You don’t often find a nonprofit raising money for other nonprofits; and certainly not during a time when every nonprofit is hurting financially. But The Naples Players are far from ordinary.
Despite losing more than 90% of their earned income because of the pandemic, The Naples Players worked with philanthropists from around the county to spearhead a fundraising project to help support food banks with a fresh infusion of funding.
The project? A “Calendar Girls” style calendar, asking influential women in the community to “bare it all” in the name of a good cause. More playful than revealing, the calendar strikes a heartfelt tone – and has raised more than $40,000 since November. Funds are being collected and distributed by The Community Foundation of Collier County to ensure that the community’s food security organizations are best served.
But it isn’t the only initiative The Naples Players have taken on this year. In addition to their own virtual concerts and performances, the organization pivoted to help bring new focus too ther local cultural icons – most notably Naples Botanical Garden and The Naples Zoo.
“We’re a big part of this community” says Executive Director Bryce Alexander, “but we’re not the only cultural institution that needs support during this time. We’ve always been acutely aware that the success of our community depends on our willingness to support one another. And that’s just what we’ve tried to do.”
The Naples Players also acted quickly to allow Downtown favorite restaurants Ocean Prime and Truluck’s the ability to utilize the theatre’s property to expand outdoor seating.
Meanwhile, working with their neighbor The Inn on Fifth, The Naples Players has been offering a new drive-in movie series every two weeks for several months.
“We need the support just as badly as everyone else – but we know the Arts are a major economic driver. So we’re saving our community by saving the arts, one relationship at a time.” finished Alexander.
To support The Naples Players, please visit www.naplesplayers.org and click “donate.” The theatre plans to reopen on April 28th with none other than the stage performance of “Calendar Girls,” a subtle nod to the role the organization has played in preserving our community.