Article by Margaret Klapperich Brodeur
On November 18, GNL XX experienced a taste of the wide array of cultural arts found in Naples.
The morning began at the von Liebig Art Center with an overview of the local visual arts scene presented by Executive Director Aimee Schlehr and a report on the state of the Arts in Collier County from Katie Schweikhardt, Executive Director of the United Arts Council of Collier County. Paul Arsenault, Dennis Goodman, Leigh Herndon and Jim Rice, four working artists, then demonstrated their crafts for an appreciative audience.
This was followed by lunch in the boardroom at Artis-Naples, providing an opportunity to meet Kathleen van Bergen and her team. A docent-led tour of the Artis-Naples campus sculptures ending at the Figge Conservatory at the Baker Museum began the afternoon activities.
Actor John McKerrow, of Shakespeare in Paradise, began the afternoon’s performing arts session with a rousing performance of a scene from Shakespeare’s Henry V. He then joined the theatre panel of Jessica Walck of the Naples Players, Kristen Coury of Gulfshore Playhouse and Chick Heithaus representing CAPA, and moderator, John Lyngaas, GNL XVII. One theme of the discussion–so much talent, so little performance space in Naples!
To round out the cultural arts experience, Claudia Polzin, Class XVI, introduced performances by four year-old violin students from Music Scores!, mezzo soprano Leah Summers of Naples Opera, the ReCreation Tappers (oldest aged 87!) and Maestro William Noll on the piano.
It was later learned that three of the Cultural Arts Day presenters were named Stars in the Arts by the United Arts Council of Collier County: Judy Evans of Music Scores!, Gulfshore Playhouse and John McKerrow of Shakespeare in Paradise. The Stars Awards reward leadership in the arts. Awardees will be honored at a luncheon February 17 at the Ritz-Carlton Naples.
A post-session reception capped off a wonderful day!