“Naples – a City Rich in and Enriched by Culture and the Arts” was the theme for Culture and Arts Day.  The class began their journey at the Von Liebig Art Center which was a great way to present the past and present of Naples’ art scene.  Highlights of the day included:

  • Frank Nappo, member of GNL Class XIII and Board Chair of the Naples Art Association introducing Joel Kessler, the Executive Director of the Von Liebig, who gave the class a lineup of this year’s many activities and exhibits.
  • The class learned from Elaine Hamilton, Executive Director of the United Arts Council of Collier that patrons of the arts contribute an estimated quarter billion dollars annually.
  • Joe Cox, Founding Executive Director of the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, shared a power point presentation of the museum.   The new museum will open in 2011, hopefully in time for Class XVI to have an opportunity to visit.
  • At the Sugden Theater the group was given a great history of the facility and tour by Becky Troop, Director of Volunteer Services.  Everyone loved going back stage to see the costume and set-making department.
  • A visit to The Philharmonic Center for the Arts and the Naples Museum of Art proved to be one of the highlights of the day.  Having lunch in the boardroom with the legendary Myra Daniels, Founder, Chairman and CEO, was such an honor.   Myra tells stories like no one else and we were all enchanted with her view of the history of The Phil and her hopes for the future.
  • The last stop was Opera Naples where the class toured the new facility and were given a glimpse of ON’s vision for the future, complete with drawings of what the complete renovation will look like.   Next, the class was wowed by the performances by William Noll, Artistic Director, Classic Chamber Concerts, Conductor and Pianist, and Steffanie Pearce, Founding Director of Opera Naples, along with two young members of her staff.  In addition, we watched as two 15-year-old young men played the violin and cello with amazing skill.   To end the day, Mark Danni, Founding Director of Theater Zone, gave a wonderful presentation, while Commissioner Donna Fiala explained her dedication to the Arts, and discussed the Davis Triangle and Bayshore Arts District.

The Culture Committee from GNL Class XIV, Elizabeth Davison, Mary Bowman, Julie Belle White-Newman and JoAnne Lekas, were delighted to host and coordinate this day for the Class XV.

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