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Art and music meet at Griffis Sculpture Park Summer Festival

By Deb Everts

Music and art lovers will have the opportunity to celebrate a day of creativity at the 7th annual Griffis Sculpture Park Summer Festival on Sunday, Aug. 11 from 2-7 p.m.
Headlining the festival is the all-star band, Dead Phish Funk with CRiTT & Friends. Led by Buffalo native Eric Crittenden, the band will get the crowd moving and grooving with songs from The Grateful Dead, Phish and tunes from the funk genre. Some of Western New York’s top musicians will join Crittenden on stage making it a day to remember.
Funktional Flow, a funk jam band that played at the festival in 2016, will be also performing. Hailing from Buffalo, the group is a multi-genre quintet heavily rooted in rock and reggae, with a funk foundation.
Joining the musical lineup will be Grassroots rockers, PA Line, playing their soulful tunes. The Buffalo-based band brings a unique brand of alternative folk music. Performers from the Springville Center of the Arts will also be participating in some artistic performances throughout the day.
“This was the brainchild of then Board Chairman Doug Sitler and myself,” said Executive Director Nila Griffis. “We were a part of our original concerts at Griffis Sculpture Park and wanted to see these wonderful events return to Griffis Sculpture Park.”
The event will also feature a children’s activities tent that will be free of charge, vendors, food trucks and all of the sculptures on view. People are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and small coolers.
Bring the whole family to watch the performances and listen to music. While at the park, seek out the approximate 250 sculptures of Larry Griffis, Jr. and other international artists residing along the trails in the woods and fields of the more than 400-acre park, making it one of the largest and oldest sculpture parks in the country.
Griffis said this summer event draws people into the park who might not have otherwise visited. The event has created more of an awareness about the unique sculpture park and all it has to offer.
“We have visitors from all over the region attend and it is so great to see,” she said. “It’s also a great ground to promote our annual ‘Night Lights’ event that begins in the fall.”
The festival will take place at 6902 Mill Valley Road, in East Otto, on top of the hill at the Mill Valley site of the park. Festival-goers must be able to endure a 10-minute walk uphill to the festival site, however, there will also be a shuttle.
Tickets can be purchased online at eventbrite.com. Presale admission tickets are $15. Tickets will be $20 on the day of the show for adults, and children 12 years old and under are free. Gates open at noon.
The Ashford Hollow Foundation owns and operates the Griffis Sculpture Park and the Essex Arts Center in Buffalo. Established in 1969, the foundation has been celebrating its 50-year anniversary this year with a number of wonderful events to mark the momentous occasion.
For more information, visit online at griffispark.org, or contact Nila Griffis at 667-2808.

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