Day Session Blogger: Riane Lafferty, Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC

Discuss some of the "hidden gems" of Buffalo's arts and culture scene.

The Colored Musician's Club was my favorite hidden gem. Not only was I completely unaware of what the museum was, I was completely unaware of the significant historical impact Buffalo had with respect to black jazz musicians. Some of the musical talent that originated from and passed through the Colored Musicians Club was astonishing.

How has the city and region grown and changed throughout history; and what is in store for the future of the arts, culture, and tourism sectors of our community.

Even five years ago I would not have considered Buffalo to be a tourist destination. However, over the past few years we've had the re-development of Canalside, which brings a number of people from the suburbs to the city, and the addition of the HarborCenter, which has allowed for a number of events that bring in countless tourists, Sheas, which has been able to bring in a number of hit Broadway shows to Buffalo, the Albright Knox Art Gallery, which is on the cusp of a new expansion, Explore and More Children's Museum, which is also on the cusp of an expansion and move to Canalside, and the addition of a number of historical and other group tours including the Double-Decker bus tour that we participated in, Buffalo River history tours, pedal tours, tours of Buffalo's street art, and countless others. It is encouraging to see all that is going on to enhance Buffalo's appeal to travelers.

Describe what is was like to experience "a day in the life" for a tourist in Buffalo, and view our hometown with a new set of eyes.

Buffalo continues to surprise. A large number of the rising leaders have lived here their whole lives, and still were surprised at least once on this day.

What about this day impacted you the most?

This was an uplifting day. While the ACTH in Buffalo is not without issues, it was nonetheless encouraging to see all that is being done both to make our city better and to promote our city to others.

How can we, as leaders in the community, work to improve ACTH in WNY?

Go visit the theatres, museums, parks, tours restaurants, breweries, hotels, etc. Post about them. Tag them. Tell your friends to go. Take your friends. Pick your favorite(s) and donate to them. Volunteer. If you are involved with a group that holds large events or seminars, advocate holding those events in Buffalo. Join a political group aimed at improving ACTH in Buffalo. Form a political group aimed at improving ACTH in Buffalo.

Based on your day today, what is the biggest challenge in ACTH in Buffalo today?

I saw three major challenges related to ACTH in Buffalo. First, encouraging travel to Buffalo during the winter months. Second, the limited budget for marketing ACTH in Buffalo. Lastly, the lack of event space analogous to or competitive with other cities comparable to Buffalo for holding large events.

Additional thoughts or take-away's?

This day was a good reminder to make time to let loose and be a tourist in your own city. You never know what kind of "hidden gem" you may come across.