Since the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center opened its doors in 2008, downtown Fort Myers’ arts and cultural scene has grown exponentially. SBDAC has met the demand for exquisite art openings, inspiring performances, and inventive cultural events. In the 2018 – 2019 season, SBDAC expands its dedication to fostering arts and culture in downtown Fort Myers by featuring two art openings per month in the Grand Atrium and Capital Galleries, presenting five diverse concert series, developing new education programming, and the grand opening of Sidney’s on the Rooftop, scheduled on March 1, 2019.
The most exciting aspects of the 2018 – 2019 season can be found in SBDAC’s fundraisers. The newest fundraising event, the Gala on the Rooftop, takes place in February. Celebrate the grand opening of Sidney’s on the Rooftop, a brand new performance, rental venue, and sculpture garden atop the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. SBDAC’s first fundraiser, the Ghoul Gala, takes place in October. Before the Ghoul Gala, take part in the Wicked Walk, an interactive art experience presented by Lee County students. Both events benefit the Foundation for Lee County Schools and SBDAC. Also, Cooking for the Arts: An Evening in Barcelona presents another great hands-on culinary experience. The 2018 – 2019 fundraisers will help SBDAC develop new arts education programming in the areas of composition, production, and performance.
Throughout the season, SBDAC features monthly art openings that range in content and style. The full roster of art shows features nearly 24 openings between September 2018 and August 2019. The season begins in September with a riveting retrospective from renowned SWFL photographer, the late Jonathan Kane. In 2019, Richard Tsao’s exhibition brings a piece of the NYC art scene to downtown. Tsao’s designs have been featured at the MoMA, Guggenheim, and the Metropolitan Opera. Additional exhibitions include Syzygy’s Dark Art group exhibition, Love Your Rebellion’s Art Rocks juried exhibition, a Ken Franckling photography exhibition, and this year’s June Juried Exhibition, AC vs. DC: Tesla vs. Edison.
In addition to art openings, SBDAC also produces several impressive concert series. The performers featured at the upcoming Jazzy Nights concerts include contemporary favorites, like Dan Miller and Lew Del Gatto, featuring vocalist Carla Cook, and world-class international artists, like the Marcus Roberts Jazz Trio. SBDAC’s Chamber Music series brings the masters of classical music to downtown, featuring two inventive performances by Apollo’s Fire, Cleveland’s premier baroque ensemble that sold out Carnegie Hall. Plus, the American Virtuosi visit SBDAC, bringing celebrated classical musicians together for a one-night engagement. The retro Vinyl Vibes series highlights the best tribute bands in the nation, including Bee Gees Now, Gypsy (featuring Casey Weston from The Voice), and another show-stopping performance from the Mersey Beatles. The Noteworthy and Sounds of Summer concerts give locals and visitors the chance to enjoy some of the best bands around for an affordable price.
SBDAC’s two outdoor festivals come back to downtown Fort Myers in 2019! In January, audiences will enjoy Taps and Tunes Craft Beer and Music Festival. This event draws thousands to Centennial Park to taste more than 80 craft beers and listen to fun, fresh indie bands. Then, in April, the 6th Annual Smoke on the Water Barbecue Competition and Music Festival takes over Centennial Park. Cook teams from all over the South compete to win over $10,000 cash prizes, plus a chance at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue.
Music and art programming is valuable to SWFL’s cultural development, but SBDAC’s special events also help foster the arts. The 8th Annual Art Walks the Runway will bring couture designers to Fort Myers in May, exposing patrons and artists to international fashion design. Filmmakers and movie buffs have a lot to look forward to this season, as TGIM and the Fort Myers Film Festival return to SBDAC. Avid readers and writers can again enjoy the Famous Author Lecture Series, featuring a great lineup of New York Times Bestselling Authors. Plus, the monthly Art & Poetry Networking Event offers local talent a platform to share their creations. Enroll in one of the many art and writing workshops taking place at SBDAC this season to refine arts skills, or sign up for the Fall and Spring semesters at Davis School of Music, offering lessons in piano, violin, harp, guitar, voice, and songwriting.
Participate in growing downtown Fort Myers’ arts and culture during the 11th season at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center! Take part in the art openings, concerts, festivals, fundraisers, and special events that foster the SWFL art community. For more info, visit www.sbdac.com or call 239 333 1933.