WHATEVER IT TAKES!
Every time I consider the mantra for the next phase of Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center’s life, I end up back at this phrase. ‘Whatever It Takes’ sounds good, but is hard to achieve, and even harder to maintain. We can always do better, and that is the way I want all of our team at SBDAC to think.
Hurricane Ian dealt the Art Center and all of Southwest Florida a catastrophic blow. While being shut down for several months by Hurricane Ian, we performed, with the help of the City of Fort Myers, numerous repairs to our beautiful historic gem equalling approximately a half million dollars. We were quickly back up and running, continuing our fabulously diverse programs for the 2022-2023 season. Our great team of leaders worked diligently to produce our finest season to date, and by the end of last season, our box office outperformed every other season in our history! We are grateful to all of our donors, sponsors, and customers for your incredible support. We’re here today in thanks to you and to our dedicated board of directors and the amazing SBDAC team with whom I have the privilege to work.
As we announce our panoply of concerts and events this coming season, I’ve named it “It’s a GRAND Season,” as we have exciting news to share! Last season, we held a capital campaign to purchase a Steinway & Sons Concert Grand piano for permanent residence at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center to insure the world class performers we bring to town have the very best instrument at their fingertips. The 88 Keys fundraiser was a tremendous success, and we have many wonderful donors to thank for making this purchase possible. The first concert of our new season features the new instrument with the Ehnes Quartet on November 16th with pianist Andy Armstrong, who was instrumental in finding our beautiful new instrument- now known as Gertrude Steinway!
While I’m on the programming note, let me mention our deliciously inventive Jazz, Bluegrass, Chamber Music, Vinyl Vibes concerts, Famous Author Lectures, Fashion shows, and Film Series available throughout the season. There is something for everyone, including students, as Davis School of Music and Davis School of Visual Art continue to grow, offering arts education to our youth.
While I’m bragging, let me tell you more. The new Sidney’s Rooftop Sculpture Garden is a hit with our community. Many of you have made it the place to be on Friday evenings, watching the sun set with our beautiful vistas and enjoying a rooftop concert or dancing the night away. We will continue to expand our programming on the rooftop, so keep an eye on our schedule of events. Sidney’s has also become a popular rental space for special occasions with its ideal setting. If the “Sidney’s” sign is on in the window down below, come on up and see what’s going on.
The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center has grown rapidly since we opened our doors in 2008, consistently averaging twenty percent growth in revenue each season. We have come from The Little Art Center That Could to being one of the most important arts and cultural destinations in all of Southwest Florida. The economic impact of our audience and our organization has poured into our beautiful historic downtown and it shows. Now, our little town is always filled with residents and visitors experiencing arts and culture. The impressive development happening all around our town is proof of our success. During gallery hours, we have a steady flow of guests who want to see our amazing curated art shows in both our Capital Gallery and the Grand Atrium Gallery. Each month, a new exhibit is installed so your experience is different every time you visit.
Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center’s mission is to nurture innovation and excellence in the visual and performing arts through exhibitions, performances, education and outreach. We strive to share the resources we have to the betterment of our quality of life, for our children, and for the people who depend on us to provide Fort Myers with cultural offerings for their families. We are ready for the exciting new opportunities this year will bring. This is my promise to our future. We will continue to serve the community with WHATEVER IT TAKES! We are going from great to amazing and need your continued support in order to do so. Join us in this GRAND season and I hope you will be a part of the experience.
CEO, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center