Q: What is the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center?

A: SBDAC is downtown Fort Myers’ premiere arts and event rental center. Browse our website to learn more about our history, events, & rentals.

Q: What are your hours of operation?

A: The art center’s regular business hours are Monday – Friday from 10am – 5pm. The art center is only open for special events on Saturdays and Sundays.

Q: When was the building built?

A: The building now known as the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center was built in 1933. Click here to read the building’s full history.

Q: What is the building made from?

A: Designed by prominent Florida architect Nat Gaillard Walker, the art center building is rare masterpiece of Neoclassic Revival architecture in Florida. The building’s massive columns were made of limestone from the Florida Keys. Plus, the walls were embedded with coral formations and sea shells.

Q: Who owns the building?

A: After the Federal Government vacated the building in 1998 the City of Fort Myers purchased the building in 2,000 and put a request for proposals out to area nonprofits to create a cultural institution in downtown Fort Myers. Florida Arts, Inc. proposed a multidisciplinary arts center and was awarded a 99 year lease of the building beginning in 2003.

Q: What do the light sculptures outside the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center say?

A: Created by artist Jim Sanborn, the eastern drum contains the text of a story told by Maskoki Indian leader Tchikilli to James Oglethorpe about the migration of Native Americans into Florida. The Seminoles, Miccosukee and Creek trace their ancestry to Tchikilli and his people. The western drum contains the Latin names of 500 botanicals that Thomas Edison tested in an effort to develop a local source of latex from which to make rubber in order to help out his friends Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone.

Q: Is it free to enter the art center’s gallery and art openings?

A: Each month, the art center brings a new visual art exhibit into the Grand Atrium on the first floor. The openings take place on the first Friday of each month during Art Walk. Entry to the openings is donation based. Entry to the Grand Atrium during our regular business hours is also donation based.

Q: How can I purchase tickets?

A: Tickets to art center events can be purchased via this link on our website, or by calling the box office at 239-333-1933.

Q: Can I book an event at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center?

A: The art center hosts a large variety of events throughout the year. To inquire about an event rental, fill out of the rental contact form or visit the Rental FAQ page.

Q: I am an artist/musician/performer. How do I show my artwork at SBDAC?

A: Programming for SBDAC is overseen by our board of directors programming committee. If you are interested in presenting your artwork at SBDAC, please email a portfolio of your work/performances to our director Jim Griffith (jim@sbdac.com), so that he may present your work to the programming committee. Programming decisions are made bi-annually.

Q: How many people does the art center hold?

A: Capacity can be found on the art center’s rental agreement. To receive a copy via email, please fill out the rental information request form.

Q: Are there ghosts in the art center?

A: Some say there’s some spooky stuff happening in the art center, but you’ll just have to visit and judge for yourself!

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