The Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts' announcement April 19 that it is changing its name to Artis—Naples has generated a lot of letters. Here's another sample of what local readers are saying:
■ Save the Phil
When a new CEO was hired for the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts, it was fully expected that we would see changes.
Some of the changes, such as ticketing procedures, have been good, but the announcement that the name of the complex would change is shocking. How was this allowed to happen?
Rise up Naples. Write letters. Make phone calls. Withhold donations. Going to an event at the Phil? Stop at the lobby information desk to register your complaint.
Save "the Phil."
— Barbara Allen, Naples
■ In good taste?
Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts, all in good taste.
A class act, a classy name. Our Naples gem and bastion of culture.
"Artis" does not taste good. What are you thinking? It sounds like a gallery. It certainly doesn’t roll off our tongue. Why rebrand success? The Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts is Naples’ legacy.
Please don’t change our recipe for success. Please don’t spoil our legacy with a de-class label.
— Alice Z. Jacobs, Naples
■ Come along, people!
Simply stated, let’s try:
Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts.
Just "dash away" the new moniker.
Looks good to me.
— Mary S. Smith, Naples
■ Re: Artis—Naples.
I agree with the majority of the letter writers.
A really dumb idea.
— Terry O’Keefe, Naples
■ Coincidentally, my two uncles were Phil and Artie.
Phil was a wonderful guy but Artie could always find a way to ruin a family gathering.
It’ll be difficult now, during our annual visit to Naples, to suggest to the wife that we enjoy an evening at “Artis.”
— Greg Mignano, Sacramento, Calif.
■ I can’t wait for the new schedule at the Philharmonic Center for the "Artis" to see which "artis" will be coming next year.
I also love to visit the museum at the "artis" center to see the work of the wonderful "artis" on display.
This season I shall invite my friend Bill Artis to come down to Naples to visit this great home of the "artis."
— Neville Williams, Naples
■ I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but isn’t it obvious to the administration of Artis—Naples that the public is outraged at the name change?
What genius came up with that name? Sounds like name of the guy on "Laugh-In" who used to say, "Very interesting, but stupid."
I’m originally a New Yorker, and although I have lived here almost as long as the Phil is in existence, Avenue of the Americas will always be Sixth Avenue, and Fashion Avenue will always be Seventh Avenue.
Artis—Naples will always be Naples Philharmonic Center for the Performing Arts, or more affectionately known as "the Phil."
— Mindy Russo, Naples
■ Nothing could be a nastier slap to the face of Myra Janco Daniels than renaming her beloved "Phil" Artis—Naples.
— Bob Beckwith, Naples
■ Our beloved Phil!
You hardly need yet another letter to express the astonishment and disgust of the name change to Artis—Naples. (Artis?)
Kathleen van Bergen, you inherited a beautiful icon from Myra Daniels, nationally and internationally known as a beacon of good taste and cultural excellence. It is bad enough that you now allow drinks to be brought into the auditorium and empty glasses and spilled ice cubes left under the seats and allow people in shorts and T-shirts. Why screw up a good thing?
Over the last few days there was only one single positive letter — all the others were very negative to the name-change.
I wonder if you are, to paraphrase a bit, woman enough to stand up and admit your error and reinstate the name of our beloved Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts — That is if you care enough about our nearly 20 years of patronage.
— Wolfgang Schulz, Naples
■ The Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts, known affectionately as the Phil, is a valuable and much-revered institution in Naples.
We now learn that it is to have a new and rather pretentious name.
Oh, I listened to the reasons when they were shared with us, but I strongly feel that the old saying applies: "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it."
We know and love the Phil. We support the Phil. We learn there, meet friends there, have our lives enriched there.
Long live the Phil.
— Barbara Rosenbach, Naples
■ Everywhere I go, everyone I talk to, there is a feeling of disbelief and outrage — changing the name of the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts.
It is incomprehensible to me that the board would be so absolutely wrong and so out of touch with the way people treasure this name. I believe the board has made an unbelievable mistake, one that will have far reaching ramifications — Changing the name of the Phil to Artis—Naples.
— Peter Thomas, Naples
■ Having attended over 400 events at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts over the past 15 years makes me wonder why using five or six pseudo “man-in-the-street” interviews with people under 35 serves as a valid rationale for the time, effort and substantial financial outlay of a name-change.
I seem to recall that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet and the venue name isn’t what creates interest in the performances offered. Be it the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, the Miami City Ballet or any of dozens of headliners, and I’ll be there if you call it “The Cesspool.”
I go to lectures that interest me, visit the museum because I enjoy the exhibits, not because the venue name is catchy. But you could call it “La Scala” and it won’t make up for no Sarasota Opera.
If half the time and effort expended had been spent on programming, we might even know next season’s headliners.
As for re-branding, I speak only as a devotee of Hopalong Cassidy who knew a rustler when he saw one.
It’s going to take a mighty hot running iron to change a brand from “MJD” to “KVB.”
— Peter Wright, Naples
■ Artis—Naples. Really?
Did the new CEO of the Phil ever hear of “classic Coke”?
Long live the Phil!
— Cheryl Honack, Naples
■ Somebody didn’t do the homework.
When you Google “Artis,” you get the Royal Zoo in Amsterdam; an Israeli Art Appreciation organization; a San Francisco hedge fund; a tableware company in Great Britain; a real-estate investment trust in Canada; A German software company; hotels in Vienna and Lithuania; the consulting arm of Microsoft.
When you Google “the Phil,” the top entry is the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Fla.
American Family Insurance became AFLAC and needed a duck to identify them.
Andersen Consulting became Accenture after the Enron scandal.
Philip Morris became Altria to escape the connection with tobacco.
Datsun became Nissan at a cost of $30 million.
Comcast is becoming Xfinity to escape its past.
SciFi became Sy Fy.
Royal Mail (Great Britain) changed to Consignia, then changed back!
Blackwater Security became XE to escape unsavory reputation.
ValueJet became AirTran after a terrible crash.
— Charlie Berry, Naples
■ It seems to us that Artis—Naples is doing its best to erase the name of the remarkable woman, without whose vision, foresight and business acumen, the Phil and the Museum of Art would never have been built — our beloved Myra Janco Daniels.
Certainly the center was built to include all arts, as its very name implies, and so has been proven over and over again.
Kathleen Van Bergen, you stepped into a ready-made position of culture and wonderment. Be glad and continue bringing joy to all who have enjoyed and learned from the Phil’s myriad offerings.
Your name will become known too if you will continue to “carry on” and not try to change that which the people love.
— Tom and Sylvia Coppens, Naples
■ We have been in Naples since 1980 and have watched Naples Dinner Theater close, Naples Players move from Goodlette-Frank Road to a beautiful new building on Fifth Avenue (knowing personally Andrea Clark Brown, the architect).
In that time, we saw the Phil, Myra Daniels’ creation, emerge into a marvelous gift to Naples. We had season tickets for years and have loved many offerings of arts and music.
We need this one marvelous thing left alone as her gift to Naples. With no ridiculous name change to Artis—Naples.
Please keep the Phil as the Phil — the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts.
— Nancy S. Lindsay, Naples
■ Amidst the discussion of renaming the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts, the following information may be of some interest, irrelevant as it may seem.
Artis is the name (short for Natura Artis Magistra) given in 1838 to one of the oldest “modern” zoological gardens in the world.
The zoo is still in operation and is located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
— Henk Bleeker, Naples and Heiloo, The Netherlands
■ As a part-time resident since 1999 and a full-time resident since 2009, I am writing to express my dismay and disappointment at the name change of the Naples cultural institution, the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts to Artis—Naples.
The current name and the institution has blended and branded itself into the fiber of what makes Naples one of the finest places to visit and live in our country. Why suggest a name change when its overall success year after year attests to the fact that its name already has widely accepted recognition and value.
The adage "If it ain’t, broke don’t fix it" should apply.
I ask that the board reverse this ill-advised decision.
— Gerald F. Murphy, Naples
■ There is not one good reason to change the name of he Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts.
The Phil is Naples.
It’s a shame they would even consider it.
Someone needs to rethink what the heck they’re doing.
— Marvin Cecil, Naples
What do you think? Comment below or email letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
Artis—Naples CEO Kathleen van Bergen defends the change on this Sunday's "Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle'' on ABC7 at 10 a.m.
Features Editor Harriet Heithaus has a followup story on the name change in this Sunday's edition of the Naples Daily News.