N O V E M B E R – D E C E M B E R
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Blues & Jazz Festival
Returns to Sanibel

The second annual Blues & Jazz Festival returns to ‘The Backyard at Bailey’s, a park-like setting behind Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel, on November 5. Music begins at noon and concludes with a jam session starting at 6:30pm.

Elvin Bishop, a member of the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, headlines the event with his Big Fun Trio.

The Festival also welcomes back Matt Schofield and local favorites, the Marty Stokes Band. Schofield is a member of the British Blues Hall of Fame. Stokes, was raised on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Teenager Johnny Jenson, also born and raised on Sanibel, will be opening the event.

12pm: Johnny Jensen
1pm: FGCU Jazz Combo
2pm: Marty Stokes Band
3:30pm: Matt Schofield
5pm: Elvin Bishop
6:30pm: jam session

On-island parking will be available, with transportation to the festival site. Attendees are encouraged to use bicycles to reach the site, with free valet bike parking provided. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

The music festival is organized by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club. All proceeds benefit the Optimist Club’s college scholarship program, youth programs at the JN ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge, and Community Housing & Resources of Sanibel.

Bailey’s General Store is located at 2477 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel. Call 472-0836 for information.


Collier Museums
Bring Back Old Florida

The Collier County Museums and the Friends of the Collier County Museums are hosting the 29th Annual Old Florida Festival, November 18 & 19 at the Collier Museum at Government Center in Naples.

The festival features authentic reenactors portraying the last 500 years of Florida’s history, two full days of music and entertainment, demonstrations, food, and fun for the entire family. Reenactment portrayals include the Calusa, Spanish Conquistadors, Revolutionary War, Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Seminole Wars, American Civil War, Pioneer Florida, and World War II. Entertainment includes performances by the Eli Mosley Band, the Good Bad Kids, and Karibbean Groove, as well as storytelling from members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Proceeds from Old Florida Festival benefit the Friends of the Collier County Museums.

The Old Florida Festival is November 18 & 19, 10am-6pm.

The Collier Museum at Government Center is located at 3331 Tamiami Trail E. in Naples. Admission to all Collier County museums are free. Call 252-8476 for information.


Holiday Lights at
Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Thomas Edison first lit his Fort Myers winter home with electric lights 130 years ago. On that night, the entire town of 349 residents lined the sidewalk to see the lights. To celebrate the anniversary, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is hosting a special grand re-opening on November 3 from 5-8 p.m. The entire site will be open for special tours and presentations, and the historic Banyan will be decorated with lights.

Visitors can tour the site, including the historic winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, caretaker's houses, Edison's study, the 15,000 sq. ft. inventions museum and the botanic research laboratory, on more than 20 acres of gardens. Living history characters of Mr. & Mrs. Edison and Mr. & Mrs. Ford will be making an appearance.

The museum has two new exhibits: the Smithsonian Spark!Lab exhibit and the Timeline of Innovation. The Smithsonian Spark!Lab is a hands-on, interactive exhibit for families and children. The Timeline of Innovation is a chronological exhibit of both Edison's and Ford's major inventions.

On November 24, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates will kick off its 42nd celebration of Holiday Nights. The homes will be decorated with thousands of lights and decorations. Visitors are able to view the lights from 5:30-9pm nightly from November 24-December 31, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Waltzing Waters Liquid Fireworks light show will return and there will be holiday carolers.

Opening Night festivities will start at 6pm with the annual tree lighting ceremony.

Local artist Doug MacGregor will be drawing cartoons on November 24 and December 9, 16 & 23. Santa will be visiting on select nights. The Children’s Tree Trail opens on November 20 and includes more than 60 trees with handmade ornaments from local school children.

The Edison-Ford Museum and Botanic Research Laboratory will be open until 9pm every night.

History characters Mr. & Mrs. Edison & Mr. and Mrs. Ford will host a special Holiday Tea on December 13 at 6:30pm.

Guided Holiday Tradition Tours will be offered at 6 & 7pm nightly and Inside-the-Homes Holiday Tours on Tuesday nights, starting November 28 at 6:30pm. A sightseeing river cruise and sunset cruise are offered through Pure Florida at the Marina at Edison Ford.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates, located at 2350 McGregor Blvd, in Fort Myers, is open daily, 9am-5pm. For information, call 334-7419.


Naples Players’
Readers Theatre Returns

The Naples Players’ 2017-2018 ETC…Readers Theatre season began in October with a reading of ‘Gidion’s Knot’ by Johnna Adams. The full length play is a possible choice for their 2018-19 season.

The season continues on November 12, at 7pm, with ‘You’re Never Too Old To Be Young,’ an evening of one-act plays that celebrate the ability of being young at any age. One-Acts to be presented: ‘Post-Its’ by Paul Dooley & Winnie Holzman; ‘It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie’ by Jason Miller; ‘Postcards‘ by James Prideaux; ‘Fear of Flying’ by Jason D. Martin; ‘Life Comes to the Old Maid’ by Le Wilhelm.

‘Evening of New Plays,’ETC one-act play competition winners, will be performed on January 21, at 7pm.

A One-Act Play Festival, celebrating playwrights Rich Orloff & David Ives is scheduled for April 7 & 8.‘An Afternoon of Rich Orloff’ will be performed at 2pm on April 7 and ‘An Evening of David Ives’ at 7pm on April 8.

On May 6, ETC presents the world premiere reading of a brand new play (to be determined). The performance at 2pm will be followed by a discussion about the play.

All readings are in the 100-seat Tobye Studio in the Sudgen Community Theatre, located at 701 5th Ave. in downtown Naples. For information, call 263-7990.


Gulf Coast Symphony’s
MusicWorks! Benefits Kids

An event benefiting the MusicWorks! program for children in Harlem Heights will be held November 8, 5:30-9pm at The Heights Center in Fort Myers. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a live auction, and a performance by the MusicWorks! students. All proceeds will benefit the MusicWorks! program at The Heights Center.

MusicWorks! was launched in 2015 by the Gulf Coast Symphony and provides daily instruction in string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments to underserved youth in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.
“We have seen a transformation in the lives of our MusicWorks! students over the past 2 years, not only in their musical development, but also in their improved academic grades, self-esteem, and behavior,” said Dr. Andrew Kurtz, Music and Executive Director of The Gulf Coast Symphony. “The support of our community allows us to continue providing full tuition scholarships to the 65 students at in MusicWorks! at The Heights Center this year.”

The MusicWorks! benefit reception and concert is November 8, 5:30-9pm, at The Heights Center, located at 15570 Hagie Drive in Fort Myers. For information, call 277-1700.


Open House
at Englewood Art Center

Englewood Art Center's Fall Open House on November 11 features artist demonstrations, classes, a food truck, and activities for children.

“Many of our teachers will be on-hand to demonstrate their expertise in a variety of media, including pottery, watercolor, oil painting and portraiture,” says Samantha Parkinson, Director of the Art Center.

Four exhibitions will be on view: ‘Costal Contemporary,’ featuring works by Tim Jaeger, Javier Rodriguez and Steve Strenk is in the Mitchell Gallery; ‘Life’s A Beach: Weather and Waves’ is in the Loranger Gallery; ‘Works by Gary Maria’ is in the Mangrove Gallery; and the members gallery is showing ‘Works by Irina Kaplun’.

The open house is November 11, 11am-4pm. Ringling College of Art & Design’s Englewood Art Center is located at 350 South McCall Rd. in Englewood. For information, call 941-474-5548.


Symphonic Chorale Presents
A Banquet of Song

The Symphonic Chorale of Southwest Florida presents its own self-produced concerts and partners with the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra as its Resident Chorus to present concerts with orchestral accompaniment.

The Chorale presents its first concert of the season, ‘Harvest Grain: A Banquet of Song’ on November 17, 7pm at Sanibel Community Church and again on November 19, 4pm at Faith Presbyterian Church in Fort Myers. All Symphonic Chorale concerts are free.

Sanibel Community Church is located at 1740 Periwinkle Way. Faith Presbyterian Church is located at 4544 Coronado Pkwy. in Cape Coral. For information, call 560-5695.


Sand Sculpting Championship
Returns to Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach will again be the host of the 31st annual American Sand Sculpting Championship, the largest sand sculpting event in the United States, November 17-26.

Attendees will see a collection of some of the world’s best sand sculptors craft amazing sand sculptures. Featuring sculptors from around the world, the singles competition is the first week, followed by the second week by the doubles competition.

Guests can attend a variety of events and activities daily, 10am-5pm, including seeing the creating and display of more than 40 sand sculptures, speed sand sculpting, sand sculpting demonstrations and Lessons, an amateur contest, and a Kids Zone.

The Sand Sculpting Competition will once again be held on the beach behind the Wyndham Garden Hotel, located at 6890 Estero Blvd. on Fort Myers Beach.Call 560-1247 for information.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer,
Elvin Bishop headlines the
Sanibel Blues & Jazz Festival,
November 5 at Bailey’s
General Store’s backyard.

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Author Alice Hoffman is the
Keynote Speaker, November 3
at FGCU’s Sanibel Writers
Conference at BIG ARTS.

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The 29th annual Old Florida
Festival is November 18 & 19
at the Collier Museum at
Government Center in Naples.

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The Edison & Ford Winter Estates
in Fort Myers celebrates its
42nd year of Holiday Lights,
November 24-December 31.

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Blues Music Award nominee,
Vanessa Collier performs at
the Bradenton Blues Festival
on December 2.

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Playwright Eric Coble will be
discussing his play, ‘The Giver’
with author Lois Lowry at
Florida Rep after the
November 6 performance.

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Ringling College of Art & Design’s
Englewood Art Center is hosting
an open house on November 11.

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Iconic photographs by Alfred
Eisenstaedt will be on view at
The Ringling Museum in Sarasota,
November 18-March 18.

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Germain Arena
11000 Everblades Parkway

Nov 8: vs Cincinnati Cyclone
Nov 10: Cincinnati Cyclones
Nov 11: Cincinnati Cyclones *
Nov 18: Jacksonville Iceman *
Dec 8: vs Jacksonville Iceman
Dec 9: Jacksonville Iceman
Dec 13: vs South Carolina Stingrays
Dec 15: vs South Carolina Stingrays
Dec 16: vs South Carolina Stingrays *
Dec 20: vs Jacksonville Iceman
Jan 3: vs Orlando Solar Bears
Jan 12: vs Jacksonville Icemen
Feb 2: vs Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Feb 3: vs Greenville Swamp Rabbits *
Feb 7: vs Orlando Solar Bears
Feb 9: vs Allen Americans
Feb 10: vs Allen Americans *
Feb 23: vs Orlando Solar Bears
Feb 24: vs Jacksonville Icemen
Feb 25: vs Jacksonville Icemen
Mar 2: vs Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Mar 3: vs Greenville Swamp Rabbits *
Mar 16: vs Orlando Solar Bears
Mar 17: vs Orlando Solar Bears *
Mar 21: vs Norfolk Admirals
Mar 23: vs Norfolk Admirals
Mar 24: vs Norfolk Admirals *
Mar 28: vs Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Mar 30: vs Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Mar 31: vs Atlanta Gladiators
Apr 7: vs Jacksonville Icemen *

All games start 7:30pm
except * starts 7pm

Writers Meet
on Sanibel

Florida Gulf Coast University is hosting the 12th annual Sanibel Island Writers Conference, November 2-5, at BIG ARTS. The weekend of events include a wide variety of writing workshops, readings, panel discussions, concerts, networking, and a keynote address by acclaimed author, Alice Hoffman.

The majority of the events will take place at BIG ARTS. A handful of workshops and readings will be held at the Sanibel Island Public Library, a short walk from BIG ARTS.

The list of more than 30 presenters includes authors Steve Almond, Dan Bern, Kevin Canty, Dean Davis, John Dufresne, Beth Ann Fennelly, Nathan Hill, Linda Oatman High, Ann Kidd Taylor, Frank Turner, Robert Wilder. Songwriters Dan Bern and Frank Turner will perform.

Writers at all stages of development — from notebook scribblers to published novelists — can attend a variety of workshops in fiction, poetry, songwriting, children’s literature, journalism, screenwriting, and creative nonfiction, as well as panels on publishing & editing.

Nighttime events — readings, keynote address, concerts, signings — will take place in BIG ARTS’ Schein Performance Hall.

Each day workshops are held from 9am-12pm & 1-2:30pm (9am-12pm on November 5), readings are 2:30-4pm, and panels are 4-5pm.

Evening events are 6-7:30pm November 2-4. M.K. Asante gives a reading at 6pm on November 2, followed by a concert by Dan Bern at 7pm. On November 3, Beth Ann Fennelly reads at 6pm and Alice Hoffman speaks at 7pm. Steve Crosley gives a reading at 6pm and Frank Turner performs at 7pm on November 4.

FGCU’s Sanibel Writers Conference is November 2-5 at BIG ARTS, located at 900 Dunlop Rd. in Sanibel. The Sanibel Library is located at 770 Dunlop Rd. For information, call 590-7421.


IMAG Unveils
New Exhibit

IMAG History & Science Center is presenting a new exhibit about the effects of acidity in the oceans. The exhibit, Climate Change Oceans: Acid vs. Life, will educate guests about the impacts of ocean acidification in an up close and interactive way. “The oceans have experienced a 30% increase in acidity in recent years, and many are not aware of this, or the negative impact it is having”, said executive director Matt Johnson.

The information in the exhibit was gathered by a group of citizen scientists and film crews that traveled to the University of Belize Marine Research Station to explore the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere.

The exhibit will include a life-size replica of a coral reef which will allow guests to crawl through it, experiencing what a diver sees while exploring the ocean.

The exhibit will be on view through the end of the year.

IMAG Science & History Center is open Tue-Sat 10am-5pm & Sun 12-5pm. IMAG is located at 2000 Cranford Avenue in Fort Myers. For information, call 243-0043.


Arts for ACT Gala
& Benefit Auction

Tickets are now on sale for Arts for ACT’s 29th annual Gala & Fine Art Auction benefit on November 11. Proceeds benefit Abuse Counseling & Treatment, who aid victims of domestic violence and their children, and survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking.

This year’s event will feature an upscale buffet, cash bar, a fine art and luxury item auction, and music by The Original Studio 54 Band. The cocktail hour will feature a silent auction.

Guests this year are encouraged to wear purple to honor domestic violence victims and their children.

The Gala & Fine Art Auction is November 11, 5-10pm at the Hyatt Regency at Coconut Point, 5001 Coconut Dr. in Bonita Springs. Call 939-2553 for information.


Playwright and Author
Visit Florida Rep

Newbery Medal-winning author, Lois Lowry, and Broadway playwright, Eric Coble, will be in residence at Florida Repertory Theatre on November 6 for a performance and post-show discussion of Coble's adaptation of Lowry's acclaimed book,The Giver. The performance begins at 6pm on November 6 in the Historic Arcade Theatre.

Lowry received her second Newbery Award for The Giver, which has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, and has become a staple in middle school classrooms. The book was adapted to the screen in 2014 starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.

Coble's plays have been produced on Broadway and Off-Broadway, and on four continents, winning several awards.

Florida Rep's relationship with Coble began in 2006, when he was commissioned to write ZAP! for the Theatre for Young Audiences Series. In 2016, Coble's new play, In Vivo was read in the popular new works festival, PlayLab.

The Giver, by Eric Coble and based on Lowry's novel, will be performed at Florida Rep and will be on tour throughout Southwest Florida through May 2018.

Florida Repertory Theatre performs in the Historic Arcade Theatre at 2268 Bay St. in the Fort Myers River District.

For information about the event and school bookings, call 332-4488.


Blues Weekend
in Bradenton

The Bradenton Blues Festival weekend kicks off on Friday, December 1 with a free ‘Blues Appetizer’ concert. The Bradenton Blues Festival continues the music on Saturday, December 2 with a lineup of acclaimed and popular blues musicians. The annual festival also features local craft beer and specialty foods. The festivities continue with blues after-parties all evening long. The weekend wraps up with a Blues Brunch on Sunday, December 3.

The Blues Appetizer concert on December 1 features Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones at 6pm and TC Carr & Bolts of Blue at 7:30pm.

The Bradenton Blues Festival is outdoors in the Riverwalk Amphitheater. Blankets and chairs are recommended, but outside food, coolers, umbrellas, tents and pets are not allowed.

11am: Sean Chambers
12pm: Vanessa Collier
1:30pm: Nick Moss Band
2:30pm: Chubby Carrier
& The Bayou Swamp Band
4pm: Sugar Blue
5pm: Curtis Salgado
6:30pm: Joe Louis Walker
between sets: Brody Buster

Damon Fowler & Matt Walker perform 11am-1pm at the Blues Brunch on December 3 at Mattison's City Grille at 101 Riverfront Blvd.on Bradenton Riverwalk.

The Bradenton Riverwalk Amphitheater is located at 452 3rd Avenue W. Call 941-621-6471 for information.


Co-op Gallery Hosts
Season Opening Reception

The Cooperative Art Gallery at Coconut Point will host a reception November 9, 4-6pm, to officially kick-off the gallery’s in-season schedule of art sales and activities.

The Gallery represents the work of local artists and craftspeople who are members of one of the 19 art studios affiliated with the Art Council of Southwest Florida. The artwork includes painting, photography, ceramics, jewelry, and mixed media.

The November reception features a book launch. Lisa Batch will be discussing her latest children’s book, The First Song. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

The gallery is an entirely volunteer effort, the participating artists always on hand to discuss the work on display and handle sales.

The Art Council of Southwest Florida gallery is located in the Coconut Point Mall, next to Panera Bread. Call 949-3073 for information.


Eisenstaedt Exhibit
at The Ringling

Alfred Eisenstaedt was one of the luminaries of American photojournalism. German-born Eisenstaedt learned his craft in Europe in the 1920s and 30s, pioneering the use of the small Leica 35mm camera to get closer to his subjects and create more candid pictures. He fled fascist Germany and came to the U.S. where he became one of the first photojournalists of Life magazine, creating some of the most iconic images of the 20th century.

The Ringling Museum of Art is presenting an exhibition of Eisenstaedt’s photographs, November 18-March 18.

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art is located at 5401 Bay Shore Rd. in Sarasota. The museum is open daily 10am-5pm, Thursdays until 8pm. For information, call 941-359-5700.


Actors Wanted

The Naples Players are holding auditions for three upcoming shows on November 18. Auditions are 12-4pm and open to everyone. The only requirement is the desire to be involved in a production and the willingness to commit their time and effort to the project.

Auditions for productions of Charles Ives Take Me Home, Rapture, Blister Burn and The Taming of The Shrew.

Rehearsals for Charles Ives Take Me Home begin December 4 with performances January 17-February 11. One woman (in her 20s-40s) and two men (45 or older) with the ability to play the violin and or piano are needed.

Rehearsals for Rapture, Blister Burn begin January 2 with performances February 7-March 4. One man (in his 40s) and four women (one early her 20s, two in their 40s and one in her 70s) are needed.

Rehearsals for William Shakespeare’s The Taming of The Shrew begin January 8, with performances February 17-March 18. Six women or men (in their 20’s-40’s) are needed. One role calls for an actor who speaks spanish and is a musician.

Audition appointments are requested. Walk-ins the day-of-auditions are welcome.

The Naples Players perform in the Sudgen Community Theatre, located at 701 5th Ave. in downtown Naples. Call 434-7340 for information.