Lee County Alliance for the Arts Unveils New Logo and Campus Vision

BY March 25, 2015



The Lee County Alliance for the Arts celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and rather than aging, the organization has unveiled a new logo and a vision for an updated, expanded campus.

Executive Director Lydia Black (pictured) announced last night the results of nearly a year’s worth of planning and community conversations that yielded a more cutting-edge logo (created with graphic designer Bryon McCartney) and preliminary sketches of a transformed 10-acre campus offering more artist- and performer-friendly facilities, enhanced grounds and, yes, more parking for the crowd-challenged facility.

“Dream with me,” she invited a crowd that packed the Fould’s Theater.  “Let’s talk about vision. Let’s talk about spaces.”

Murmurs of approval shot through the crowd as she unveiled the sketches by design firm EnSite.

“Think about more sculptural gardens,” Black said. “What if we do an art quad that has a space in the middle where we can do bluegrass concerts on the inside, we could do theater-in-the-round, we could do yoga on the outside, we could do the Green Market so that it is more ADA-accessible to more people. That’d be cool, wouldn’t it?”

Proposed expansions, such as a parking garage, would allow larger festivals; additions such as a 1,000- to 1,200-seat amphitheater would invite new kinds of programming. Black is even re-imagining the retention pond as a space for environmental art and outdoor classes. She wants the Alliance, located at the border of the City of Fort Myers, to serve as the city’s gateway. Right now, she said, many of the 20,000 drivers who pass the campus on McGregor Boulevard each year don’t even realize the Alliance is there.

“We want to make sure we create a unique sense of place,” she said.

Last night’s announcement, of course, was merely the beginning. There are not yet architectural drawings and no capital campaign has started; the first step is generating the buzz.

“The Alliance is ready to grow up,” said Mike Sohn, a volunteer who has been involved in the visioning process. “We literally went through a whole review of who we are and where we are and who we want to be.”

Carolyn Gora, a board member, said the membership response was overwhelming.

“It’s really outgrown its space. Tonight is the vision for the future,” Gora said.


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