Fresh off of the hot-heels of the pandemic and my initial PBS travel show, Discovering WNY, Small Town WNY is my second PBS series (my 9th TV series overall) that finds me exploring small towns throughout the entire WNY region. And while you'll still find the more popular destinations on the show, I'll mostly be digg'n deep and "discovering" the lesser known and off the beaten path small towns that I believe, truly deserve a visit or two or even a weekend stay. It's a show whose time has been a long time coming for the region. ~AA
SMALL TOWN WNY
If you've been through this site at all, you'll quickly start to see just how much small towns mean to me. To me, they are inextricably linked to a uniquely American experience and are, mostly, in a landslide fall at this point. To make myself perfectly clear, a suburb, is not a small town. They are vastly different with vastly different qualities of life, infrastructure and designs. We have been sold a great lie about suburban development and it's destructive consequences for the environment and society at large. Cheap land and cheaply made homes are not the long-term answer to anything anymore and only equals an ever-cheapening quality of our lives, culture and society.
All is not lost though, and this shows sole goal is to open the public eyes at large about some of the beautiful small towns that somehow managed to survive the onslaught. The small towns you will see on the episodes here have all mostly retained their integrity and architecture and original planning. Some towns have become true guiding lights, actually enhancing their original, good bones while others went even further with redesigns based on sustainability and walk-ability and a very high quality of life. I will share all I have found with you. Inspiring you to get out there and see the towns for yourself and maybe, just maybe, inspire a few of you to actually maybe even make a move to one. ~AA
Featuring half hour small business profiles plus, small town history, events & attraction episodes from these great WNY towns...
Clymer Darien Center Depew East Aurora Ellicottville Elma Fairport Findley Lake Forestville Fredonia French Creek Gasport Geneseo Geneva
Grand Island Hamburg Henrietta Lancaster Lewiston Lockport Mayville Mumford Niagara falls Niagara on the Lake North Tonawanda Orchard Park Penfield Perry
Pittsford Portland Ripley Sheridan Silver Creek Spencerport Tonawanda Wanakah Warsaw Westfield West Seneca Williamsville & more to come!!!
A bit about... The TV Series
The initial feedback I always seem to get from fans of the Small Town WNY episodes is that they are too short. Well, there's two facets to that that I tell people. Number one; when my previous show (Discovered WNY) was first pitched to my local PBS station, they came back with a pretty brilliant marketing idea that would help us both out. Of course, I initially pitched the show as a full, standard half-hour program. But what was suggested by them was an interstitial (in-between the shows) series of episodes as it would allow the show a much broader exposure to a much more diverse and large audience than any singular, weekly half hour series ever could. I thought it was a brilliant idea and I've been using this shorter broadcast format ever since as it just makes good sense to me. After all, I created these shows to feature and promote the WNY region and all it has to offer and spreading the good word throughout an entire week of programming blocks, at all hours, to all demographics and throughout all sorts of styles of shows was the best way to shout the message from the proverbial rooftops and get the word out to everyone. Secondarily to this is the simple, singular point that these are suppose to be teasers to get you off your butt and out of your house to go explore and discover the great small towns of WNY for yourself. If I give too much away, then what's the incentive? My incentive here is to tease you, not to feed you 'til your full. To create just enough of a spark in your curiosity, so that now that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, you can finally, safely, go get out there some weekend afternoon and go explore them for yourself. And speaking of the pandemic being over, well, as bad as the it was for my previous show (Discovering WNY), as my entire business
subsisted on the sales of accounts to small, local, Mom & Pop shops in small towns throughout the WNY region, it was truly a blessing in disguise as it forced me to put the brakes on the run-away locomotive I had been riding on for past 3 years, take stock, take a step back, think a bit and really dig deep and see and most importantly, understand... what I had been building and exactly what it was becoming. You see, "Discovering" is a very ambiguous name and implies many things to many people and could literally encompass any subject matter I wanted. Which, at the time, I came up with the idea, was the point. But after hundreds of half hours of episodes and tens of thousands of hours of hard work, I was truly riding a rocket that had no direct focus or and, as I stated, up top here, the pandemic allowed me time to stop, look at what I built and really, just define and refine what I had built. And what did I see when I started to take a look back at the hundreds of shows I single-handedly produced over the last 36 months? Well, basically that everything was small town oriented and I had barely touched, cared or noticed the city or the vast majority of it's direct, connected burbs. I was on a small town mission and I was gravitating even deeper into by the time the pandemic hit. So, over the course of the pandemic, I set about rethinking, redesigning, rebranding and refining the show and my company toward it's ideological heart and soul. Which was all things small towns. What you see in the "Discovering WNY" episodes above were really the start of that idea and with the new interstitial PBS series, you will see an ever-deepening expansion on the foundation I had built through the hundreds of Discovering WNY episodes. I hope you truly enjoy it and I thank you for watching. Now go get out there already! ~AA
All songs written, performed & produced by A. A. Conceived, created, produced & directed by A. A. Entirely filmed in WNY & edited by A. A.
A bit about... The Companion "Small Town" Series Paper
Whether it's a simple tweet, a blog post, a YouTube comment or your own site or actual physical media, we all should practice a good deal of personal editing if there's no one else around to do the task for us. It's the same in all media fields now. There's very little editing and vetting and far far too much noise. Less is always more and when I grew up you had no choice. An album ran at 30-45 minutes tops with 15-20 minute sides. Edit. Books and all ephemeral media were far, far more expensive to produce in much higher production runs than today. Edit. TV and movies??? Ditto... Edit. It was a vetted and edited world I grew up in and, in my opinion, we were all far better for it. So what does any of this have to do with the Small Town WNY TV companion paper here? Well, it has everything to do with it. The paper is a svelte 16-page, vetted and edited and distilled version of what you see here on the website and the show. Newspapers, zines and local "rags" as people call them, are all mediums I grew up with and believe in and creating a paper was something I have been wanting to develop and produce for as long as I've been in the media business.
Over the years creating & producing Discovering WNY, it was always a future goal to be able to produce a free regional companion paper for that show for everyone in WNY to enjoy. So, with that show and the pandemic now behind me and Small Town WNY in front of me, I thought it was finally time to bring an accompanying paper to the show to fruition. Physical copies of each new issue will be available exclusively through the sponsors locations you'll find in each current issue and will change with each issue. This way, it gives people another reason to stop by the papers awesome sponsors businesses as well as it will help spread the issues around a bit more than we would otherwise if we only had a few set regional locations to pick up your physical copy of the paper. You'll also be able to find all the digital online issues here on the website and you can always just subscribe to the physical paper and get the issues delivered right to your door. All our subscriptions come with a super-cool Book Shelf/Box Set Collector's Case for all of that year's issues plus, you'll receive an exclusive logo sticker too! Thank you for checking out the paper. I truly hope you find it entertaining and most importantly, useful. ~AA
Papers written, photographed & designed by A. A. Conceived, created, directed & produced by A. A. Produced in Western NY & edited by A. A.
THE SMALL TOWN WNY WNED-PBS TV SERIES COMPANION PODCAST
A bit about... The Companion "Small Town" Series Podcast
At the heart of each episode is a great, candid and sincere conversation between two people who are deeply vested in their respective small businesses and I thought it was a great way to start this journey. At its core, sharing our stories and the knowledge we have gained in life is all this is about. ~AA
All songs written, performed & produced by A. A. Conceived, created, directed & produced by A. A. Recorded in Western, NY & edited by A. A.