group discusses popular technology apps that claim to help with mental wellness, and then throw all that technology away to harness the healing power of connecting with the natural world.
  • This week on Group Chat, returning guests Akram Shibly, Naila Ansari, and Donny Kutzbach join Bentley to discuss the Webby Awards, including Brave Spaces, a People’s Voice winner from PBS Digital Studios and Buffalo Toronto Public Media. Next, we talk all things sports considering recent controversy over personal seat licenses, Lindy Ruff’s return to the Sabres, the NFL draft, and the NBA playoffs. Finally, turn up the volume because the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have been announced! It’s a fun an humor filled hour right here on Group Chat.
  • On this week's Group Chat, and the final show in celebration of National Comedy Month, Bentley welcomes back Western New York comedian Charmagne Chi and introduces listeners to two new voices. Dan Reitz is the founder of Buffalo Improv House, and Megan Eckwahl is the marketing and communications manager at the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY. This week, the discussion is about rising stars on screen and in the clubs, the history and evolution of TV comedy, and the (proven) healing power of laughter. Don't believe it? Listen to this week's Group Chat, and you'll feel better afterward!
  • Everyone’s in stitches during this week’s group chat! Bentley welcomes Journey Gunderson, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York, Allie Brady, Comedian and voice of the Buffalo Bandits, and Dallas Taylor, Improv actor, Director, and Poet. This hilarious group spends the hour advocating that comedy is a true art form and doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It's been a connector from the Bible to George Carlin, Kate McKinnon, Mark Russell, and Maria Bamford (and really, there are too many to note). We dissect blue comedy, the influence of AI, the powerplay between a comedian and their audience, and the two sides of social media impacting comedians today.
  • On this week's Group Chat, Bentley welcomes Buffalo State University Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies (and part-time DJ!) Dr. John Torrey, podcast host and Associate Producer for WBFO Charles Gilbert, and co-owner of Town Ballroom Donny Kutzbach into the studio to discuss what's currently in the zeitgeist, including Beyonce and Cowboy Carter - the accolades and some of the unfortunate negative feedback. The group chats about music festivals and their relevance, NCAA Women's Basketball, and the perceived conflict between Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese. Finally, the tumultuous descent of - but culturally significant - Puffy. It's an enlightening discussion. Join us for this week's Group Chat!
  • For this episode, we welcome comedian Allie Brady, content creator and host of Compact Science on WNED PBS, Cory McCants, to the group chat for conversations with Bentley surrounding the celebrity experience. While sometimes uncomfortable, can famous people open up to contribute to the greater good? We talk about Kate Middleton’s announcement of her cancer diagnosis and how younger people in the spotlight speaking out about their health struggles can lead to greater awareness and, thus, early intervention. “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” is a docuseries exposing a toxic culture behind Nickelodeon television shows from the late 1990s and early 2000s. We discuss the impact these types of shows have on child stars and how to prevent abuse moving forward. Finally, we welcome Sarajane Gomlak-Green, host of the WNED PBS series Compact Science. to the chat for her scientific expertise and positive energy surrounding the total solar eclipse! We talk about safety measures, what we can expect to see, the impact on travel, and what this event means on the grand timeline of scientific wonders in this edition of Group Chat!
  • Join Bentley as she kicks back with an eclectic trio of guests: the vivacious performer and comedian Charmagne Chi, the charismatic actor and podcaster Michael Gilbert-Wachowiak, and the enigmatic poet, writer, and actor Dallas Taylor. First up: in the showdown between online and in-person shopping, this hilarious group unanimously lands in the on-line world. Next, they dive into the phenomenon of the side hustle. From passion projects to entrepreneurial endeavors, our guests share their stories and discuss the unstoppable rise of the side hustle culture. The conversation takes a turn to TikTok and the impending ban looms. What will this mean for the future of social media? Our panelists offer their predictions. Wrapping up, from mouthwatering cuisine to vibrant Dyngus Day traditions, it's time to celebrate heritage, community, and Buffalo Polish culture. Be sure to catch this episode of Group Chat, where laughter and exploration collide in the most captivating way!