Go Big or Go Home





How do you follow up a year like we all just came through? You go big, that’s what you do! That’s exactly what we did because we aren’t going home. We are already here, this is our home. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center opened the new Season of Giants this fall and we are excited about it! Our longstanding efforts have produced exciting events such as incredible jazz concerts with the biggest names in the biz, famous author lectures, numerous culinary delights, gorgeously flamboyant fashion shows, intelligent indie films and the ever popular Festival of Trees now entering the 15th year this December. This fall’s theme Season of Giants draws on the continuance to showcase giants in their respective industries with award-winning artists and performers from around the world! We are opening exciting large-scale art exhibits, huge concerts and fantastic festivals all based in the historic downtown Fort Myers River District!

Brand new this season, the public is invited to celebrate great culture and arts at Sidney’s Friday Nights Live Music Series for most Friday nights from 7 PM until midnight. Sidney’s rooftop sculpture garden will also be open to all visitors during weekdays for viewing grand works from Miami artists such as Juan Miguel Vazquez and Mario Almaguer, as well as the painted mural Paradise City by Artsemble Underground of Fort Myers. We hope you bring your family and join us for some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets and bird’s eye views overlooking the Caloosahatchee River in the heart of our growing downtown Fort Myers. 

We are keeping our promise to help sustain the SWFL art community via artful fundraisers, nearly every genre of live music concerts, dance parties with super talented DJs, and massive special events like the Festival of Trees the first week of December, featuring two spectacular FREE concerts performing on our front steps amidst the great columns of coral and limestone. Bring your beach chairs, sit on the closed off street and enjoy The Ben Allen Band and Memphis Motown Soul Experience! There will be room to dance so wear your dancin’ shoes! 

In further support of local artists, this season there are even more opportunities for independent artists than ever in our history. We are offering FIVE new Calls for Artists to get their art into our two prestigious galleries! The details are listed on our website at sbdac.com as well as on our Facebook page and Instagram. Take a moment today and follow those pages, you will be happy you did! Make sure to share that information with all the wonderful artists you care about, as you well know, keeping promises is no small thing.

Throughout our humongous 2021-2022 season, SBDAC brings you inspiration through new art openings each month that range in content and style. The full roster features nearly two dozen art exhibitions that began in September 2021 and rounds out in August of the year 2022. In addition to two new art show openings every month, SBDAC also produces four impressive concert series! 

The Jazzy Nights series of concerts jump started the season in October with industry giant and Multi-Grammy® Award Winner, Cécile McLorin Salvant performing to a full house! If you missed that one, be sure to get your tickets early for the Aaron Diehl Trio coming here this spring. Aaron was famously referred to as “The Real Diehl” by  Wynton Marsalis! Contemporary favorites, the Dan Miller and Lew Del Gatto Quintet will be performing in February featuring special guest Jeremy Davenport. Also you will kick yourself if you don’t score a seat for Wycliffe Gordon’s upcoming performance in April. This uber talented man was named “Trombonist of the Year 2021presented by the Jazz Journalists Association. Something you should know is this is an astonishing feat of a 14th win of the highly coveted award! 

The retro Vinyl Vibes series highlights the best tribute bands in the nation, including the Mersey Beatles, ABBA Revisited, North America’s #1 tribute to ABBA! And rounding out the series with hilarity and musical genius, The Blues Brothers Soul Band will knock you off your feet

Celebrating the deep American roots, our Bluegrass series will have the David Mayfield Parade returning to SBDAC to show off all that “acoustic, beardy goodness.“ – American Songwriter. The huge bluegrass sensation Sierra Hull, will be rockin’ the atrium in March and a unique brand of Bluegrass that blends tradition with youthful funk and energy by the Vickie Vaughn Band will rock the room in April!

The beautifully intimate Chamber Music series brings the masters of classical music to The River District, featuring world-class international artists, Violinist Tessa Lark, & Double Bassist Michael Thurber for a delicious cross-over into bluegrass early in the new year to perform a special twist in Bach to Bluegrass! Also gracing our Grand Atrium this coming January is the SPA Trio with Soprano Susanna Phillips, Violist Paul Neubauer and Pianist Anne Marie McDermott. Plus American Virtuosi will visit SBDAC again bringing celebrated classical musicians together for a two-night engagement in February. The gorgeous SWFL March weather brings us a treat with first prize Tchaikovsky competition winner, Zlatomir Fung along with pianist Rohan De Silva. Also in March Roberto Díaz, considered as “One of the greatest viola players in the world, if not the greatest” as stated by Christoph Eschenbach, will be filling the halls of SBDAC with tones so pleasing one could call it ear candy! 

For those that want to guarantee their seat before a sell out and attend all the performances of a particular series, significant discounts are applied when any full concert series is purchased through the box office. Tickets are already on sale and it’s fair to say they will not last long. 

Music and art programming is crucial to SWFL’s cultural development, and SBDAC’s special events also help foster the arts. We were thrilled to team up with Lee County Schools for Wicked Walk, an interactive art experience that was presented by Lee County students in October. Proceeds benefited the Foundation for Lee County Schools and SBDAC. The tremendous community support shown for these budding young artists was far beyond our expectations! The 10th Annual Art Walks the Runway will bring International couture designers to Fort Myers in March. Filmmakers and movie buffs have a lot to look forward to this season, as TGIM and the Fort Myers Film Festival return for their 12th season. Avid readers and writers can again enjoy the Famous Author Lecture & Lunch Series featuring a great lineup of National Bestselling Authors. Plus, the monthly Art & Poetry Networking Event offers local talent a platform to showcase their creations. 

Every year we offer something for everyone, and this year after so many shutdowns and lockouts we opened our hearts and our doors to present a Season of Giants just for you, the biggest part of us! Nothing breathes new life into us all the way the arts can. So whatever piques your interest, just do it. Join a drop-in Yoga class, sign up for a painting party, enter your art for a show, or enroll in the fall and spring semesters at Davis School of Music. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is committed to nurturing innovative excellence through arts education for children and adults. “Fostering imagination and creative thinking helps children connect to themselves and their cultures. The arts can speak directly to their dreams and aspirations,” said Assistant Director Devon Parker.

A last word to the wise…

Some of you may be pining for concerts that you missed last year due the world being what it was… and there is a solution for that! For a mere ten bucks you can view live recordings from a select few amazing musical treats. Just click here for access, https://www.sbdac.com/streaming/.  

Until next time, stay healthy, enjoy life, create something you feel is beautiful, and share it with the world!


Rebel Lilly

~A lover of lesser used words, critters of every order, and coffee. She is the girl that prefers her flowers uncut, her sunshine unbroken by clouds, and her toes in the sand.  

•All statements made in this blog are my opinion and my thoughts alone. Statements on this blog and webpage are not to be taken as medical advice in any manner. I base my writings on my personal experiences and on my own inquiry. It is highly suggested readers complete their own research and consult a medical professional before implementing any guidance offered here.

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