A piece from the Dani Papanikolaou retrospective on exhibit at Mercato.

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Where to See Live Music, Theater and Art Around Southwest Florida in October

From live theater outdoors to an international film festival, here are the arts events you don’t want to miss this month.

Art inspires, heals, challenges and unites us. This yearlocal organizations have worked overtime to provide us with visual and performing arts through pandemic-safe avenuesThe online shows, virtual concerts, classes and exhibits brought much-needed entertainment and a mental getaway during the stay-at-home order and beyondNow, as things reopen and people adjust to new ways of doing things, galleries, museums and other groups are coming up with even more ways to connect you with the arts 

With October comes the National Arts and Humanities Month, which lends the perfect opportunity to engage with creativity in all its expressions. The latest issue of Gulfshore Life is dedicated entirely to the topic, and we also continue the arts celebration here, with this comprehensive guide to the many exhibits and performances you can enjoy around Southwest Florida this month.  

Visual Arts 

  • Alliance for the ArtsThe Plays Well with Others exhibit showcases local and national artists with work that incorporates play and toys in interactive, mischievous and subversive ways. 
  • Mercato hosts a retrospective with artist and Gulf Coast High School art teacher Dani Papanikolaou, who shares his vibrant perspective. 
  • Naples Botanical Garden: Experience the Steve Tobin: Nature Underground exhibit with sculptures that rise out of the landscape and blend into the gardens with perfect harmony. 

Performing Arts 

  • Alliance for the Arts: (Performing Arts) Live theatre returns to Fort Myers with the outdoor presentation of The Duck Variations by David Mamet, a comedy that dramatizes the adage that people who talk with the most authority on a subject are likely the ones who know the least about it. Showings on Oct. 8-11 and Oct. 15-16 and Oct. 18. The youth theatre also presents The Best Seats In Your House: Charlotte’s Web via live stream on Oct. 17th. 
  • Florida Repertory Theatre has your Friday nights covered in October with its [email protected] series limited fall run. 
  • The Naples Players presents Yours, Truly—a jazz-era musical based on a true story presented and presented cabaret-style at Cambier Park. 

A Little Bit of Both    

  • ArtisNaples: The Naples International Film Festival returns with virtual screenings—including more than 60 films you can screen from home—as well as in-person events 
  • Sidney and Berne Davis CenterMusicians, mixed media and spoken word artists can join Gulf Coast Leisure for the Art & Poetry Networking Event on Oct. 15th.