Over 60 years ago, E. George Rogers, Elsie Upham and Grace Lake founded Naples Art with 34 other artists. They created art, exhibited and taught in and around the community using different venues as their platform to promote the local artist. Many of the members volunteered to teach art in the local schools until the public school’s art program was established in 1954.
In the 1970s, the group collected funds to restore The Naples Depot. There they built art studio spaces and held the group’s first art exhibition in 1978. The following year, the organization began to offer adult art classes. They continued providing educational programs in that facility until 1998. In 1980, their first annual spring art show was held in Cambier Park.
As it’s known now, the Naples National Art Festival has become our largest fundraiser and is rated among the top 10 art festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine. On November 22, 1998, Naples Art opened the Center where it lives today. The 16,000 square foot, two-story facility features six studios, a main exhibition hall, rounds galleries, one of the area’s largest art resource libraries and a gift shop. The building was named after the von Liebig family for their generosity and support.
Today, Naples Art’s primary goal is to serve as a working art center where the community can access art education, activities
and events for all ages and learn about art through exhibitions and educational outreach. As we use this valuable unanticipated time for exciting future planning, while reminiscing about our successes this year, we’ve also had to revisit our current position so we reopen bursting with creative energy!
Naples Art, here for artists and the community since 1954, has had to make some tough decisions. We’ve lost an inordinate amount of our anticipated and irreplaceable earned income due to COVID-19. An extraordinary challenge for a very lean non-profit. Tuition covers 65% of the cost of running classes and workshops, exhibition fees cover 20% of the cost of running an exhibition and fundraisers and events cover the 40% of funds needed to run the building and hosted programs and all of these have come to a screeching halt for the foreseeable future.
We are tightening our belt with a significant reduction in staff and hours while we continue to plan a very exciting reopening as soon as possible. We’ve also lost the extraordinary opportunity to celebrate and fund raise with you at the much anticipated For the Love of Art: Studio 585 event; sharing and raising significant money for several new and very important programs including ABE, the Art, Business, Entrepreneur Program and Academy, a whole new approach the exhibitions and new courses among them. Yet another huge unanticipated financial loss.
We believe art can change lives and improve communities. We are committed to developing artists and arts leaders, ensuring
artistic expression is available to everyone, while enriching Southwest Florida through the visual arts.
We need your support to honor this mission. There are several opportunities available that we’d like you to consider, both big and small, to ensure our next chapter of experiences on behalf of our community, artists and donors are available in full, upon reopening.
• Consider gifting a recurring donation. https://naplesart.org/donate/
• Consider gifting the cost of any event tickets you have purchased back to Naples Art.
• Consider buying an annual membership to directly support our operations. https://naplesart.org/membership/
• Consider becoming an annual sponsor (regularly promoted on web and social media!)
• Consider buying from our extraordinary outdoor show artists so they may continue to participate in future shows with us. https://downtown.naplesart.org
• Enroll your kids in our wonderful summer camp with certified art instructors. https://naplesart.org/artscool/
• For our currently enrolled students, we humbly ask that you consider gifting the cost of any classes you have purchased that will go unused to help counter the expenses already incurred.
Contributions made during this very unexpected moment in time will lessen this tremendous financial impact already being felt.
We are so excited about what the future has to bring for Naples Art and you are the foundation that will bring it to fruition. We are here to make a difference and believe that you too are committed to making a difference.
I am enormously proud of our role in Naples’ cultural life and the incredibly positive impact Naples Art has had on the lives of so
many. We will continue to enrich people’s lives long into the future and look to you to consider helping us to ensure this by gifting today.
In celebration of what is to come, kindest and healthy regards,
Executive Director, Naples Art
Thank you for your consideration and your continued passion for the arts. Please email Executive Director Aimee Schlehr at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Aimee at 239-262-6517 for any of these opportunities to make a difference.