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Gulf Coast Life Arts Edition

  • The Baker Museum at Artis Naples continues it’s 20th anniversary season with an exhibition of works by world-renowned modern urban expressionist painter Marcus Jansen titled, Marcus Jansen: Two Decades of Relevance.We talk with Jansen about his life, his art, and how his paintings engage our understanding of power structures, politics, and economics and motivate us to view these social constructs through a different lens.
  • After more than a year of challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Southwest Florida-based nonprofit, Love Your Rebellion, which works to empower marginalized groups through the arts, is planning to begin hosting in-person events again.Love Your Rebellion will be holding Fort Myers Zine Fest at Neenie’s House at 481 Marsh Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905 on Friday, April 23 from 6 to 10 p.m.The mostly outdoor event will feature works available for purchase from artists, artisans, zine makers, fashion designers as well as food vendors. The event will also feature live music and a dance performance-style fashion show.
  • Members of the Florida Gulf Coast University Bower School of Music’s Jazz combo have spent the last year writing and collaborating on their own music under the direction of FGCU’s Director of Jazz Studies Brandon Robertson. We’ll meet members of this elite jazz ensemble and hear them perform original tunes composed by each member. The FGCU Jazz Combo consists of Matthew Edwards (bass), John Gonzalez (drums), Mason Hunn (piano), Frank Saunders (trumpet/soprano saxophone) and Jorge Ylisastigui (tenor saxophone).
  • Venice Theatre has recently been making some major announcements including the appointment of the nonprofit’s new Artistic Director Benny Sato Ambush, who will join the organization this summer. Earlier this week, Venice Theatre announced plans for it’s 72nd season that kicks off this fall. Following a year full of challenges and a shortened theatre season, Venice Theatre is planning to return with a much-expanded season including classic and contemporary musicals and plays, concerts and family-friendly offerings. We’ll meet Venice Theatre’s new artistic director and get a preview of the upcoming season with Producing Executive Director Murray Chase.
  • The singer/songwriter duo of Bill Metts and Bruce Gallant perform prolifically throughout Southwest Florida, and this week, we they’ve come to the WGCU studios to perform for us! We’ll hear original tunes from these dynamic musicians gain some insight into their approaches to songwriting.
  • The Southwest Florida-based band The Swingin’ Clique performs live in the WGCU studios ahead of their physically distanced outdoor show on Saturday, March 13 at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers at 7:30 p.m.The band’s performances create a unique immersive experience with their fresh take on traditional jazz, showtunes and melodies from the Great American Songbook, inducing nostalgia or anemoia for America’s swing era of the 1930s and 1940s.We’ll meet band members Hunter Dahlen (vocals, guitar, violin), Jonathan Ingram (bass), Stephen Johnson (trombone, trumpet), Bobby Ryan (drums) and Amy Sbarra (vocals).
  • Opera Naples inaugural “Festival Under the Stars” concert series runs Wednesday through Saturday with a March 10 performance by renowned tenor Joseph Calleja, performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” March 11 and 13, and a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story” featuring Isabel Leonard in the role of Maria. We’ll preview the concert series in a conversation with the multi-Grammy award winning mezzo soprano opera star.
  • The Baker Museum at Artis-Naples in Collier County recently hired award-winning curator, art historian, museum leader, lecturer and writer Courtney McNeil as its new Museum Director and Chief Curator. McNeil joins us to explore her professional background, her passion for helping people connect art with different perspectives and new ideas, and her vision for the Baker Museum going forward.
  • Late last year, qward-winning LGBTQ+ advocate Arlene Goldberg released a memoir titled, “Simple Human Dignity: My Life, My Wife, Our Story.”The compelling narratives weaved through this memoir tell the story of Arlene’s life and her 47-year relationship with her wife Carol Goldwasser. In April of 2014, Arlene became a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit brought on by the American Civil Liberties Union that led to U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle ruling that Florida’s ban on same sex-marriage was unconstitutional. The decision came prior to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges that struck down same-sex marriage bans throughout the country.Through this case, Arlene and Carol Goldwasser made history by becoming the first same-sex couple to have their marriage legally recognized by the state of Florida. The victory was bitter-sweet, as Carol did not live to see that day.
  • The Laboratory Theater of Florida in Fort Myers continues its 12th season later this month with the regional premiere of playwright Jordan Tannahill’s award-winning play “Botticelli in the Fire.” The play is an historic re-imagining centered on the life of early Renaissance Italian painter Sandro Botticelli.