Geva's Board Extends Executive Director...


Geva Theatre Center’s Board of Trustees Extends Executive Director Christopher Mannelli’s Contract Through July 2022.

Rochester, N.Y., August 6, 2019 – The Executive Committee of Geva Theatre Center’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that they have renewed Christopher Mannelli’s contract as Geva’s Executive Director and Co-CEO through July 2022. Mr. Mannelli shares the role of Co-CEO with Artistic Director Mark Cuddy.

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Christopher Mannelli is celebrating his 4th season as Executive Director and Co-CEO of Geva Theatre Center. In that time, he has overseen the completion of Geva’s $10.5 Million Front & Center capital campaign and building renovation; realized significant increases in both subscription/single ticket sales and substantially increased the income from Geva’s annual fundraiser, Summer Curtain Call. He has also led the organization through the four most successful seasons in recent history posting an operational surplus last fiscal year and overseeing the growth of the organization by over a million dollars during his tenure. Geva Theatre Center continues to be one of the most attended theatres in the Northeast, welcoming over 150,000 audience members through its doors last season.

“Chris Mannelli, as Executive Director, has been very instrumental in the recent success of Geva Theatre Center,” said Dennis Bassett, Chair of Geva’s Board of Trustees. “We are thrilled that he will be continuing in this capacity.”

“I am so proud of all that we have accomplished at Geva over the past four seasons and I am honored to continue in my leadership of this dynamic arts institution and to serve the Rochester community.” commented Christopher Mannelli.

In 2017 he was appointed to the New York State Council on the Arts’ Theatre advisory panel where he has served for the last two years. He currently serves on the board of directors for the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), board member and member of the executive committee for the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, Washington Square Park Community Association and on the corporate board for the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Christopher Mannelli joined Geva in 2016 from Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, a Tony Award-winning institution dedicated to new plays and playwrights, where he has served as Managing Director. During his five-year tenure he led the reorganization of the institution and was responsible for the strategic planning, fundraising and audience development initiatives that created the theater’s new business model. Under his leadership, Mr. Mannelli oversaw numerous award-winning productions, increased contributed income, and launched innovative membership and audience engagement initiatives. Prior to his work with Victory Gardens, he served as Deputy Director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, one of the largest nonprofit theatres in Chicago. He oversaw operations and helped to produce the theatre’s “World Stage” international programming, including Chicago Shakespeare’s first ever tour to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. Before moving to Chicago, Mr. Mannelli was the Managing Director for HotCity Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri. In this capacity, he was instrumental in the company’s financial and programmatic growth, which included educational outreach programs, new play initiatives and several collaborations with prominent arts organizations. He has served on the board of directors of the League of Chicago Theatres, as a steering committee member for Enrich Chicago (a group of arts organizations in Chicago working collectively to address racial equity), as a board member for the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce and the community board of Emerald City Theatre. Mr. Mannelli grew up on Long Island and began his career as an actor and a musician, touring nationally and internationally. He holds a B.A. in opera performance from the SUNY Geneseo School of Performing Arts, an M.F.A. in Arts Leadership from DePaul University, and an Executive Scholars Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.


Founded in 1972, Geva Theatre Center is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre productions, programs and services of a national standard. As Rochester’s flagship professional theatre, Geva is the most attended regional theatre in New York State, and one of the 25 most subscribed in the country, serving up to 160,000 patrons annually, including 20,000 students.

Geva operates two venues – the 516-seat Elaine P. Wilson Stage and the 180-seat Ron & Donna Fielding Stage.  As one of the country’s leading theatre companies and a member of the national League of Resident Theatres, Geva produces a varied contemporary repertoire from musicals to world premieres celebrating the rich tapestry of our diverse community. The theatre draws upon the talents of some of the country’s top actors, directors, designers and writers who are shaping the American Theatre scene.

Geva Theatre Center offers a wide variety of educational, outreach and literary programs, nurturing audiences and artists alike. Since 1995, the organization has been under the artistic direction of Mark Cuddy.

For more information:

Saint Mary's Church 185th Anniversary!

Saint Mary's Church 185th Anniversary!

Saint Mary's Church
Downtown Rochester - 15 St. Mary's Place 14604
185th Anniversary Event

Photo courtesy Saint Mary’s Church

Photo courtesy Saint Mary’s Church

Open House
Saturday, June 22: 3-8 p.m.
Sunday, June 23:     5-7:30 p.m. 

The Open House includes tours of the stained glass windows, an historical display, music in the garden and refreshments.

Mass Times
Saturday, June 22:  4-5 p.m., with a jazz interlude
Sunday, June 23:     10:30-11:30 a.m., followed by a reception 

Live Music
Saturday, June 22:  Red Hot and Blue will be performing with The Tom Tosti Group from 5-8 p.m.
RHB Facebook Link:


WElcome: Pele Yoga

WElcome: Pele Yoga


Pele Yoga opened in the Washington Square Neighborhood in January, right next to the popular hangout, Fuego Coffee, at 1 Woodbury Blvd. It’s prounounced “pey-leh”, like a Hawaiian lei, and “we are inspired by Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess - specializing in heated flow-style yoga, free-form dance, and fiery fitness to support our evolution”.


Founder Danielle Rinallo is a Rochester native, 5-year California resident and Hawaii enthusiast, having lived there for two months right before the volcano erupted on the Big Island in 2018. She was inspired to open Pele Yoga when she returned - ready to secure roots in Rochester and support our city’s evolution. She’s a “long time dancer, then corporate saleswoman, turned yoga teacher, she’s grateful to be combining her business acumen with her love for yoga and dance at Pele.”

Creative - Empowered - Movement - is the mantra at Pele. “We turn up the tunes and engage in challenging yet accessible classes so you feel enlivened and supported.” Aloha - Namaste - Love - …”another mantra we use to remind us that we’re connected.”

Beginners and experienced yogis are welcome! There is a retreat to Hawaii planned for next February and Teacher Training starts in July. The expert staff of Pele Yoga guides with clarity and compassion as we learn with and from one another.

Looking to give it a try?! YES!!! Pele is offering a special discount for all new signups: 30 days for $30. Find the full class schedule and more online: Pele Yoga

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Washington Square Community Boundaries

The Washington Square is informally made up of the following boundaries…

To the East: Chestnut Street
To the West: Genesee River
To the North: Broad Street
To the South: 490/Inner Loop


Find a list of all of the businesses and organizations in the area here: Neighbors.

2018 Year-End Wrap-Up!

2018 Year-End Wrap-Up!


Bourbon Cream Candy Canes provided by our friends at Black Button Distilling!!!

Hi Neighbors!

2018 has been a great’s a recap of what’s been happening in and around the neighborhood, and a few things to look forward to for the New Year.

We’d like to thank our organizational and corporate funding partners for 2018 including: Buckingham Properties, Excellus BCBS, M&T Charitable Foundation, Three City Center Partners, Turner Engineering, Hyatt Regency Rochester, and The Little Theatre.

Clean Sweep 2018

May 5th, 2018: Our 7th annual Rochester Clean Sweep for the neighborhood! See blog post and photos here.

Dachshund Parade 2018

May 12th, 2018: The 17th annual Dachshund Parade was held in the Washington Square Park by the Rochester Dachshund Parade organizers. See blog post here.

Community Charrette for the WSP


June 2nd, 2018: The results of our community charrette will be released in early 2019. See blog post and more photos here.

Native Opening


Native Eatery AND Bar officially opened in June of this year, giving even more life to the corner of Woodbury and Clinton with an expansive view of the Park, a spacious interior, and a beautiful outdoor patio. Geva patrons currently get half-price off their first drink (show the evening’s ticket to the bartender), they were one of the featured pop-up restaurants at the Roc Holiday Village, and they are currently taking reservations for a Prix Fixe Menu and Jazz combo for New Year’s Eve. See blog post and photos here.

Movies with a Downtown View


The WSPCA celebrated the 5th of production of the Movies with a Downtown View by having 5 different productions throughout the summer: 2 in Manhattan Square Park, 1 in Washington Square Park (shown above), 1 in Parcel 5, and a special event on the rooftop of the Hyatt Regency Downtown. The movie events happen every summer, and most are FREE to attend made possible by the generosity of local donors. For more info and highlights, check this out.

Fuego Opening

Fuego Coffee Roasters opened up in the Woodbury Lofts building in early November, with their official Grand Opening party on Friday, November 9th. They treated all area neighbors to FREE coffee all month long, and have quickly become a fave amongst area residents, workers, and visitors. If you have not been into their beautiful space yet, do not wait any longer - it is sure to become a favorite of yours too.


Mini Clean Sweep - Manhattan Square Park


Part of the mission of the WSPCA is to “…revitalize and reinvigorate the Washington Square Park and surrounding areas.” We take this mission very seriously and want to not only better our neighborhood, but also help the adjacent neighborhoods here in downtown look better. Acting on this mission, several neighbors in conjunction with the Center City Community Coalition (C4) participated in a Mini Clean Sweep on Saturday, November 10th at the MLK Jr. Memorial Park.

Cafe Sol Opening


Looking Ahead to 2019….

Riverway getting a facelift


How can you miss all of the work going on at the river along the east-bank of the Genesee? The skyline and views are changing daily, and there will most certainly be a new apartment complex opening up in 2019 called The Nathaniel. Running alongside the complex will be a brand new Promenade for all of us - the general public - to enjoy.

Roc City Skatepark


Don’t miss the Roc City Skatepark that is slated to open in the fall of 2019 adjacent to The Nathaniel. This exciting addition to our neighorhood will utilize space underneath the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge and be a much needed area of respite and play for skateboarders, walkers, cyclists, and the general public.

Of course there’s so much more - stay tuned for the 6th year of the Movies with a Downtown View, a Public Forum that will share the information gleaned from Phase I of the WSP Design Exploration, a C4 Event on January 16th, the annual Dachshund Parade in Washington Square, Clean Sweep 2019, and much, much more!

On behalf of the Board of the Washington Square Park Community Association, we want to THANK YOU for making our neighborhood one of the best in Rochester.  

As always, we encourage you to get out and get involved in your city. Whether that’s volunteering with the WSPCA, with an event or production that we take on, or if it’s just supporting our local businesses around town, we know each and every one of us is imperative to the success of our city.

Happy New Year!

-Jason R. Schwingle, President, WSPCA

Mini Clean Sweep on Saturday!

The Washington Square Park Community Association and the Center City Community Coalition (C4) invite YOU to a Mini Clean Sweep in MLK Jr. Memorial Park on Saturday, November 10th starting at 10am.

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We will be cleaning up the lawn areas of the Park, including raking, bagging, sweeping, and picking up garbage. The City will provide all tools and gloves, and they will be picking up the trash bags and leaves afterward.

This is a great chance to meet your neighbors in downtown, get some exercise on a Saturday morning, and even give back to the City we call home.


  • 10am-10:30a: Light breakfast served with coffee, bagels, donuts, and OJ for volunteers

  • 10:30-10:45a: Welcome from WSPCA, C4, and Conifer

  • 10:45a-12:15p: Mini Clean Sweep in MLK Jr. Memorial Park

Please RSVP (to if you plan on attending. This will help ensure we have enough food, beverages, and supplies for volunteers!

Facebook Event Page: Mini Clean Sweep


Thank You to All Who Joined In at the Design Exploration


On behalf of the Washington Square Park Community Association and the WSP Steering Committee, I'd like to THANK all of those involved in making the WSP Design Exploration a successful event on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018. 

With an energetic group of about 50 passionate Rochesterians, the Community Design Center Rochester took us through a 4-hour experience that led to some amazing data, feedback, ideas, and presentations for the re-design of the Washington Square Park in downtown Rochester. For those who stuck around all day and our way of saying thanks, the WSPCA made it fun with great local giveaways from neighborhood donors such as The VesperMonroe's at One, and the soon-to-be opened Native Eatery and Bar. One lucky winner was selected for the Grand Prize of two (2) round-trip tickets on Jetblue Airways. 

We're in the process of analyzing and processing all of the data and ideas collected, so stay tuned on the outcome of the public charrette process and what steps will be taken to move forward with plans to better the Park. If you did not get a chance to participate in the Design Exploration, there will be other ways to give us your thoughts, ideas, and feedback in the near future. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly if you would like a more personal response. 

Jason Schwingle 

DO NOT MISS: Dachshund Parade on Saturday!

DO NOT MISS: Dachshund Parade on Saturday!


Right here in our Park, the Washington Square Park, we are truly lucky to have one of the quirkiest, exciting, and fun parades throughout the entire city! But don't blink because you may miss it - the 17th Annual Dachshund Parade is happening Saturday, May 12th, from 10a-12noon at the Washington Square Park. 

Click here for more info and make sure to check out their Facebook page! 

Thank You to ALL of our Volunteers!


Thank you to the 50+ volunteers (including the Churchville Chili Modified baseball team) that helped us out at the 2018 Clean Sweep that happened on Saturday, May 5th 2018. We had incredible blue skies and a warm, sunny day - we couldn't ask for better weather!


We were all treated by the City and the Red Wings to a FREE game at Frontier Field afterwards - and, of course, it was a gorgeous day for a ballgame. The Wings made it a special afternoon with an exciting 8-0 shutout over Lehigh Valley IronPigs. 


If you missed Clean Sweep and are looking to get involved, we invite you to the mini-Charrette that will be held on Saturday, June 2nd at 3 City Center from 9a-1p. For more information, check out the blog post above. 

Clean Sweep 2018

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For more information, check out the City's website here. Please RSVP or send questions to so we can get an idea of how many volunteers we'll have. 


What the WSP neighborhood needs to know about this week's half-marathon

If you live around the Washington Square Park neighborhood, here's what you need to know about the Rochester Regional Health Flower City Challenge on Sunday. 

Up to 2,500 people will be running through our neighborhood as they compete in the half marathon or 5K road race. The event starts at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 22, 2018.

Wondering about road closures? Check out this diagram with the approximate times of road closures. Please note that all times are "approximates."



Congratulations WSPCA, WE DID IT!!!


In case you were wondering, the WSPCA exceeded its goal of fundraising $26,000 in 2017 for its first year's fundraiser. This is such a great accomplishment, as president of the WSPCA, I want to send a huge THANK YOU to everyone in our community who pitched in and made this possible. Large corporations, small businesses, residents, renters alike, you have all expressed your willingness to make our community a better place to live, work, and play. 

The WSPCA raised over $28,000 throughout 2017, a significant amount above the stated goal. A small portion of the funds went to operational costs (start-up fees, legal, various administrative costs), while the majority of the funds will be used for our WSP Phase I: Pre-Development plans this year (2018). 

Geva's 18/19 Season Announcement and Impact in our Community

Here's the 11-production Season Announcement for the 18/19 season. 

We're lucky to have Geva Theatre in our very own neighborhood. They're an economic, social, and entertainment force of the region. But how much impact do they really have? The video above shows us exactly...enjoy!

Student "March for Our Lives" Event: 3/24/18

Washington Square Park, Rochester, NY

Washington Square Park, Rochester, NY

On Saturday at 3pm, students plan to gather for a rally in Washington Square Park and march in response to recent school shootings. The local “March for Our Lives” event coincides with other student marches in DC and across the U.S. on Saturday. Please plan for delays if you are heading downtown Saturday afternoon.

Event details
March for Our Lives

Washington Square Park + downtown streets.

·        Traffic will be affected downtown from approximately 3-5pm. Streets will reopen as the march ends (approximately 5pm). This could vary depending on the number of attendees.

·        March route: begin at Washington Square Park, west on Court Street, north on Exchange Blvd, east on Broad St, south on Bausch & Lomb Place, end at Washington Square Park.

Closure details
All day Saturday

·        St Mary’s Place- closed all day Saturday until march is over

·        Court Street Bridge- no parking all day Saturday

From march step off (approx. 4pm) to end of march

·        Court Street from South Ave to Clinton

·        Exchange from Fitzhugh to Broad

·        Broad from Exchange to Clinton

·        Bausch and Lomb Place

Show your love for the Central Library of Rochester

The Rochester Public Library's Rundel Memorial Building in downtown Rochester.

The Rochester Public Library's Rundel Memorial Building in downtown Rochester.

If you live or work around Washington Square Park, you know how nice it is to have a library in the heart of your neighborhood.

Just how much do you love the Central Library of Rochester, or any other library in the Monroe County Library System? Now's the time to show the library in your life a little love ...

The central library and others throughout the state are asking you to help promote just how much you get out of your library. Use this Library Use Value Calculator, take a screen shot of the big total, and use it as a sign in a photo to post to your social media channels. Don't forget to include yourself or your family in the pic! When posting, use the hashtags #NYLALAD18 and #LibrariesAreEducation

You could even go to the New York Library Association website to tell your legislators all that you love about your local library.




$50 Million Investment Coming To Our Area!

Anyone who loves downtown Rochester will be intrigued by the latest news regarding redevelopment of the city's riverway.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in town last week committing $50 million to the development of the Genesee River and nearby downtown attractions. Efforts to transform the riverfront include 30 potential projects. Ideals include boosting river views at Charles Carroll Park Plaza, transforming the Rochester Riverside Convention Center and turning the Broad Street aqueduct into a downtown destination.

A new advisory board will develop the final plans.

Looking for more details? Here are some sites that might help:

Press release from Gov. Cuomo:

Story from WXXI Radio:

News from the City of Rochester:

News from WROC TV Channel 8:

A piece of history returns to the park

An Austrian cannon is back home at Washington Square Park. The newly restored WWI cannon fittingly returned to the park right before Veterans Day. 

The cannon is an important historical relic, and a part of our city's Italian heritage. 

It was the Italian government who bestowed the cannon to the City of Rochester in 1921. The cannon honored local Italian-Americans who supported Italy during World War I by either joining the Italian or American army. The cannon, however, fell into disrepair so it was removed from the park to undergo restoration by a Georgia company.

Many different groups rallied together to help the cannon make its big return to the park. Thank you to all involved, including the City of Rochester, Washington Square Park Community Association, Italian Community of Rochester and the Military History Society of Rochester.

For more, read The Austrian Cannon Has Returned in the Rochesteriat.


Today is the Unveiling!!!


The WSPCA invites YOU to the Official Unveiling of the refurbished Austrian Cannon, today, 2pm, in the Washington Square Park.

Washington Square Park
181 S. Clinton Ave. 
Rochester, NY 14607