on the gulf


Blues Concert to

Benefit Hurricane

Ian Recovery


Musicians formerly of the rock band Chicago and currently of Earth Wind & Fire will headline the Kickin’ the Blues Music Festival on November 19, a benefit for Hurricane Ian recovery efforts, and mental health and suicide prevention. The concert in Bonita Springs will also feature local bands.  

   Headlining the concert will be Bill Champlin, Keith Howland and Jeff Coffey, formerly of the band Chicago, and John Paris, current member of Earth, Wind & Fire, performing their hits from the 1970s & 1980s.

   In addition to music, the festival will include mental health providers who can provide information about mental health resources available. Food trucks, beer, wine and healthy beverages also will be available for sale. A meditation station also will be provided.

   The event is being organized by Grounding Wire, a new non-profit organization, founded by Frances & Bret Borshell, to help those struggling with anxiety and mental health disorders.          The Kickin’ the Blues Music Festival is November 19,4-9pm at Riverside Park, located at 10450 Reynolds St. in Bonita Springs.

   For information about the Kickin’ the Blues Music Festival and Grounding Wire, call 788-2829.

Alliance for the Arts


Fringe Fort Myers


The inaugural Fringe Fort Myers festival is scheduled for June 1-4 on the campus of the Alliance for the Arts. Four days of events will feature 30 performances on 4 different stages; one-person shows, dance performances and music concerts, magic, stand-up comedy, and more. 

   Fringe Fort Myers will maintain the long-standing traditions of being 100% uncensored, 100% unjuried and 100% inclusive. And 100% of ticket sales go directly to the artists. 

   Applications are available now for artists wishing to perform and participate in Fringe Fort Myers. The deadline to submit applications is 5pm December 12. A lottery drawing will be held on Monday, Dec 19, 2022 both in person and online.

   For more information, please call 239-939-2787.

   After the final performance, Fringe Fort Myers will host an awards ceremony celebrating the artists that make Fringe an incredible experience. The Alliance’s youth theatre will also offer Kids Fringe, presenting family-friendly performances.

   Fringe Fort Myers is a partnership between Alliance for the Arts and the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Alliance for the Arts is located at 10091 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers.


Shell Museum

Severely Damaged

By Hurricane


The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel, the only professional and accredited museum in the United States devoted to mollusks and the shells they make, was severely impacted by Hurricane Ian. The ground floor, which houses the aquariums, flooded with over five feet of water causing extensive damage throughout. While some animals were saved, the majority perished, including our octopuses. The storm also tore a hole in the Museum’s brand-new roof, exposing the second and third floors, which include The Great Hall of Shells and storage for the shell collection, to water damage and the elements.

   In the weeks since the storm, staff has carefully moved 40% of the Museum’s collection of over 550,000 shells and other specimens, one drawer of shells at a time, from the third floor to the second and reinstalled the specimens in their cabinets for safekeeping. The roof is now temporarily patched, and staff and professional disaster mitigation crews are working 7 days a week to contain the damage.

   Progress is being made, but the challenges facing the Museum are deep. Those interested in supporting the Shell Museum can donate to the Museum or become a member. 

   The museum is located at 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Rd. on Sanibel. Visit shellmuseum.org for updates on recovery efforts. Call 395-2233 for information about membership and donations. 

Naples Botanical

Garden Celebrates



The highlight of the celebration is La Calavera Catrina, an exhibition of eight larger-than-life skeleton sculptures of La Catrina, one of the most iconic symbols of the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday. Known for her feminine elegance and Mexican heritage, La Catrina approaches death not through sadness, but as a colorful celebration of life. Designed by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero, these 8-foot-tall, vivid sculptures will be on display throughout the Karen & Robert Scott Florida Garden.

   Soltero is the set designer for the largest Día de los Muertos celebration in the United States, which takes place annually at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. Both a sculptor and a costume designer, Soltero uses diverse media including papier-mâché, recycled materials, wood, fiberglass, and fabric.

   This exhibit will also feature four papier-mâché wall-mounted monarch butterfly sculptures on display in Fogg Café.

   Naples Botanical Garden will celebrate Día de los Muertos on November 5 & 6 with special displays, tours, and arts & crafts activities. There will also be live music, dance performances, and foods from Mexico. The event is included with Garden admission. 

   Guests can enjoy special evening hours on December 5, when the Garden is open until 7pm for sunset viewing of La Calavera Catrina on Saturday, Nov. 5 in the Scott Florida Garden. Guitarist Havy Rodriguez will perform 5-7pm.

La Calavera Catrina will be on display through January 29.

   Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Dr. in Naples is open daily 9am-5pm. For information, call, 643-7275.


Spiritual Concert

in Bonita Springs


Storytellers Creative Arts is presenting their second annual Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs Concert on November 6, at 6pm, at First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs.

   The evening features hymns and special music representing genres from gospel, jazz bluegrass and classical. There will also be a musical tribute to all veterans.

   The concert will feature a mass choir and a 30-piece orchestra, as well as guest artists and performers including:

Dr. Bill Barnett, founder & president of Storytellers Creative Arts, and vocalist.

Tamra Richardt, concert pianist and television personality.

   Jeffrey Faux, former Artistic Director & Conductor of the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers and Naples Philharmonic Choir.

   Dr. Robert Petterson, best-selling author and master storyteller.

   Amy Bright, Lead Vocalist with the Naples Big Band.

   Dr. Jeff Leigh, classical-violinist, Fellow at both Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals.

   Chad Craig, Naples Florida percussionist and music educator.

Martha Christian, recording artist and singer-songwriter.

   The Art of the Song, an exhibition of works by local artists, will be on view at 5pm, prior to the concert.

   Admission to the concert is free, but tickets are required. Call 992-3410 for information. First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs is located at 9751 Bonita Beach Rd. SE in Bonita Springs. 


Paintings at

The Baker Museum


Helen Frankenthaler played a defining role in the history of post-war American painting. Her innovative soak-stain technique inaugurated the shift from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field Painting and influenced many artists. Frankenthaler’s work has been described as “a bridge between [Jackson] Pollock and what was possible.” 

   The Baker Museum presents Helen Frankenthaler: Late Works, 1990-2003, the first museum exhibition dedicated to the last phase of the painter’s prolific career. The exhibition features 20 paintings on paper and 10 paintings on canvas. These works demonstrate the artist’s interest in the relationship between landscape and abstraction and reveal her continued sensitivity to the emotional effects of color.

   Helen Frankenthaler: Late Works, 1990-2003 is on view through November 27. The Baker Museum is located on the Artis—Naples campus, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd. in Naples. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm & Sunday 12-4pm. Call 597-1900 for information.

Naples Fine Art

Show Moves to

Sports Complex


Hot Works Fine Art Shows has moved their popular Naples Fine Art Show to the Paradise Coast Sports Complex. The Naples Fine Art Show is scheduled for the weekend of November 12 & 13, 10am-5pm. In addition to hundreds of artists displaying and selling their work, the event offers live music and entertainment and food vendors. Admission is free. 

   The Naples Fine Art Show features Latin American sculpture artist Luis Amador as well as fine art and crafts created by award-winning artists, including paintings, sculptures, and works in clay, glass, fiber, wood, and jewelry.  

   The Paradise Sorts Complex is located at 3940 City Gate Blvd. N., just north of the intersection of SR 951 & I-75, in Naples. For more information about the Naples Fine Arts Show or HotWorks, call 248-762-2462.


Author Pam Houston will be participating in the Keynote conversation, November 5 at FGCIU's Sanibel Island Writers Conference. Due to Hurricane Ian, the conference will now be an online event, streaming for free.


Jeff Coffey, former bassist for the band Chicago, will be performing at the Kickin' the Blues Music Festival, November 19 at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs.


The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum's octopuses perished during Hurricane Ian.


Ana Popovic performs December 2 at the Bradenton Riverwalk Pavilion during the Bradenton Blues Festival.


Naples Botanical Garden celebrates the culture and flora of Mexico with the exhibition, La Calavera Catrina, on view thru January 29.


Amy Bright, lead vocalist with the Naples Big Band, is performing at the Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs concert, November 6 in Bonita Springs.


The Orchid Show 2022: Capturing the Perfect Shot, showcases scientific photographs of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens' collection of rare orchids.


The Baker Museum in Naples is hosting an exhibition of Helen Frankenthaler's later paintings thru November 27.



11000 Everblades Pkwy. 



Nov 4: vs Jacksonville Icemen

Nov 5: vs Jacksonville Icemen

Nov 16: vs Atlanta Gladiators

Nov 18: vs Atlanta Gladiators

Nov 19: vs Atlanta Gladiators

Nov 30: vs Kalamazoo Wings

Dec 3: vs Kalamazoo Wings

Dec 14: vs Orlando Solar Bears

Dec 17: vs Orlando Solar Bears

Dec 21: vs Orlando Solar Bears

Dec 23: vs Jacksonville Icemen

Dec 30: vs Orlando Solar Bears

Jan 4: vs Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Jan 7: vs Orlando Solar Bears

Jan 20: vs Savannah Ghost Pirates

Jan 21: vs Savannah Ghost Pirates

Jan 25: vs South Carolina Stingrays

Jan 27: vs South Carolina Stingrays

Jan 28: vs South Carolina Stingrays

Feb 8: vs Jacksonville Icemen

Feb 10: vs Orlando Solar Bears

Feb 11: vs Orlando Solar Bears

Feb 22: vs Kansas City Mavericks

Feb 24: vs Kansas City Mavericks

Feb 25: vs Kalamazoo Wings

Mar 8: vs South Carolina Stingrays

Mar 10: vs South Carolina Stingrays

Mar 11: vs South Carolina Stingrays

Mar 22: vs Newfoundland Growlers

Mar 24: vs Newfoundland Growlers

Mar 25: vs Newfoundland Growlers

Apr 5: vs Jacksonville Icemen

Apr 12: vs Jacksonville Icemen

Apr 14: vs Atlanta Gladiators

Apr 15: vs Atlanta Gladiators

Writers Conference

Moves Online

Due to Hurricane

Due to Hurricane Ian and the widespread damage to Sanibel Island, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Sanibel Island Writers Conference will be held this year online November 5. The conference will be streamed live and free of charge, with no registration required. 

   All sessions are an hour long and will be streamed live on Sanibel Island Writers Conference Facebook page: www.facebook.com/sanibelislandwritersconference. Recordings of all sessions will be saved to the archive page on their website: www.fgcu.edu/siwc.

   The conference begins at 10am with Writing Class Radio’s Top Tips, with authors Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer discussing tips for making stories shine. The session will be interactive, with participants writing and reading what they wrote for feedback.

   At 11am, Kevin Aho, Steve Almond and Darin Strauss, authors with recently published books, will discuss their research process.

   At noon, editors Lynne Barrett, Joe Clifford and M.J. Fievre examine the challenges and pleasures involved in the creation of an anthology. They discuss the many facets of the anthology process, from editorial vision and aesthetic decisions to collaboration with contributors, editors and publishers to sales, marketing and distribution, including readings, social media engagement and unexpected legal, ethical and practical issues.

   Andrea Askowitz, Jenna Blum and Allison Langer return at 1pm for a session titled, Creating Community Through Literature. They will discuss how to expand your audience by joining private Facebook groups and being active on Twitter and other social media, as well as going to writing conferences and book clubs, and joining virtual groups.

   At 2pm, Literary agents Lisa Gallagher & Christopher Schelling answer questions about what to do when you think you are ready for publication: Do you need a literary agent? How do you find one? How do you approach agents, editors and publishers? How do you know if a publisher is right for you? 

   Poets Mahogany L. Browne, Denise Duhamel, Didi Jackson and Major Jackson will have a conversation at 3pm around poems, practice and the study of literary forms that are lawless.

   At 4pm, writers John Dufresne and Beth Ann Fennelly will have a general discussion of flash narrative, the writing of very short stories. Dufresne and Fennelly will alternate sharing a favorite piece of flash (fiction or creative nonfiction). The session will end with a writing prompt that will inspire attendees to try their hand at flash.

   Hank Phillippi Ryan will moderate a panel discussion at 5pm, titled The Secrets of Suspense: Whether You Write Crime Fiction or Not! Authors Lynne Barrett, Ron Cooper, Tod Goldberg will join him in uncovering the secrets of pacing, timing, clues, red herrings, ticking clocks, plot twists and killer endings. They will offer practical tips, structure secrets and a whole new outlook at suspenseful storytelling.

   Singer-songwriter and bandleader Ike Reilly will perform a concert at 6pm.

   The conference ends at 7pm with a Keynote Conversation with authors Jenna Blum and Pam Houston.

For information about FGCU’s Sanibel Writers Conference, call 590-7421.

Christmas Carol

Sing Helps Feed

the Hungry


Celebrate the holidays and help feed the hungry by singing at the 31st Annual Christmas Carol Sings.

   The 31st annual Christmas Carol Sing will be December 6 at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Fort Myers.    Because of the overwhelming popularity of the event, two sing-alongs are planned at 3pm & 7pm. The doors open 30 minutes prior to show time. 

   Admission is free, but voluntary donations of canned goods and cash are requested to benefit Sam’s Community Café & Kitchen, operated by Community Cooperative.

   The annual Christmas Carol Sing is sponsored by First Presbyterian Church and the Galloway Family of Dealerships.

First Presbyterian Church is located at 2438 Second Street in Fort Myers Historic River District. For more information, call 334-2261.


Blues Festival on




Bradenton Blues Festival concerts will be held at the Bradenton Riverwalk Pavilion in Rossi Park on the Manatee River, Friday & Saturday, December 2 & 3. Music starts at 5pm Friday, ending at 8:30pm. On Saturday, music starts at 11am and ends at 7:30pm, when festival headliner, Ana Popovic closes the evening. 

   The Bradenton Blues Brunch on Sunday, December 4 will be at nearby Mattison’s City Grille.


Friday • December 2

5pm: Gabe Stillman Band

6:30pm: Harper & Midwest Kind

7:30pm: Dikki Du & the Zydeco Krewe 

Saturday • December 3

11am: Lady A

12:30pm: Dustin Arbuckle & 

                  the Damnations 

1:30pm: Nora Jean Wallace      

3pm: Albert Castiglia Band   

4pm: Mike Zito Band

5pm: Blood Brothers

6pm: Ana Popovic    

Sunday • December 4

Blues Brunch

11am-2pm: Dustin Arbuckle

                     & the Damnations

   In addition to live music, local craft beer, wine and food will be available. 

Blankets, chairs, cameras and a personal bag are allowed on festival grounds. All bags and purses will be inspected by security upon entry. Children 4 and under do not need a ticket. Only service animals with appropriate credentials will be permitted. 

   Proceeds from the Bradenton Blues Festival support Realize Bradenton’s youth, art, and music programs, including the Blues in the Schools program. 

   Bradenton Riverwalk Pavilion at Rossi Park is located at 452 3rd Ave. W. in Bradenton. Mattison’s City Grille is located at 101 Riverfront Blvd. on the Bradenton Riverwalk. Call 941-301-8445 for information.

Selby Gardens

Showcases Photos

of Rare Orchids


Marie Selby Botanical Gardens continues ‘The Year of Photography” at its downtown Sarasota campus with an exhibition celebrating the stunning scientific photography of Selby Gardens’ own rare orchid collection, the best scientifically documented collection of living orchids anywhere in the world.

   The Orchid Show 2022: Capturing the Perfect Shot,” is built around the massive body of photographs taken by a group of dedicated volunteers who help Selby Gardens scientists document the institution’s living research collection. The show includes original horticultural vignettes inspired by the art of scientific photography in the Tropical Conservatory, along with gallery installations in the Museum of Botany & The Arts. 

   “This photography is critical to the documentation of our world-renowned collection for research purposes.,” says Jennifer O. Rominiecki, President of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. “But visitors will immediately see that these photos stand as fine art in their own right.”

   Installations on display inside the Tropical Conservatory showcase hundreds of live orchids in artistic arrangements, sometimes playing with lenses and mirrors. Different collection specimens will be rotated into the show throughout its duration, helping to ensure a new experience with repeat visits.

   Chief Museum Curator Dr. David Berry praises the volunteers, “These talented photographers combine painstaking process, technical ingenuity, and individual aesthetic to capture the characteristics of each plant. The photographs become another form of botanical evidence,” says Berry. “They might document a flowering process that happens only once a year, or portray plants so tiny that they literally cannot be seen with the naked eye.”

   He adds, “Compositionally, the photographs are quite stunning. They aren’t only pictures of pretty plants — they are works of art.”

   The Museum of Botany & the Arts showcases 15 large-format prints of the distinctive scientific photographs, which feature striking close-ups of their orchid subjects set against a jet-black background. As a special feature of this year’s Orchid Show, a temporary photo studio has been set up in the Museum, where individual volunteers will periodically do their work in view of visitors and answer questions about it.

   The Botanical Gardens hosts an ‘Orchid Evening’ on November 2 that includes after-hours access to the show and a live performance by The Circus Arts Conservatory. 

   Access to the exhibition is included with general admission to the Downtown Sarasota campus. 

   The Orchid Show 2022: Capturing the Perfect Shot is on view through December 4. 

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