Keeping You Informed: Alliance for the Arts Current Programming & Response to COVID-19

Updated November 14, 2020

The Alliance for the Arts building, offices and Saturday GreenMarket will be closed December 24, December 25, December 26 and January 1.

Updated December 2, 2020

As we reflect on a memorable year and look toward the future, we are thankful for people like you who believe that the arts have the power to transform lives and improve our community. You are a huge part of what makes our little world thrive. The greatest gift we receive, year after year, is you! Check out our December newsletter by clicking here.

Updated November 20, 2020

The Alliance for the Arts building and offices will be closed Wednesday, November 25 through Sunday, November 29. The Alliance for the Arts GreenMarket will be open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 28 and feature our Container Gardening 101 – Free Workshop.

Updated September 2, 2020

We are grateful for people like you who empower our arts community to embrace self-expression, imagination and individuality. This September, connect to the arts and to each other with host of diverse onlineonsite and outdoors programs and events. Check out our September newsletter by clicking here.

Updated August 10, 2020

We are so excited to announce the recipients of our The Arts Are Vital Grant! This grant is an emergency relief program for Lee County’s arts organizations and individual artists formed in partnership with the Meisenberg Family Trust to ensure the sustained impact of the arts during a time when we need them most.

The program provides one-time grant awards of $5,000 to arts organizations and $500 to professional artists located in Lee County with urgent financial need due to COVID-19. These funds are unrestricted and may be used by the organizations and artists to help with financial issues due to the impact of COVID-19 on their organizations, lives and livelihoods.

Congratulations to individual artist grantees: Kara Ackley, Cesar Aguilera, Jan Atkielski, Marliss Brockington, Renee Rey, EllaEllis, Lily Hatchett, Monique Olsen, Brendan Powers, Rachel Powers, David Rode, Caitlin Rosolen, Terry Lynn Spry, Timothy Torres, Gregory Van Kirk, Warren Van Kirk and Jeffery Whidby

Congratulations to arts organization grantee: ArtFest Fort Myers, BIG ARTS, Cultural Park Theatre Company, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Florida Repertory Theatre, Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers, Gulfcoast Symphony Orchestra, Gulfshore Ballet, Laboratory Theatre of Florida, Lee County Black History Society, Players Circle Theatre and Southwest Florida Symphony

We know how essential the arts are to our economy, our recovery and to our everyday lives. On behalf of the Alliance for the Arts and the Meisenberg Family Trust, we thank you for supporting the arts organizations and artists who make southwest Florida a great place to live, work and play.

Updated July 29, 2020

For all things August, from programs to events to updated news, check out our newsletter by clicking here.

Updated June 29, 2020

While it is not quite business as usual, the one thing that has remained constant is our passion and commitment to transform lives and improve our community through the arts. The following is your guide to all Alliance upcoming events and news for July.

We’ll begin by sharing the highlights of two very exciting and significant projects:

While not a full reopening, we’re excited to welcome back our onsite GreenMarket, limited exhibit and gift shop hours, a sold out Musical Theatre summer camp and limited onsite classes. If you are joining us for onsite programming, we ask that you adhere to signage and procedures posted on our campus. Face masks are required at all times and you are advised to keep 6 feet (2 meters) between you and others. 

  • Beginning July 10, gallery and gift shop hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment. Walk-ins are welcome but visitors may also reserve a viewing time ahead of schedule by contacting our gallery director, Ehren Gerhard at [email protected], for first priority.
  • Our weekly, onsite GreenMarket will return on Saturday, July 4th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The GreenMarket Wednesday drive-thru and pickup service will also continue.
  • Pain, Process and Promise is an exhibition that invites artists to interpret and respond to this extended moment in time. Please save the dates for our online artist Q&A: July 14, July 28 and August 11 at 6 p.m.

Additionally, we will continue to offer a variety of art classes and events – both online and onsite – through the month of July:

There is no one size fits all answer during times like these, but working together, we can move through this challenge and toward community strength and well-being.

We’re working hard from the offices and from our homes in hopes that you continue to enjoy our online and onsite programming throughout the summer, as we celebrate the power that art offers to inspire, delight and educate.

If you have any questions regarding the status of our open hours, programs and events, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or call 239-939-2787.

With warmth and love,

The Alliance for the Arts

Updated June 22, 2020

The arts are vital. Amidst current challenges and fears our community cannot afford to lose the voices, perspectives and creativity of artists and arts organizations who help us process the world around us.

That’s why we are honored to announce The Arts are Vital Grant, an emergency relief program for Lee County’s arts organizations and individual artists formed in partnership with the Meisenberg Family Trust and the Alliance for the Arts to ensure the impact of the arts is not lost during a time when we need it most.

The program provides one-time grant awards to arts organizations and professional artists of all disciplines operating and residing in Lee County with urgent financial need. These funds are unrestricted and may be used by the organizations and artists to help with financial issues due to the impact of COVID-19 on their organizations, lives and livelihoods.

Applications open June 29 and close at midnight EST on July 12. Artists residing in Lee County and eligible nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply at Grant recipients will be announced August, 2020.

Updated June 18, 2020

The Alliance for the Arts GreenMarket is reopening to the public on Saturday, July 4th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with added precautions and following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. The GreenMarket will resume normal Saturday hours on the Alliance for the Arts campus located at 10091 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL. 

Farmers, vendors and market-goers are asked to follow CDC guidelines:

  • Vendors will be required to wear face coverings or masks, limit product handling and provide any necessary handwash or sanitizer stations for themselves and their patrons
  • No sampling of products will be allowed at the market
  • Vendors will be spaced out to follow physical distancing guidelines
  • Patrons are asked to wear masks, pay in exact change and not linger on property.  Please note:  public restrooms will not be available.
  • Patrons and vendors not feeling well are asked to stay home

The Wednesday drive-thru pickup service initiated when the market closed in response to Covid-19, will remain in operation.

Updated May 29, 2020

Since our last correspondence, so much has changed but the one thing that has remained constant is our passion and commitment to transform lives and improve our community through the arts! On our daily staff video conference calls we discuss what we are celebrating and each and every day, that thing has been you – our community of artists and art lovers who believe in the Alliance.

While it is not quite business as usual, we continue to look towards the future. We’re working hard from the offices and from our homes on gradual reopening plans to welcome you back. Our goal is to create the safest and best experience for you, our Alliance family. Our target, limited reopening date for the public is Wednesday, July 1, 2020. New operational procedures will include screening, spacing and sanitization as well as use of masks, hand washing stations and more.

We’ll provide a full update soon with the exact and necessary strategy and precautions. In the meantime, check out our virtual programming (listed below) or call 239-939-2787.

Updated May 7, 2020

We are a community of huggers, helpers and hand shakers and we want to do our part to keep that warmth around. While we may have to keep our physical distance, it’s imperative to keep the arts as a part of our community and as a source for connection.

The Alliance is working hard everyday to figure out how to best support the community that has always supported us. Our doors may be closed but our mission to transform lives and improve our community through the arts continues!

Join us for the following:

Updated March 27, 2020

Wherever you are, know that we are with you and hoping that this email finds you safe and settling into an unexpected but temporary normal as we all do our part to keep our community healthy.

Since our last correspondence much has changed but the one thing that has remained constant is our passion to transform lives and improve our community through the arts. The Alliance remains committed to offering inspiration, connection and hope to shorten the distance between people and creativity. While onsite programming is suspended, our team is working remotely to ensure our ability to open the facility when it is safe to do so. Projects include:

  • Providing opportunities for area high school artists to continue working on their portfolios by moving our Future of Art exhibit to a digital competition. Project sponsored by Florida SouthWestern College and in partnership with the Lee Art Educators’ Association.
  • We’ve launched GreenMarket Drive-Thru with local farmers and vendors to make sure you can access locally grown produce, eggs and cheese.
  • Facilitating the next round of Art Lives Here with help of Carter Outdoor. A new public gallery will coming soon to billboard space near you!

For so many of us, the Alliance is much more than just a business – it’s a beautiful celebration of all the good things in life. The Alliance has weathered many storms in her 45 years and she’s ready to take on this one because of the amazing people that are part of her. We know the arts will be an integral part of getting through this pandemic and will be imperative once we get on the other side. So, while things aren’t business as usual, we’re committed to a bright future celebrating creativity.

We’d also like to thank so many of you who have already gotten involved in the work we do by donating back ticket sales, class fees or have pledged donations to help sustain our work in the arts! You are enormously appreciated!

We can’t wait to welcome you back to join us year-round to meet your neighbors, find your passion, be entertained or simply escape into a vibrant world of color and creativity.

Until then, stay connected with us. Send us your artwork, tag us on Facebook if you’re facilitating a cultural project, propose an online class or event or just give us a call or drop an email. We welcome hearing from you!

Updated March 18, 2020

The Alliance for the Arts has temporarily closed its physical offices and gallery space and all staff are working remotely in order to prioritize public health and the safety of the organization. Please don’t hesitate to reach out at [email protected] for more.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Updated March 17, 2020

Below is a listing of Emergency Grants and Funding Opportunities for ARTISTS as we all try to navigate COVID-19 pandemic.

Rauschenberg Emergency grants:…/Rauschenberg-Emergency-Grants (Robert Rauschenberg Foundation)

Emergency relief funding:…/apply-f…/craft-emergency-relief-fund/

Freelance artist resources:

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants:…/emergency-g… (Foundation for Contemporary Arts)

Authors League Emergency Fund: (Authors League Fund)

PEN American Writers’ Emergency Fund: (National League of American Pen Women)

Entertainment Assistance Program:…/entertainment-assistance-program

Musicians Foundation:

Joan Mitchell Foundation:…/artist-grants/emergency (Joan Mitchell Foundation)

Updated March 16, 2020

As the impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold, we will remain vigilant and heed guidance from local authorities and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Last night the CDC released further guidance, advising organizers to cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more for the next 8 weeks. In an effort to ensure the health and wellness of our staff, volunteers, artists, members, donors, patrons, and ultimately, the larger community, we have made the decision to suspend all Alliance activities for the immediate future.


  • Fringe Fort Myers scheduled April 22-26
  • Charlotte’s Web youth cast rehearsals and performances
  • I Never Saw Another Butterfly youth cast rehearsals and performances
  • Artist Studio Tour scheduled for March 28


  • All remaining March classes
  • Seussical Kids Spring Break Camp scheduled March 16-21
  • Bil Lepp workshop and performances scheduled for March 20 & 21
  • Indoor Bluegrass Concerts in March and April
  • Future of Art gallery opening receptions (in partnership with Lee Art Educators Association)
  • Crossroads: Gauthier, Hamel and Herzog gallery exhibit scheduled for the month of May
  • The Roommate by Jen Silverman with performances May 7 – 17

Suspended until further notice

  • Weekly Saturday GreenMarket
  • Saturday gallery and office hours
  • Free Family Art Labs scheduled for the 4th Saturday of each month
  • Members-Only Book Club scheduled for the 3rd Tuesday of each month
  • Poetry Open Mic Night scheduled for April 8
  • Show Off! Youth Performance Showcase scheduled for April 18

All ticket holders and students for March events and classes have been notified via email. Purchasers are receiving full refunds or choosing to donate back their ticket or class fee to the Alliance. While our site will remain open to staff, we are discouraging people onsite without a scheduled appointment. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 239-939-2787 if you have any questions.

We have never lived through a time like this and are grateful for the many folks who are trying to flatten the curve and adapt to the uncertainty of COVID-19. We have been reminded over and over again of the power of the arts to bring people together in the midst of trying, complicated times. If you missed the beautiful sounds from Siena, Italy and need a little inspiration today, check out this link and video.

Until we’re back up and running, keep connected with us via social media! Be on the lookout for exciting announcements regarding Art Lives Here billboard campaign, the installation of the Caloosahatchee Water Wall and a Congressional High School Digital Art Competition. We’re also planning some fun and exciting ways to keep us all connected through the arts.

Should you have any questions or just want a virtual email hug, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or 239-939-2787.

Thank you for understanding as we navigate this unparalleled situation.

Stay healthy and safe,

Lydia A. Black
Executive Director/CEO

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