Posted by Mark Washburn on Friday, March 10, 2017 at 10:19:04 AM By Mark Washburn / March 10, 2017 Comment
From live performances to art workshops, family-friendly festivals to galleries, the art world is truly thriving in Downtown Fort Myers, and some propose an even larger presence in the future. The area known for its interesting shops and restaurants is also rich with artistic flair, with area visionaries determined to continue the trend. Take, for example, the Downtown Fort Myers Art Walk, which kicks off each Friday of the month and the following Saturday. It’s a time when more than a dozen local galleries open their doors with the opportunity for live demonstrations and meetings with local artists. In addition, the downtown area also plays host to ArtFest Fort Myers, noted as the region’s premiere art festival. Planned for February 2018, the ArtFest will take place right on the waterfront, affording the opportunity to meet artists, with family-friendly activities ranging from creating your own artwork to the exhibition of the work from up-and-coming high school artists. Add this to the grand plans imagined by a local resident and former Miami planning director. He aims to further the downtown area’s artistic vision by transforming mostly city owned land into everything from an open-air amphitheater to commercial art galleries, a children’s art center, a symphony house and a fine arts museum. He also wants to add in collaborative art workshops, generate help in funding public art spaces and encourage the development of affordable, creative space, much as cities like Portland, Oregon have already done. As plans such as these are proposed, centers such as the Alliance for the Arts are already working to create, promote, educate and develop culture and the arts in the region. The Alliance boasts a membership of more than 1,000 people and more than 50 organizations, supporting exhibit openings, youth programs, adult art classes and theatrical performances in the Fort Myers River District.
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