Art After 5 at RTPI – An Evening of Music, Nature, and Art

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute’s (RTPI) Art After 5 program draws a varied crowd to appreciate RTPI’s exhibits, enjoy local music, and socialize over snacks and drinks. Events, which take place about once a month, feature two hours of live music by a local musician or group and access to the Institute’s exhibitions.

“It’s the best happy hour in Western New York”, says David Niles, Program and Events Manager at RTPI.

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute, home of the collections of Jamestown-born naturalist, ornithologist, and nature artist Roger Tory Peterson, has shifted its focus to art exhibitions in recent years and has invested heavily in creating a market for what is essentially the only independent, dedicated art museum in Chautauqua County. Much of that work involves attracting visitors who are unused to paying for an art museum experience, which is where Art After 5 fits in. Niles sees the events as “another way to share […] what we do with our community”, including with “people that may not come to RTPI on their own”. “Music is a great avenue for that”, he continues, as well as “a way for us to nurture and support more artists”. By transforming RTPI into a music venue the museum attracts music-lovers, perhaps a larger and more diverse market than that the Institute would normally draw.

Niles hopes the ticket price, usually $16 to $18, will also attract those who just want a nice evening out on the town. For that price, “you get a glass of wine, you get something to snack on”, “two hours of live music and you can lose yourself in the art”, says Niles, who adds that he’s always on the lookout for new musical talent for the events.

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Featured artwork: Smackdab, Joe Rice, 2023, watercolor on paper.