As an arts organization that typically offers audiences more than 800 paid and free events annually within a variety of venues and settings situated throughout the 8.5 acre Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus, the seven month suspension of programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic posed a series of challenges – including philosophical ones – for Artis—Naples.
“We believe in the power of communal experiences to bring beauty and joy to everyday life, and to lift spirits during trying times,” says Kathleen van Bergen, CEO and President.
“For three decades, Artis—Naples has been a place where our patrons and visitors find solace, inspiration and delight through the visual and performing arts, and it was difficult to pause all programming, knowing that we couldn’t provide that comfort at a time when people needed it more than ever.”
Now, intermission is over, van Bergen says, thanks to a painstaking exploration of options by the board, administrative team and the musicians of the Naples Philharmonic to safely allow audiences to return for a reimagined 2020-21 season.
Artis—Naples first welcomed visitors back to the cultural campus in August when the Baker Museum reopened to Friends of Artis—Naples and community firstresponders for small group guided tours.
Then, in October, performing arts programming resumed in Hayes Hall– with reduced capacity and new safety policies and protocols – featuring Naples Philharmonic musicians performing on the Wang Chamber Music and Sypert Salon series concerts as well as the six-piece Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra performing on the All That Jazz series.
“We had to find creative ways to safely allow audiences to experience live music on our cultural campus, which turned out to be seating 88 socially distanced audience members on stage with Naples Philharmonic musicians for the chamber music series, and spreading out almost 300 audience members over the 1477 seats in in Hayes Hall for All That Jazz,” vanBergen notes.
On the visual arts front, with a November public reopening, The Baker Museum begins the celebration of its 20th anniversary season with the completion of the museum expansion to the south and four stunning exhibitions: Dreaming Forms: Chihuly Then and Now, Subject Matters: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Rodin: Truth Form Life / Selections from the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Collections and Magritte: Recollections of Another World – Paintings from the Van Parys Family.
American artist Dale Chihuly has long been associated with The Baker Museum, including an exhibition of his works that was featured when the museum opened in November 2000, with Chihuly himself attending the inaugural festivities. Dreaming Forms: Chihuly Then and Now, the third major Chihuly exhibition in the history of The Baker Museum, includes stunning artworks presented in The Baker Museum as well as around the cultural campus.
“We’re thrilled that The Baker Museum will reopen with exhibitions showcasing our growing permanent collection as well as our 20 year relationship with Dale Chihuly. We see this as a truly special way to celebrate with our community the opportunity to experience art together again and to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the museum,” van Bergen said.
Artis—Naples’ main priority remains the health and safety of patrons, musicians, team members, visiting artists, students and the wider community. All patrons will be required to observe social distancing, wear face masks, and have their temperature checked upon entry to help ensure everyone’s safety. Additional information on safety policies and protocols can be found at artisnaples.org, along with information on tickets for performances, exhibitions and events.