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on the gulf



Fringe Festival

Returns to

Fort Myers


   The Alliance for the Arts and Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre presents Fringe Fort Myers 2024 performing arts festival May 30-June 2. Fringe Fort Myers features a variety of performances, from one-person shows and stand-up comedy to dance and music, from burlesque to magic, and much more. 

   The festival follows the long-standing Fringe traditions of being 100% independent, 100% inclusive and 100% unique, with 100% of ticket sales going directly to the artists.

   Fringe Fort Myers kicks off May 30 at 5pm with a ‘Flamingle with the Artists’ reception in the Alliance for the Arts gallery, offering attendees a chance to meet the artists, followed by a preview show at 6:30pm, when each performer has three minutes to sell the audience on why they should see their show. The reception is open to the public and free. Following the preview show there will be one performance in each venue.

   The festival continues through June 2 with additional programming to be announced. Most shows are 60 minutes long. In addition to the performances, there will be a Kids Fringe Fest happening throughout. 

   Nine acts have been selected for Fringe Fort Myers 2024:

   • ‘Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life’ (from Vancouver, BC). Keith Alessi’s lifelong dream becomes the key to saving his life (suitable for all ages).

   • ‘The Carousel of Burlesque: Behind the Curtain’ (from Fort Myers). A look behind the curtain (contains nudity and not suitable for those under age 18).

   • ‘The Chase: A Light Bringer Story’ (from Lutz, Florida). True-life storytelling, written and performed by Laila Lee (suitable for age 16).

   • ‘The Other Side’ (from Orlando). Combines magic and storytelling to express a message of survival and hope (suitable for age 12).

   • ‘Stabilized Not Controlled’ (from Naples). Comedy that ran for two years at Manhattan’s Stage Left Studio (not suitable for those under age 18).

   • ‘TransMasculine Cabaret,’ starring Vulva Va-Voom (from Tampa). ‘TragiComic trans-identifying confessional’ by a ‘obscene, irreverent, maniacal burlesque headliner’ (not suitable for those under the age 18).

   • ‘Runaway Princess: A Hopeful Tale of Heroin, Hooking and Happiness’ (from The Bronx, NY). Fable with a happy ending (rated PG-13). 

   • ‘Cock Talk’ (from Fort Myers). Male version of the play Vagina Monologues (not suitable for those under age of 18).

   • ‘Love Letters to Humanity’ (from Floyd, Virginia). One-woman satire weaves dance, theatre, and stand-up comedy (rated PG-13). 

   The Alliance for the Arts is located at 10091 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers. For information, call 939-2787. 


New Exhibitions

at Tribby

Arts Center


   Two new exhibitions, ‘Seeing Red: The History and Emotions of a Color We Love’ and ‘Artist as Muse: The 20th Anniversary Exhibition of Art Quilters Unlimited,’ opens April 12 in Shell Point’s Tribby Arts Center.

   ‘Seeing Red’ displays the best art being produced by Shell Point artists and artisans. With works in all mediums, each piece in the Tribby’s Shell Point Gallery presents its artist’s unique interpretation of ‘seeing red.’ A special component of the exhibition will present the works of Shell Point writers, reflecting on the same theme. 

   An art quilt presents its maker’s original design rather than a traditional pattern. It is a demanding genre, requiring the quilter to be both artist and superb needleworker. 

   In ‘Artist As Muse,’ each member of Art Quilters Unlimited was randomly assigned a major artist of the 20th century and allowed to choose any artwork of that artist for which to create a textile homage. Works on display will include quilts and other textile creations in the Tribby’s Legacy and Overlook Galleries.

   Both exhibitions are on display through June 22 and are free and open to the public. Tribby’s galleries are open Tue-Sat 10am-3pm. Tribby Arts Center is located in the Shell Point Community at 17281 On Par Blvd. For more information about the Tribby Arts Center, call 239-415-5667. 

Marie Selby Gardens

Exhibition Connects

Two Iconic Artists


   Marie Selby Botanical Gardens presents Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O’Keeffe as the eighth iteration of its annual Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition, which examines the work of major artists through the lens of their connection to nature.

   The art and horticulture exhibition, on view thru June 30 at Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus, explores the unexpected yet profoundly impactful mentoring relationship that developed between iconic artists Yayoi Kusama and Georgia O’Keeffe, two women that changed the history of art. 

   Jennifer Rominiecki, President of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, explains, “Based on their personal correspondence at a critical point in Kusama’s artistic development, the exhibition presents a dynamic and exciting interpretation of two iconic artists in a way that they have not been seen before. We are thrilled to have them paired together in our unique botanical garden setting to explore the ways in which the work of both artists is rooted in nature.” 

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus, open daily 10am-5pm, is located at 1534 Mound St. in Sarasota. For information, call 941-366-5731.

Lakeland's Mayfaire

Art Festival


52nd Year


   Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland continues its Mother’s Day tradition of hosting Mayfaire by-the-Lake, a free fine art festival, May 11 & 12 on the shores of Lake Morton. The free, 2-day event features more than 150 artists showcasing their work across a variety of different media, from jewelry and ceramics to paintings and photography. 

   Attendees can enjoy free live musical performances on the lawn in front of the Lakeland Library and dine at specialty food trucks along Lake Morton Drive. The Polk Museum of Art will be open throughout the weekend. 

   In addition to browsing the fine art displays, families can visit the Mayfaire Kids Zone on the corner of E. Walnut St. & Indiana Ave. for free art activities for children of all ages and abilities. 

   One of the oldest arts festivals in Central Florida, Mayfaire is consistently ranked among the best art shows in the nation.

   Mayfaire by-the-Lake will be held May 11 & 12, 9am-4pm. Lake Morton is located in downtown Lakeland, Florida. Parking is available at the corner of Lime St. & Massachusetts Ave. Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is located at 800 E. Palmetto St. Call 863-688-7743 for information.

Writers Wanted


   The Gulf Coast Writers Association is inviting authors, professionals and amateurs, to submit their work in their annual writing contest. Submissions must be received by midnight, May 31.

   Submissions are being accepted in three categories: Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry. Submissions can be as many as 1500 words for prose and 40 lines for poetry. Writers may submit as often as they wish but can only receive one prize. Only entries submitted online will be considered. All submissions are judged blind by members of GCWA and/or qualified members of the local literary community.

   Winners will be announced at the GCWA monthly meeting on July 15, Winners receive monetary awards. Winning pieces will be published on the GCWA website.

   Founded in 1995, Gulf Coast Writers Association provides a forum for fellowship, education, and information for writers, editors and associates. Based in Fort Myers, the group attracts members from throughout Southwest Florida. At monthly meetings, speakers and workshops offer expert advice on such topics as writing techniques, publishing and marketing. 

   For information, visit


Richard Thomas stars in Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, April 9-14 at Arts—Naples.


'Artist as Muse,' and exhibition by Art Quilters Unlimited, is on view at the Tribby Arts Center at Shell Point in Fort Myers.


Leftover Salmon perform April 7 at the Southland Bluegrass Music Festival at the Seminole Casino Hotel in Immokalee.


The exhibition, 'Daydreaming: Niki Butcher's Hand-Painted Photography is on view at the Marco Island Historical Museum thru June 8.


World-famous DJ, Alan Walker headlines Wonderball, a dance concert benefit for Circus Arts Conservatory, on April 13 in Sarasota.


The exhibition, 'Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O'Keeffe is on view at Marie Selby Botanical Garden in downtown Sarasota thru June 30.


The exhibition, 'The Power of Photography' is on view at the Naples Art Institute thru April 28.


Lee County Sports Complex

Hammond Stadium

14400 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy. 

Fort Myers


Apr 5: vs Tampa Tarpons

Apr 6: vs Tampa Tarpons

Apr 7: vs Tampa Tarpons *

Apr 16: vs Jupiter Hammerheads

Apr 17: vs Jupiter Hammerheads

Apr 18: vs Jupiter Hammerheads

Apr 19: vs Jupiter Hammerheads

Apr 20: vs Jupiter Hammerheads

Apr 21: vs Jupiter Hammerheads *

Apr 23: vs Palm Beach Cardinals

Apr 24: vs Palm Beach Cardinals

Apr 25: vs Palm Beach Cardinals

Apr 26: vs Palm Beach Cardinals

Apr 27: vs Palm Beach Cardinals

Apr 28: vs Palm Beach Cardinals *

May 7: vs Dunedin Blue Jays

May 8: vs Dunedin Blue Jays

May 9: vs Dunedin Blue Jays

May 10: vs Dunedin Blue Jays

May 11: vs Dunedin Blue Jays

May 12: vs Dunedin Blue Jays *

May 28: vs Bradenton Marauders

May 29: vs Bradenton Marauders

May 30: vs Bradenton Marauders

May 31: vs Bradenton Marauders

Jun 1: vs Bradenton Marauders

Jun 2: vs Bradenton Marauders *

Jun 11: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers

Jun 12: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers

Jun 13: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers

Jun 14: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers

Jun 15: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers

Jun 16: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers *

Jun 25: vs Tampa Tarpons

Jun 26: vs Tampa Tarpons

Jun 27: vs Tampa Tarpons

Jun 28: vs Tampa Tarpons

Jun 29: vs Tampa Tarpons

Jun 30: vs Tampa Tarpons *

Jul 4: vs Bradenton Marauders

Jul 5: vs Bradenton Marauders

Jul 6: vs Bradenton Marauders

Jul 9: vs Daytona Tortugas

Jul 10: vs Daytona Tortugas

Jul 11: vs Daytona Tortugas

Jul 12: vs Daytona Tortugas

Jul 13: vs Daytona Tortugas

Jul 14: vs Daytona Tortugas *

Jul 30: vs St Lucie Mets

Jul 31: vs St Lucie Mets

Aug 1: vs St Lucie Mets

Aug 2: vs St Lucie Mets

Aug 3: vs St Lucie Mets

Aug 4: vs St Lucie Mets *

Aug 13: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers

Aug 14: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers

Aug 15: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers

Aug 16: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers

Aug 17: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers

Aug 18: vs Lakeland Flying Tigers

Aug 27: vs Clearwater Threshers

Aug 28: vs Clearwater Threshers

Aug 29: vs Clearwater Threshers

Aug 30: vs Clearwater Threshers

Aug 31: vs Clearwater Threshers

Sep 1: vs Clearwater Threshers *

all games start at 7pm except *1pm


Hertz Arena

11000 Everblades Pkwy • Estero


Apr 10: vs Jacksonville Icemen

Apr 12: vs Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Apr 13: vs Greenville Swamp Rabbits


Music Festival

in Immokalee

   The Seminole Casino Hotel in Immokalee is hosting its annual Southland Bluegrass Music Festival on April 7. Admission is free.

   Gates open at 11am for music starting at noon. Lawn chairs and blankets allowed. Bottles, cans, coolers, outside food, and pets are not allowed. Seating in VIP and table areas is available. Parking on site is free.

   A pre-festival concert is planned for Saturday, April 6.



      6:30pm: Wandering Hogeurs

      8:30pm: Swinging Bridge


      12pm: Alligator Alley

      1:30pm: The Grascals

      4pm: Rhonda Vincent & The Rage

      6pm: Leftover Salmon

      8:30pm: Railroad Earth

Zig Zag Lounge between sets:

Abby The Spoon Lady

      The concert will be held rain or shine.

Seminole Casino Hotel is located at 506 S. First St. in Immokalee. Call 658-1313 for information.


Niki Butcher's

Photographs at

Marco Island


   The Marco Island Historical Museum is hosting the exhibition, ‘Daydreaming: Niki Butcher’s Hand-Painted Photography’ thru June 8. The exhibition features works by Florida-based artist, conservationist, historian, educator, and documentarian Niki Butcher.

   The exhibit, featuring more than 60 images created over five decades, most from her new book, ‘Daydreaming.’ Niki’s work captures the historical, beautiful, and quirky aspects of old Florida; funky ‘mom & pop’ wayside businesses, lonesome sandy beaches, and the beauty of the Everglades. 

   Remembering the gentle feeling of old Florida postcards, Niki hand paints her black & white photographs, often in pastel hues, adding color to transform the images from “landscapes into dreamscapes and reality into fantasy.”  

   With a bit of color, a dose of humor, and an infusion of positivity, she captures places and people that stand out as beautiful, unique, endangered, and authentic, yet breathes life and imagination into these photographed scenes, creating a picture of life far beyond what a camera could capture. 

   Niki explains, “I am passionate about the art of creating hand-painted, black & white photography. I love to express myself by adding color that may not be true to the original scene, yet evokes a particular fleeting moment that I felt at the time. I delight in the fact that I am able to combine a technique that was once popular, but is now nearly forgotten.”

   Niki Butcher’s debut book, Daydreaming, is a collection of over 140 hand-painted black & white photographs. She is married to world-acclaimed photographer, Clyde Butcher.

   Marco Island Historical Museum is located at 180 South Heathwood Dr. on Marco Island. The museum is open Tue-Sat 9am-4pm. Call 252-1440 for information.

Circus Arts Hosts


Dance Concert


   Wonderball, Circus Arts Conservatory’s benefit for its youth education programs, returns April 13 with an epic dance concert experience, headlined by world-famous electronic dance music star, Norwegian DJ and producer Alan Walker. This year’s event features a larger stage for a more immersive experience with enhanced LED lasers, lights and video screens. 

   The vibe for Wonderball 2024 is neon and guests are encouraged to dress in dance-ready festival/clubwear. Opening for Walker are DJ August, DJ Pushman, and DJ Peter DiCaro from New York. DiCaro will also close out the event in the arena after Walker’s set. Students from the Sailor Circus Academy will perform during a special performance before Walker takes the stage. 

   All ages are welcome to the event; alcohol and bar service will be available to guests ages 21+ with proper ID. 

   Wonderball starts at 7pm in Sailor Circus Arena, located at 2075 Bahia Vista St. in Sarasota. For information, call 941-355-9335.

Mural Festival

in Downtown

Fort Myers


   After the great success of the inaugural SWFL Mural Fest held in downtown Fort Myers in April of 2023, Artsemble Underground is again producing SWFL Mural Fest this year on April 5, in conjunction with downtown Fort Myers Art Walk. 

   Five teams with some of the best artists of SWFL in the art community have been chosen to create the murals at 2232 Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Fort Myers on permanent walls.

   Theme for this year’s challenge is ‘Mother Nature’ with murals revolving around the elements: air, water, fire and earth, plus a 5th element: balance. Teams were randomly assigned an element. Each element combined will represent our love for earth, art, and mankind. Team leaders have been selected and each has chosen their own team. 

Participating Artists

   • Team Air: Danielle Branchaud, Will Soto, Heather Donaldson

Team Water: Israel Alpizar, Inda Shay, Eyeleen

   • Team Fire: Dawn Webb, Samantha Taylor, Gabrielle Kesecker, Alia Alexander, Violet Mele, Victoria Harnden 

   • Team Earth: Mully, Carmelo Blandino, Cory Patterson, Dani Papanikolaou, Marcus Zotter

   • Team Fifth Element – Balance & Love: Cesar Aguilera, Mariapia Malerba, Brian Weaver, Juliana Versari

   Although this year’s SWFL Mural Festival is slated for April 5, when murals will be completed, murals have been in the process of being painted since March 8. Festivities begin at 5pm. There will be music and food trucks at the celebration.

'Ding' Darling Day

Returns to

Lakes Park


   The 35th Annual ‘Ding’ Darling Day Conservation Carnival will be held April 20 in Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers. The annual free family-centric event celebrates ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge and Earth Day with games, music, walks, crafts, and more, as well as painting demonstrations by ‘Ding’ Darling’s Artist-in-Residence, Jacqui Roch.


   • Ongoing (10am-2pm): Nature-theme carnival games and prizes, live music, face-painting, rock-climbing, dunk tank, live painting, and shell crafts.

   • 10am: ‘Ding’ Darling Day opens at Lakes Park. Check in and receive information at Welcome Table in Main Pavilion.

   • 10:30am. Nature Photography workshop

   • 11am: Ranger-led Kids Nature Hunt

   • 11:30am: Guided Birding Walk 

   • 12:30pm: Sketch & Stroll Nature

   •12:30pm: Journaling workshop

   Ding’ Darling Day Conservation Carnival will be celebrated 10am-2pm. Lakes Park is located at 7330 Gladiolus Dr. in Fort Myers. For information, call 472-1100. 

Iconic Photographs

at Naples Art



   The Naples Art Institute hosts the exhibition, ‘The Power of Photography: Iconic Images from the Collection of Peter Fetterman’ featuring more than 122 original prints of some of the most iconic images of the 20th century.

   From the bizarre Boschian fantasies of Melvin Sokolsky to the haunting humanity of Edward Weston’s portraits, from rare interior shots by famed nude photographer Ruth Bernhard to Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl (referred to as the Mona Lisa of photography), this exhibition gathers some of the most unique and inspiring photographs capturing the essence of human experience and imagination.

   ‘The Power of Photography’ is on view thru April 28. The Naples Art Institute is located at 585 Park St. in downtown Naples. It is open Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 10am-6pm, Tue & Thu 10am-8pm, Sun 11a-4p. Call 262-6517 for information.

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