Island Arts: If not now .... when?

Take time to enjoy and support the art that surrounds you

I recently read an article that was published in the Washington Post entitled “If not now, when?” Very interesting concept. If we don’t take the time to appreciate all we have now and the opportunity no longer exists how will we ever be able to appreciate the life we are living?

The Art League, Marco Island’s Center for the Arts, hosted the Celebrate the Arts Festival this past weekend and this weekend hosts its annual fundraiser. This has kept many who are involved with this great organization very busy.

Celebrate the Arts was a great success! This year the community involvement was extraordinary as Sandy Howe, the volunteer event coordinator, put together a schedule of entertainment that really hit home! The event could not have had any better of a kickoff at 10 a.m. Saturday morning as the Tommie Barfield Morning Musicians took the stage! This chorus group can only be described as outstanding!

Conducted by Lisa Braren, chorus director, this was nothing but a top notch performance. Being on of those behind the scenes for the festival itself, the stress can sometimes get in the way of the fun we should be experiencing and the appreciation we should acknowledge. After this performance, I was left with an uplifted feeling of why I do what I do!

The community entertainment continued that weekend with dance routines by Island Dance Academy directed by Natalie Stafford; Gaelic Gormans, Spotlight Dance Studio, directed by Jill Demchak, and Recreation Tappers of Naples by Judy Varrik. I applaud not only the performers for professionalism and dedication to their craft, but the parents of the youth participants. Thank you for ensuring the future of the arts by supporting your children in these spectacular opportunities.

We also had some great performances by local professionals Michael Angelo and master musician JRobert as well as Nashville singer songwriter Kate Strong.

The event included so many aspects, the Antique Car Show, Children’s Fun Center and of course 88 visual artists that made up the 39th Annual Juried Fine Art & Craft Show.

The Center for the Arts extended its hours and opened it galleries and gift shop during the celebration for visitors to take in the Florida & All that Jazz Exhibit in addition to hosting once again the traditional annual exhibit of works by students of Tommie Barfield Elementary School. These works were the culmination of the art classes that take place at the school under the instruction of Mrs. Kathy Anderson.

The entire concept of this event is to support the mission of this great arts organization by ensuring the future of the arts through awareness activities. If you were there and are not anymore aware of the impact of the arts, then if not now when? And if you didn’t take the time to come and see all this great event had to share with you, if not now when?

There are many opportunities to do it now. There are many opportunities to become more aware of the arts, promote education in the arts, support education of the arts and support the arts!

The next big chance for the center, which many of you will miss, is the annual fundraiser, the pARTy — Hollywood Nites.

This column has been dedicated to awareness and education in the arts. It has focused on the annual fundraiser for the arts for the past month. So for those of you who did not do it now, when? If we don’t take the opportunity now to support the arts, how will we ensure its future? In the same words of the article I referenced earlier “how many other things will we be missing?”

Don’t forget to check out the Arts & Cultural Calendar! Still so much to do and see!

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