“Buffalo” – a spoken word tribute by Dana Ingebretson

“Buffalo when I first saw you,
Your streets unfolded to me just like I’d seen in the brochures…
…city of transplants, and replants, and those with deep roots and rings to show proof,
they’ll be faithful to you.”


We began collaboration on the spoken word film “Buffalo” in April 2015, after a series of not-so-coincidental events and “we should do this!” moments. For the following year, we ran around capturing footage of the Queen City. “Will you be in our video?” became a common thing.

The poem itself was written a cold winter evening in 2015. After living in Buffalo 1 ½ years, Dana had a lot to say about how the city had impacted her story. Having grown to love the rustbelt beauty of Buffalo and call it her home, she also felt the gaps between where the city currently is, and what it still needs to become. This poem and film is part of how she feels she can do her part to make Buffalo better.

“…You are both past and present
Buildings giving testament to where you have been,
and segregated neighborhoods shouting in unison that this, is our time, to move forward.”

Some added notes from Dana

“Buffalo has allowed me to become so many things, a poet and spoken-word artist among them. I wasn’t doing these things before moving to Buffalo, and the city seems to just open itself up to trying new things, seeing and taking new opportunities, and actually being able to take part in making things happen. I started doing poetry after I moved to Buffalo as a personal challenge, and the poetry community opened itself up to me, to help support me and grow me as an artist, and the rest is history.”

“I hope this film encourages people to think about their own story of how Buffalo has impacted them, and consider how they can play a role in moving Buffalo forward. I also hope that people see scenes in the film of areas that are new or unfamiliar to them, and that they are challenged to get to know parts of the city that they wouldn’t typically frequent, and get to know people in Buffalo who are different from them, whatever that difference may be. There was a scene in the film that I was worried would make parts of the city or people look too “rough”, and then a friend told me that the scene I was worried about was actually demonstrating community. It just wasn’t my picture of what community looked like. It really challenged me to think about how I perceive certain neighborhoods, or people groups. Maybe we are actually all much more alike, than different. And what exists as our differences can make us such a more vibrant, textured city.”

“It’s been so much fun to run around the city grabbing shots and dreaming about how to make a film that toasts the Queen City well – here’s to Buffalo!”

Video Team Credits


What do you think?

Written by Sam @ yeahBuffalo
Sam is co-founder of Yeah! Buffalo as well as Owner of theBREWROOM, a Buffalo NY based internet marketing company. Follow Sam : @SamInsalaco