Admittedly, April is a little slower month in Southwest Florida- but there are still many arts activities and events. The Sugden Theatre, the home of the Naples Players, will present “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream
Coat.” This musical was the first collaboration by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber to be performed publicly, in 1970; it made its way to Broadway in 1982. The story is set in a time frame when a narrator encourages people,
especially children, to dream.
April 15 has opportunities that are very different. At 4 p.m.the Naples Concert Band will perform with the Bonita Springs Concert Band at the band shell in Cambier Park. The concert, entitled a Community Band Spectacular, highlights music that you know and love. The Naples Concert Band started in 1972 with only 10 members and now has more than 80 members. An interesting part of their mission is to provide scholarships to high school students. Since that program began in 1983, they have provided more than $100,000 to area high school students.
A very different musical opportunity occurs on April 15 at 4 p.m. You can attend the concert of Seraphic Fire at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church where Arvo Part’s “Passio” will be performed. Part is an Estonian composer born in 1955. He is a composer of classical and religious music and since 2010 is the most performed living composer.
The seventh year of the Stay in May Festival begins on April 24 and continues through May 12. This festival features partnerships with many area non-profits and showcases their facilities through the arts. The festival is notable in our community as they are one of the few arts organizations that has never owned a building
and never wants to own a building, but instead, finds creative ways to partner with existing organizations. These partnerships enhance the community knowledge of these organizations, while complimenting their facilities through arts adventures.
During the first week of the Stay in May Festival you can enjoy a variety of arts experiences beginning on April 24 with a showcase of culinary arts. Many readers may wonder why we need to showcase restaurants, when there are so many. Well it is not restaurants; it is the many culinary programs in our area high schools that will be showcased. Many residents do not know of these programs that are the beginning training for our next
generation of great chefs. This year will feature four high school programs: Gulf Coast High School, Palmetto Ridge, Lorenzo Walker Institute and Estero High School. The students will create a menu around a theme from a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical and serve taste treats for you to enjoy, while meeting these
This event is a partnership with Venue Naples and Chef Brian Roland, the CHEF organization that supports students in their studies and the Collier County Schools. On April 26, plan to visit the Naples Historical Society and Palm Cottage where several artists from the Naples Art District will be creating artwork in the Norris Gardens accompanied by a strolling violin. Take this opportunity to meet the artists, see their work up close and personal and enjoy the beauty that is the Norris Gardens.
An additional offering of the festival that is unique to our area is a short film festival featuring award-winning shorts that you only have the opportunity to see in this type of festival. You also get to meet artists, producers and directors of the films. It is always amazing to this author how complete a story can be told in the format of a short.
Learn more about this unique festival by visiting their website and enjoy April and May in Naples.