Season Preview

Hot Tickets: Festivals

Gather with kindred spirits, discover new artists and paint the town at these leading events.

BY November 1, 2021
Naples artist Holly Manneck
Fifty artists, including Naples’ Holly Manneck, participate in Art Aid’s annual Quick Draw on Nov. 27. (Photo by Scott McIntyre)

If you love an auction … 

Watch 50 established artists create their works in real time at Cambier Park during Art Aid’s Quick Draw on Nov. 27, then bid on your favorite piece—all in support of Legal Aid Service of Collier County. In its third year, the event grows with live music. 

If you like to get weird …

With the first one cropping up in 1947 in Scotland by artists not invited to the highbrow Edinburgh International Festival, Fringe Fests have long celebrated all things underground in cities  around the world, from Orlando to Hong Kong. The proudly oddball event finally comes to our area with the inaugural Fringe Fort Myers on Apr. 22-26, uniting 51 performers for one-man shows, live music, comedy, dance and everything in between on three stages at Alliance for the Arts and Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.

If you like to be ahead of the curve …

Need to be one of the first to see a film before it premieres? Then you’ll love the Fort Myers Film Festival. On May 18-22, strut down the red carpet on your way to see nearly 60 features, documentaries and shorts by local and international filmmakers at Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and other venues.

If you’re a hobnob …

As with fine wine, the 16th Annual Wine & Jazz Festival only gets better with age. This year, it expands from one to four days, running Nov. 17-20, with outdoor concerts; an intimate show, wine tasting and dinner at Carmelo’s Italian Ristorante; and bigger acts, including a performance by Grammy-nominated saxophonist Mindi Abair, who hosts the event at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda.

If you’re in the mood for some bel canto…

Following in the steps of internationally ranked opera festivals, like Glyndebourne and Santa Fe, Opera Naples’ artistic director Rámon Tebar spearheaded the creation of Festival Under the Stars earlier this year at Baker Park. The festivities return in March 2022 with more than seven days of powerful classic and modern musical dramas plus appearances from renowned guest talent.


Hot Spot: Competing views 

The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center’s new Rooftop Sculpture Garden dazzles with its full bar, live music from local bands and DJs every Friday night—all overlooking historic downtown and the Caloosahatchee River. Murals and sculptures from local artists, like Mariapia Malerba, Brian Weaver and Cesar Aguilar, as well as international talent elevate the experience. —Jaynie Bartley



Andrey Boreyko Bows Out

Since starting his role as the Sharon and Timothy Ubben Music Director at Artis—Naples in 2014, the renowned conductor has pushed the orchestra to present Broadway-themed concerts, collaborations with local performers and movie screenings with live scores. In his final season, the Russian-Polish conductor leads Masterworks concerts—including a two-night show with renowned French pianist Hélène Grimaud on Dec. 9 and 11; a visiting performance with Poland’s Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (he’s also its conductor) on Apr. 3; and a farewell tribute on Apr. 9.
—Jaynie Bartley

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