Editorial: Philharmonic Center for the Arts ... major initiatives keep Phil driving local arts

More than 20 years old and the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts keeps going and growing.

In her annual report to the community the other evening, Philharmonic Chairman and CEO Myra Daniels announced plans for:

* A partnership for local performances by the established and highly regarded Sarasota Opera.

* A new speaker series starting next year and featuring the likes of former President Bill Clinton and magazine publisher/former presidential candidate Steve Forbes.

* Plans in the works for the affiliated Patty and Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art to acquire a major collection of a dozen pieces by an as yet unnamed major woman artist of the past century.

* A fundraising campaign to support all of that and much more, including programs that give schoolchildren their first brush with the arts beyond the classroom.

The Philharmonic is a leader of the Southwest Florida arts scene, which has developed into a driver of our economy recognized across the country. There still is room for other organizations to start and/or grow, either on their own or in collaboration with the Phil. Skill, service, relentless pursuit of goals, quality and innovation are the keys, as Daniels and the Philharmonic show us over and over again.

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