The August 2009 storms that ravaged the Gowanda and Silver Creek areas also afflicted major damaged to one of the nation's most unique arts venues Griffis Sculpture Park in Ashford Hollow, NY. The park suffered over $50,000 in damage - with their driveway and many trails completely washed out. Since the August storms, many groups, businesses, and individuals have stepped in to help, including alternative rockers 10,000 Maniacs who will be headlining a benefit concert for the park on Saturday, October 24, at the Essex Arts Center at 30 Essex Street, Buffalo.
Also appearing on the bill is A Potter's Field and Red Widow - in what will be a fun, funky warehouse party occurring in two studios inside the Essex Arts Center. Only 250 tickets will be sold. If you've ever been to a Griffis Sculpture Park or Essex Arts Center event, you know that this will be one event that you'll be talking about for days.
The Griffis Sculpture Park is owned and operated by the Ashford Hollow Foundation. The organization exists on grants and donations, thus the need for the benefit. The organization provides arts in education programming for over 4,000 WNY students each year. The Griffis Sculpture Park is considered to be the United State's first and largest sculpture park, with over 250 sculptures located in the fields, ponds, and forests of the park.
10,000 Maniacs played an unforgettable benefit concert for the Griffis Sculpture Park in 1991, when over 5,000 music fans flocked Cattaraugus County park created by Larry Griffis, Jr. The Jamestown-based group became alternative rock heroes in the 1980's and 1990's with album sales that topped the 9 million mark. The group appeared on many national television shows and had numerous national and international tours. The 10,000 Maniacs are: Jerry Augustiniak, Dennis Drew, Jeff Erickson, Steve Gustafson, and Mary Ramsey. Founding member John Lombardo will be joining the band on stage for this performance.
The flood that devastated Gowanda and Silver Creek had a catastrophic effect on Griffis Sculpture Park. More than $50,000 worth of damage was done to the park due to the flood damage. The Park suffered major injury to its trails and roads. The main entrance road was removed, making it impassable for vehicles to enter. The entrance trail was turned into a river removing any entrance for the visitors. The trail to the cabins where the artist in residence program takes place was rutted and removed making it nearly impassable. Most of the major trails suffered major damage to the point where they were a danger to hike on. Major sections were missing and ruts four feet deep were carved in the middle of the trails. The road to the Gatehouse was completely removed and no vehicles could reach it. Programming vehicles filled with children, emergency vehicles and maintenance vehicles could not enter or exit.
The community did everything they could to reopen the Park. Volunteers poured out with pick axes shovels and earth moving equipment. Union Concrete and Gary Hill made a monumental effort to get the park back on its feet. Without their support the Park would still be in shambles. The Park is in debt due to the storm, and much work needs to be done. If you're a fan of the park, you can help support this unique organization by attending this event.
Tickets for this event are $40 presale and $45 at the door. They can be purchased at Terrapin Station, 1172 Hertel Avenue, Urban Threads, 736 Elmwood Ave, and Queen City Gallery, inside the Market Arcade building at 617 Main Street - downtown Buffalo. Phone orders can be made by calling the Ashford Hollow Foundation office at 716.982.8776 during normal business hours.