The Puzzle

by Laurel Meny

naples-art1At the Naples Art Association, we are all about the visual, so imagine us placing the final, giant puzzle piece in puzzle that we’ve been working on for over 60 years. And, as that piece is secured, the big picture of the Naples Art Association comes into view. It’s pretty spectacular, right? Well, that’s just how we feel.

The final puzzle piece isn’t just one thing. It is volunteers, programs, initiatives, employees, and so much more.

In the past few months, we have appointed new board members who, with the help of our recently approved strategic plan, are taking an active role in shaping the future of the organization. Several new staff members have created and elevated the programs that are already in place.

The organization’s effectiveness and reach has gone through the roof with thoughtful, innovative marketing efforts. We continue to partner area nonprofit organizations to foster outreach programs for the underserved, including Grace Place, Lighthouse of Collier, and the Foundation for the Developmentally Disabled. We heard the home school mothers who were begging for art programs for their children and created art courses specifically designed for home-schooled children – all at a low price.

We listened to our workshop attendees who wanted more flexibility and created a packed schedule of workshops and classes that can suit any lifestyle, including evenings, days, weekends, and new offerings including stained glass, mosaic, an expanded clay program, glass blowing, and much more.

art2There are additional exhibition opportunities, several very popular special events including the ever-growing Dinner with Artists series, and a new initiative to display artists’ work across the community. We have seen our signature events spike in attendance, participation, and buzz – including For the Love of Art and Goddess Night. Sunshine Artist magazine just ranked three of our outdoor art shows to the top five of its list of The 200 Best Shows in the Art and Craft Festival Circuit in the U.S. The Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts was ranked #1, the Naples National Art Show was ranked #3, and the Downtown New Year’s Art Show was ranked #4.

All of this was made possible by listening to you – our supporters. With the generous support of our donors and volunteers, we were able to complete the puzzle and move the organization to the next level.

We invite you to be a part of our beautiful puzzle. Attend a Dinner with Artists and watch a fabulous live art exhibition while enjoying delicious cuisine; stroll at one of our outdoor art shows; grab a friend (and a glass of wine) and attend a workshop; or join the new 5 for the Arts group and be one of 500 arts-minded individuals that will be dedicated to providing core financial support to the NAA to continue its programs for years to come.

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