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Robert Falgiano

Robert Falgiano (image by Ginny Rose Stewart)

Published September 29, 2017

Each month, we’ll introduce you to an interesting member of the Professional Staff Senate. This month’s featured member is Rob Falgiano, assistant director of the Center for Fine Arts (CFA).

How long have you worked at UB?

Twenty years as of last week! Mainly I book events at the Center for the Arts and write grants for special performing arts projects.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The performances themselves, especially the more “outside the box” stuff like when we brought Columbian gypsy jazz group Monsieur Periné last season. These are life affirming moments which support talented artists and thrill the public.

What's the most difficult part about your job?

What I’d describe as the “40-year national trend” of corporatization of the arts, and the culture generally. I’m concerned that the mission of performing arts centers is being gradually buried beneath the finances.

What would you say is your biggest achievement at UB?

Supporting professional dance performance on our Mainstage, plus serving students in the UB dance department. Since 1997 the Center has contracted more than 100 dance performances. We are the only long-term dance presenter in Buffalo. More than two dozen professional companies from around the country have been in residence, providing master classes for UB dance majors, plus performances at area public schools. Residencies include some of the most important historical modern companies, such as Limón, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, and newer groups like Koresh, Rioult, Dorrance and Varone. I admire dancers. They are creative athletes.

Tell us something about your department that isn't well known.

The Center for the Arts exists on 70 percent earned revenue from our events and production services. There’s no programming or equipment budget from UB, and no student activity fees. 

If you were to share some advice for other professional staff, what would it be?

UB has many positive attributes but is highly political. (Maybe that’s everywhere?) Choose your stands with care.

Do you have any hobbies? What do you do for fun?

I love writing and performing music. I’m proud to say I’ve just released my 9th CD of original songs. 

Do you have a favorite meal you like to prepare?

I don’t cook. My favorite quick snack is a spinach burrito with lots of hot sauce.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I should make Italy a priority. In my head it’s one big Fellini film with everyone yelling and gesturing at each other.

Any other fun facts about you?

A few years ago I wrote a book called God Laughs at Dirty Jokes. It’s about my family’s encounters with spirits, believe it or not.