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Arts Center looks to move forward in 2018

January 10, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The Lee County Arts Center in North Fort Myers is slowly beginning to come together.

The group behind the effort is now beginning the process of filing for 501 c 3 status, and is seeking members who may also want to be on their board.

A flyer was sent out to people interested in such a facility, asking for members and volunteers willing to take part in an effort that is still in the concept stage.

Those people showed up this past week for a brainstorming session, said Maryanne Howard, who is leading the effort.

Rudy Berndlmaier, treasurer for the group, donated the money required to hire an expert to prepare its filing for non-profit status.

Before the organization can begin fund-raising or accept donations, it needs to complete the paperwork.

"Currently I am putting together and budget for 2018 and 2019 in order to comply with the requirements for this status. We can, at this time, ask for members to join our group to pay the costs for this status," Howard said in an e-mail.

Howard also said she is looking for people to develop a website and work with them on fundraising and marketing.

"While this is in its earliest stages of planning, the founding committee will, in the interim, be developing exhibits, events, workshops and shows for artists and the community at large that will be indicative of what will be a part of the finished center," the flyer said.

Vice President, Marion Briggs, will be having a table at the Taste of North Fort Myers on Feb. 25 and will be promoting a silent auction for the Arts Center.

The next brainstorming session will be held on Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. at Sun Country Realty on Pondella Circle.

The hope is that the LCAC will provide a sense of place for the people of North Fort Myers and will offer educational opportunities to the community in a wide variety of arts, as well as encourage appreciation of various art forms and artists in the area.

A study commissioned by the Lee County Board of County Commissioners last year said an arts center was among the things most needed in North Fort Myers.

In June, a committee was formed at a Civic Association function to begin the effort.



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