ABOUT THE GRANT
ABOUT THE PROJECT
It’s 1901. Lynch mobs swarm the South. Blacks flee north in hopes of opportunity. Immigrants struggle to find their place. And the World’s Fair in Buffalo beckons all to glimpse a brighter future for America. AT BUFFALO is an immersive and evocative musical journey through conflicting performances of race in post-Civil War America, tracking historical figures through the tumult of the fair. Mary Talbert, wealthy leader of the Buffalo black elite, must come to terms with the racial realities of her hometown. Tannie and Henrietta, a husband-and-wife black-vaudeville duo at odds over performing “coon” acts, strive for their $5-a-week dream. African businessman John Tevi must outwit the “savage rules” of “Darkest Africa”—the human zoo in which he has become trapped. And, Jim Parker, an unassuming black waiter is thrust into the spotlight when working-class Polish immigrant, Leon Czolgosz, enacts what was perhaps the most spectacular exhibition at Buffalo—the assassination of U.S. President William McKinley. Their lives collide as each confronts the brutal realities of the fair. Developed by a national creative team of scholartists, artists, and activists, AT BUFFALO explores how present-day definitions of race and Americanness were scripted and performed at the turn of the 20th century.