The Niagara Falls Music & Art Festival is a production of Balabans LLC a New York State Limited Liability Corporation, its purpose is to improve the quality of life for individuals, business owners, and the community as a whole through the presentation of a diverse collection of Artists, Musicians, Vendors, and Activities to foster economic growth and cultural diversity.
The Niagara Falls Music & Arts Festival started out as the Main Street Music & Art Festival, which was founded by Rick Crogan in 2010. Rick invited friends for dinner and began to sell his idea and passion for Main Street and Niagara Falls. Rick was recruiting the “Creative Class” to rebuild and invest its heart and soul in Niagara Falls. The creative class, which is the driving force, along with supporters and believers in Niagara Falls, began to meet regularly over dinner, bottles of wine, and sketch pads in hand. There were encouraging discussions on how we could make an impact, and draw visitors and residents into our dream of a vibrant, artistic, and eclectic community. An intense community drive for Beautification, Art, and Music became our driving force. The Niagara Falls Music & Art Festival was born!
Get to Know Us
Niagara Falls Music & Art Festival – Principal of Balabans LLC (a NY State Limited Liability Corporation)
My passion is what drives me, my vision is what inspires me, my drive is what makes things come to life, my ability to stay humble and share in success with others keeps me grounded, my determination makes me not give up, and the need for a better way of life for my community keeps me motivated. This is what I am. My name is Richard A. Crogan or Rick as most people know me by. I presently work with Deal Realty helping people find the dream home here in Niagara Falls & Western NY. I am former President of the Main Street Business & Professional Association, Live NF, Niagara Beautification,Niagara Rises, Community Missions, Live NF and numerous other groups in our community. I formed my own company in October 2012 Balabans LLC and started The Niagara Falls Music & Art Festival. This is the third year Balabans LLC has produced the festival. I grew up in Niagara Falls and have some very strong roots to the community. My partner Michael Murphy and I purchased a home in The Park Place Historic District right next to my mother five years ago and used it as a vacation home for some time, then decide we loved being here in Niagara Falls so we left our lives in Atlanta and moved to Niagara Falls to help with the Renaissance of a lost city of beauty. If we had not come back, Michael and I would never have been able to be married in front of all of our friends and family. I have lived in many places, from Miami’s South Beach district where I was very active in the revitalization of the now famous South Beach, as well as in Montgomery Al, Manhattan, Orlando & Lady Lake, Miami Fl, Atlanta, and as far away as Venezuela. I grew up in the hospitality business starting back when I used to clean my parents bar “Cousin’s Lounge” some of you may know and remember; it was right here on Main Street! That is where my passion began and has brought me back to it, full circle. My experiences with all the people and celebrities and businesses and organizations that I have worked with has put me in a good place. I am now working with some great people to revitalize a neighborhood which we call “the WoMa District” (thanks to Andrea Galyn)and fill it with people from the Creative Class. Please join me in a weekend of great Music & Art and see what we are doing and help us to create our dream. This years festival is June 19th , 20th & 21st, 2015.
I was born and raised in Niagara Falls. Worked 30 years in the Purchasing Dept. for the Niagara Falls City School District and retired in 2011. I am now working part time at Hobby Lobby and about to purchase my first home in Niagara Falls! I believe there is so much promise and opportunity in our city and I enjoy working with like minded people to help foster optimism, and enjoyment for residents and visitors alike.
Michael comes to Niagara Falls from Mississippi via Atlanta where he met Rick and they have been together for 13 years. Michael comes to the table with strong personal skills .He was a General Manager for Williams & Sonoma and is presently involved in the Real Estate market where we runs a 388 unit apartment complex in Amherst called Campus Manor. He also works in partnership with Rick at Deal Realty. Michaels passion for politics and community has him serving on numerous board. Make sure you meet Michael at the Festival that Southern Drawl will get you every time!
Cynthia “Cindy” Youngers Chilberg
Music Coordinator – Balabans LLC Main Stage & Gallery Stage
Bio coming soon!
Special Event Coordinator
Mary came to Niagara Falls in 2012 to write an article/blog on hosteling. Soon thereafter, she made our city her home. In 2014, she joined the NFMAF just to sell tee shirts and listen to some music. She quickly became friends with the organizers, who as it turned out, lived just one block away. Since then, she has been instrumental in developing social media platforms, as well as sales and marketing.
During the year, Mary works with NY Literacy Buffalo/Niagara and America Reads. She also has written a series of stories for The Niagara Hub, called “Lovin’ Niagara.” Mary is excited to be coordinating our new 2016 event – Porch Fest Niagara – that runs during the Garden Walk of Niagara and hopes to purchase a home in the area. She majored in Interdisciplinary History/Film Arts, and as you can see from her self-portrait sketch unfortunately her studio skills are lacking!
Graphic Designer & Web Designer
Eric Kenyon is Owner/Founder & Creative Director at Cataract Studios, LLC. He specializes in branding, information design, and marketing strategy. He designs marketing materials for Balabans, LLC and is webmaster for festivalatthefalls.com website.