When Neil died a few years ago, people from all over the world contacted the Garveys with their sympathies for the loss of their friend, but also to share in their grief that the artistic community in Buffalo had lost one of its loudest champions. One friend shared a story about how Neil went door-to-door to advertise a local play because the company didn’t have money for ads or even posters. He’d make friends at every stop and end each conversation with a hearty “See you at the show!” The line stuck and lasted as a decades-old inside joke.
That kind of commitment wasn’t odd for Neil. In his life, he spent countless hours getting the word out about theaters, books, movies, and musicians. He loved Buffalo, he loved Buffalo’s artistic history, and he wanted as many people to be involved with it as possible.
When he died, we didn’t want that commitment to die with him.
Neil couldn’t spread the word anymore, but, in his memory, we could. We could make sure the theaters and the writers and the artists he loved to see in Buffalo got the support and the attention they needed. We could help to shine a light on young talent, we could help existing talent grow, and we could capitalize on Buffalo’s recent revitalization and make sure that, as it grows, the artistic community grows with it.
So Neil’s brother (Dan Garvey), Neil’s niece (Esther Eagan) and Neil’s nephew (me, Mike Garvey) created the Neil E. Garvey Foundation for the Arts.
With the help of Neil’s friends, Diane Jones, Lisa Ludwig, Debbie Di Matteo, Krystal Champagne, and most recently, John Eagan, we’re starting to pick up where Neil left off, spreading the word about Buffalo’s artistic endeavors and acting as one of its champions.
As for this space, keep an eye on it. We’re going to have fundraisers, sure (Click here to get your tickets for the Picnic! Woo!) but we also want the Foundation, or NEGFA, to be a one-stop shop for Buffalo’s arts and entertainment scene. We’ll post news here about what’s coming up, what’s going on, and the things we think people might want to know about. Next time, for instance, I’ll talk about seeing Evita at Musicalfare. (tl,dr: go see it.)
And, as always, we want to hear from you. Contact us here if you want to help, if you have a suggestion, if there’s something you’d like us to promote, etc.
Buffalo’s growing. No one would have been as excited about it as Neil Garvey, but he also would have seen it as an opportunity. We’re excited to carry on his legacy, to take advantage of that opportunity, and to help support the arts in Buffalo.
See you at the show!