SlyFest at Griffis

One of the cool things about Ellicottville and the surrounding area is the variety of annual events that we have all come to know and love, along with the seasons they accompany.  While there are many wildly popular events like Fall Festival, Winter Carnival, and more, there are plenty of others that have a quiet, long standing tenure in the area, that we here at The Summer Local are proud to tell you more about.  One of these festivals, now in its 9th season of offerings, is the Slyboots Festival (better known as SlyFest), taking place August 2-10 at Griffis Sculpture Park, located just ten minutes north of Ellicottville.  Looking for more info?  Read on!

Many of you may already know what Griffis Sculpture Park is about, but for those who do not, this is a destination that NEEDS to make it onto your to-do list.  Founded in the early 60’s, curator and sculptor Larry Griffis Jr. had a vision to create a one-of-a-kind landscape composed of steel sculptures of his own creation, along with other notable international artists.  The diverse and thought provoking sculptures dot the rural landscape of rolling hills, hiking trails and ponds, creating an exciting interface of art and nature.  As if there wasn’t enough to do and experience at GSP, enter Slyboots, bringing its own cultural and artistic spin to the Southern Tier, with a unique camp experience.

The Slyboots School of Music, Art & Dance is “hidden in plain sight” in the city of Buffalo, and is comprised of internationally touring artists devoted to promoting positive, meaningful social change through cultural arts and education.  The way Slyboots sees it, its goal is to encourage anyone to hone their respective crafts, motivate the masses, discover one’s voice, spread a message, travel, all the while broadening one’s mind.  Whether it’s music, art, digital medium, or cultural events, Slyboots has a service or a contribution to whatever it is you’re looking to fulfill artistically. 

Beginning August 2, the best of both of these worlds collide, as Slyfest 9 kicks off with its opening ceremonies.  For just $150 (or $200 if you live in the city and would like transportation from the Slyboots Campus) students will open the door to nine days of art, music and dance camp at Griffis Sculpture Park.  World-class arts education will take place through interactive workshops, lectures, group activities and performers (to be announced soon!)  Everything under the sun will be covered at Slyfest, including Literacy (creative writing, performances), Music (percussion, folk music, improve), Dance & Movement (yoga, circus acts, cycling), Art (drawing, painting, digital media, photography), and Science & Math (structures, architecture and bicycle mechanics).  It’s important to note, all of these activities are all ages no matter what your interest level or background.  Camp begins each day at 10am and runs until 4:30pm daily.  Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged! 

If this week-long cultivation of creativity sounds like it’s right up your alley, make sure you click over to and check out the vast array of unique offerings they have for everyone.  Registration applications, as well as more in-depth details are available on the site.  In the meantime, be sure to make the trek to Griffis Sculpture Park in Ashford Hollow, NY or click on through to for photos, a calendar of events, as well as all the other projects the park has involvement in.  Get out there - be creative, and most importantly enjoy all of the truly unique places and activities like these, right in your own backyard!

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