The Alliance for the Arts is celebrating a major milestone this month -- reaching 1000 members for the first time in its nearly 40 year existence. Thousands of people have been Alliance members over the decades, but never all at once and the staff and Board could not be prouder of the achievement.
“This milestone drives home the fact that families and businesses ‘get’ the value that the arts bring to our culture and comprehend how it elevates the quality of life in our community,” says Alliance Board President Pamela Beckman. As a member-driven non-profit organization, the Alliance connects people to their community and to the many forms of art that enrich Southwest Florida.
An art-centric gathering place on the corner of McGregor and Colonial in Fort Myers, the Alliance presents a diverse range of programming on its campus including monthly exhibits, concerts, festivals, plays, poetry readings, movies and book clubs, as well as a weekly GreenMarket. The Alliance offers more than 50 classes and workshops annually for adults and youth. There are conventional visual arts classes in drawing and painting and a wide variety of other options from photography and music lessons to weaving and yoga.
Advocacy for the arts plays a crucial role in the Alliance’s fulfillment of its cultural mission. The 2011 Arts & Economic Prosperity Study would not have occurred but for Alliance staff. That groundbreaking report showed that Lee County’s non-profit arts organizations create more than 2,000 jobs and generated more than $68 million dollars in annual economic activity. The study’s results have changed the conversation from the arts as entertainment to the arts as a substantially contributing force to a healthy economy.
Alliance members and arts patrons, Robert and Anne Arnall, understand that. “The Alliance is a significant contributor to the quality of life in our community and its continued expansion is important to the economic and social growth of the area,” they joining in saying.
From an advocacy perspective, the Alliance succeeds when it can act as the catalyst for these types of conversations about the arts, and an ever-expanding membership base is crucial to the continued delivery of the Alliance’s message about the impact of the arts on our local community.
The Alliance staff, Board, and countless volunteers truly believe that succeeding in their mission to enrich lives through art creates a better Southwest Florida for everyone. Benefits of membership include discounts on classes and workshops, summer camp, event tickets, gift shop purchases and member-only events. Alliance volunteer Sandra Stone says membership benefits are great, but that for her it’s really about forging new relationships. “You meet the most interesting and exciting people in Southwest Florida at the Alliance. It is a place where real connections are made and a real sense of community is being formed.”
The Alliance simply could not do it without the support of its 1000+ members. To learn more about the Alliance, or to become a member today, please visit ArtInLee.org, call 239-939-2787 or stop by during normal business hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday).
The Alliance for the Arts proudly supports artists and arts organizations in our area as the state-designated Local Arts Agency for Lee County. The Alliance campus and galleries are located at 10091 McGregor Boulevard just south of Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.