The Centers for the Arts of Bonita Springs are the place to be for enjoying art of all kinds — Photo courtesy of Centers for the Arts of Bonita Springs
These new offerings – introduced by popular demand – include an annual international film festival, set for its second run in January 2017, and the Southern Circuit Independent Filmmakers Series, which goes throughout the season.
Bonita Springs was one of only 18 Southern communities screening the 2015-16 circuit series at its Centers for the Arts on select Tuesday evenings.
“We already had a strong foreign film following on Monday nights almost 52 weeks out of the year,” says Centers for the Arts of Bonita Springs President Susan Bridges. “That’s what sort of prompted us that there might be a different aspect of film we could address.”
The stage is set for a good time at the Centers for the Arts of Bonita Springs — Photo courtesy of Centers for the Arts of Bonita Springs
The upcoming Bonita Springs International Film Festival will bring filmmakers – many of them award winners – from around the world to further shine the spotlight on Bonita Springs. It might be a little town, but now its a little town with big cinematic clout.
The festival will also showcase local talent, Bridges says. If it's anything like the inaugural event, more than 70 films will range from “kidz shortz” to narrative films and feature documentaries in a daily mix of styles.
Workshops, filmmaker Q&As and a gala opening are all on the calendar.
“That’s what makes film festivals so fascinating,” says Bridges. “You have a whole variety of things to do.”
The Centers for the Arts of Bonita Springs also host live entertainment throughout the year, but with a heavy winter season schedule. Its improv performances – both youth and adult groups – have become signature, but the stage fare also ranges to high brow.
Past years' calendars have included the likes of flamenco dance, Brazilian jazz, Russian music, the play Hairspray and Quattro Four Divo, billed as an “operatic pop supergroup.”
Meanwhile, on its original visual arts campus, the center hosts fine art exhibits, classes, workshops and a retail shop. Sunshine Artist magazine once rated its Bonita Springs National Art Festival as fourth in the nation. It takes place on three weekends in the winter at Riverside Park in Bonita.
The Centers for the Arts of Bonita Springs started small as a community art league with 300-some members and no permanent home.
But since the year 2000 – when the group opened its first two-building center on Old 41 Road – it has grown to five buildings on two different campuses.
Its two newest performance arts buildings on the Bonita Beach Road campus recently underwent major makeovers that upgraded the Karin and Robert Moe Auditorium to the status of state-of-the-art film center and added more lobby space, a dedicated dance studio and an exterior covered pre-function space.
One thing's for sure: good things are yet to come at the Centers for the Arts of Bonita Springs.