(Courtesy Naples Winter Wine Festival/Eric Strachan)

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16 Things to Do in Southwest Florida This Month: January 2022

Indulge in food, wine, music and art to start the new year. From family-friendly seafood festivals to a romantic performance by Michael Bolton to a museum exhibit built around a centuries-old artifact, there is something to remind everyone why we choose to call Southwest Florida home—even if it’s just for season.  

  

Ongoing 

The Key Marco Artifacts at Marco Island Historical Museum  

On loan from the National Museum of Natural History, Key Marco Cat, a 6-inch kneeling feline sculpture (which is estimated to be 500 to 1,500 years old), returned to its home on Marco Island in 2019. The exhibit, which also includes other Calusa artifacts, was recently extended through April 2026—the longest loan in Key Marco Cat’s history.  

 

Jan. 4-9  

RENT The 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers  

After a 25-year run, Jonathan Larson’s powerful, Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical about a diverse group of friends trying to follow their dreams amid NYC’s AIDS crisis in the late ’80s takes its final bow with this farewell tour. From $48.

 

Jan. 7-9  

Fort Myers Seafood & Music Festival in the River District, Fort Myers  

Head to the historic downtown’s waterfront for fresh, sustainably caught seafood from the Gulf, plus bites for carnivores and vegetarians. The three-day festival also includes vendors selling arts and crafts and concerts from Tom Petty tribute band Free Fallin’, blues musician Damon Fowler and energetic The Whole Band featuring Callie Chappell. Free.

 

Jan. 7-28  

Arthaus and Quattro Mani at Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Fort Myers  

Fort Myers-based photographer and artist Darryl Pottorf shows his mixed media work in two exhibits this month: his solo show, Arthaus, and Quattro Mani, which focuses on his collaborations with pop artist Robert Rauschenberg, who lived on Capitva. Free, donations encouraged.

 

Jan. 7-29  

Challenging Stereotypes – Member’s Exhibition at Alliance for the Arts, Fort Myers  

Coinciding with Theater Conspiracy’s roving performance of The Colored Museum—which highlights the stereotypes and struggles that Black Americans face across 11 theatrical exhibits—this exhibition encourages Alliance for the Arts member artists to create works that tackle stereotypes and embrace individuality. Free. 

 

Jan. 8-9  

37th Annual Cape Coral Art Festival & Market Place, Cape Coral  

One of Lee County’s largest events, the festival draws more than 100,000 attendees. The Rotary Club of Cape Coral celebrates local and national artists with stands that sell handmade jewelry, sculptures, paintings, ceramics and more. If you miss the in-person street fair, exhibitors will also display their artworks and crafts online during the virtual festival, running Jan. 3-28. Free.    

  

Jan. 8-9  

26th Annual Naples New Year’s Art Show on Fifth Avenue South, Naples  

This juried, outdoor art show on Fifth Avenue South connects passersby with professional artists from around the country, showcasing ceramics, digital art, furniture, jewelry, sculptures and more. Free.    

  

Jan. 12  

Miami City Ballet with Naples Philharmonic at Artis—Naples  

In the first of two performances by the ballet company at Artis—Naples this season, dancers perform two Florida premieres accompanied by the Naples Philharmonic: Herman Schmerman Pas de Deux, with choreography by William Forsythe and music by Thom Willems, and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain Pas de Deux to music by Arvo Pärt. From $59.   

  

Jan. 13  

The Rocket Man Show at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers  

Scotsman Rus Anderson, who was handpicked by Sir Elton John himself to play his official body double, is known for his hyper-authentic performances. Expect a live band, decked out costumes and full-on dance numbers at this show. From $27.  

  

Jan. 13-30   

Higher at Gulfshore Playhouse, Naples  

Written and performed by Broadway veteran Jeffrey Binder, and directed by Kristen Coury, the live premiere of this one-person show—which was recorded and streamed during quarantine—merges two timelines to explore a story of faith and healing. Read about Binder’s creative journey in the January issue of Gulfshore Life.  $38.

  

Jan. 15-16  

25th Annual Punta Gorda Sullivan Street Craft Festival, Punta Gorda  

Just a short drive from the Peace River waterfront, shop crafts including candles made with organic materials, floral arrangements, wire-wrapped jewelry and homemade hot sauces. Free.   

  

Jan. 19  

Anna Kincaide at Gardner Colby Gallery, Naples  

Kincaide’s work echoes Georgia O’Keeffe’s magnified florals with ideas of femininity and power at the forefront in her lush, multicolored bouquet paintings. Free.   

  

Jan. 19  

The Great Gatsby at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island  

Desiree Sanchez, director of London’s innovative Aquilla Theatre, reimagines F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel through a BIPOC lens to highlight themes of class and prejudice that still resonate nearly 100 years after the story’s publication. $65.50 for adults; $8.50 for students.    

  

Jan. 23  

Michael Bolton at Artis—Naples  

The two-time Grammy Award-winning singer, known for hits “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” and “When a Man Loves a Woman,” returns to the stage at Hayes Hall for a night of romantic ballads. From $89.   

 

Jan. 27   

International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration at Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center, Naples  

Immerse yourself in the inspiring stories of Holocaust survivors to honor the 6 million Jewish victims and millions of others who died under Nazism. The event includes a video screening featuring late Naples resident, advocate, author and Holocaust survivor Abe Price. Free.    

  

Jan. 28-30  

Naples Winter Wine Festival at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples  

This premier event, hosted by Naples Children & Education Foundation, has raised close to $220 million for local at-risk kids since 2001. The weekend is full of decadent dinners and wine-soaked evenings, including an epic live auction and a farewell brunch on Sunday. From $15,000 per couple.