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Goo Goo Dolls bassist hosts ninth Music Is Art Festival in Delaware Park

By Mia Summerson
On September 22, 2011

The Music Is Art foundation hosted its 9th annual Music Is Art festival oept. 17 in Delaware Park behind Hoyt Lake.

The Music Is Art program was founded by Goo Goo Dolls bassist and Buffalo native Robby Takac in 2004. The first festival took place in 2003, at Takac's old studio on Allen and Franklin during the Allentown Art Festival.

The Allentown Art Festival doesn't showcase very much musical art, Takac said.

"So we booked 35 bands in my parking lot and had a show."

Since then the festival has become an annual event and the organization has expanded to include many different programs. Its mission is to keep music and art alive in the Buffalo community.

"No matter who you are, where you're from, what you look like, what you do, what your age is, what your background is, everyone gets to have a shared, common, free experience," said Tod Kniazuk, executive director of Music Is Art.

According to the festival's event page on Facebook, over 100 musicians, DJs, dancers, and artists were featured, all representing the best talents in the Buffalo area. Along with live and visual artists, the festival also had a Kids Village, food and beverage vendors, and multiple stages to give visitors a chance to sample as much art as they could.

"I love every year getting to be surprised and finding a new band I've never heard before, and will absolutely hear again, because they are so good," Kniasuk said. "It happens every year."

This year the festival was moved from its usual location behind the Albright Knox Art Gallery to Delaware Park next to Hoyt Lake due to construction on the back steps of the gallery.

"We had eight stages this year and of course we're in this brand new expansive ground," Takac said. "I think we've learned that there is an interesting scene over here that we could maybe use."

While there are no official plans to continue to use this location for next year's festival, visitors had a positive response to the location.

"It's pretty cool, we'll see what happens," Takac said.

The festival is made possible every year thanks to the Music Is Art board of directors, about 30 festival committee members and all of the volunteers who come out to do their part, Takac said.

Volunteer William Golias, a freshman civil engineering student from the University at Buffalo, said he loved the experience and would like to come back next year either as a volunteer or an attendee.

"Music is something that everyone can relate to," Golias said. "I've seen all sorts of people here."

Along with this festival, Music Is Art is also responsible for many other projects, including Music in Action, a music business educational program. They also have an instrument drive to help keep music in schools, which Takac said has raised over $250,000 in instrument donations over the past nine years.

Music Is Art also puts on a series of battle of the bands competitions and they also have The Big Easy in Buffalo series, which brings bands from the New Orleans area to Buffalo for musical education and training.

At this time there are no specific plans for next year's festival, Takac said.

"It's the 10th one," Kniazuk said, "so you know we have to blow it up."

Mia Summerson can be reached by email at

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