When is the PA Firefly Festival?

Friday, June 25 and Saturday June 26 from 7 pm to Midnight. Subscribe to the PAFF Newsletter at Pafireflyevents.org to get early notification of the online registration links.

Friday, February 23, 2018

UN Arts Ambassador tells Forest County about His Fireflies.


Ibiyinka Alao, a United Nations Arts Ambassador from Nigeria came to Forest County on February 1 & 2. With the help of a J. Bowman Proper Trust grant, the Forest Area Arts Council, Tionesta and Marienville Lions clubs and West Forest Elementary Yearbook,  PAFF sponsored the 2-day resident artist in the Forest Area School District.  Ibi, as the kids call him, spoke to all the students K-12 about his experiences growing up in Nigeria and the lessons he learned from catching and releasing fireflies in the bush of Africa.  Using his charm and whit, Ibi connected the science, art, music and life lessons about fireflies to teach them how to paint a forest or village landscape and a Calabash (an African bowl).  He inspired them all to create and express themselves in art, music, writing and dance.

The students' artwork was on display for the community at 2 evening programs, one for West Forest and one for East Forest.  A number of the pieces have been chosen to be published in a Shutterfly book and will soon be available for purchase to benefit PAFF future programs at https://pafireflyfestivalphotogallery.shutterfly.com/.

Each night, Ibi spoke again to the audiences about his paintings and how fireflies have inspired his art and music.  The Scholastic book "Ibi's Fireflies" was a Kids are Authors Award winner and is being made into an animated film using Ibi's artwork and music with the help of producer/director Tim Burton and cinematographer Derek Frey.  We will be looking forward to the release of this film.


This was such a great way to spend the winter days while we are waiting for our next firefly season.  We are so grateful to Ibi and his assistant Shawn.  The PAFF board also thanks the volunteers from Forest Area Arts Council for their help setting up the "art galleries".