All nonprofits are asked, ‘Where does
the money go?” In our case, you can see it in the faces of
thousands of at-risk youth in our programs over 350 days a
year. We make sure the arts are available to everyone,
regardless of economic capability.
For over 52 years the Center for the
Arts Bonita Springs has provided a cultural heart and
identity to our communities with programs of art and culture
to people of all ages. As part of our mission and service
to our communities’ residents we provide programming to over
10,000 at-risk youth annually. Last year we awarded
over $90,000 in scholarships.
After School Express
A program providing free art education activities to middle
and elementary students 3pm-5pm at our campus. The Center is a safe environment for children after
school. Children may receive assistance with academics or participate in art making projects choreographed
by artist volunteers with a different project each session, exploring a wide variety of visual arts, dance
Art Goes to School
Artist volunteers visit middle and elementary schools
with free hour-long education programs. Visits include a discussion a master artist, demonstration
of his or her art, the artist's history and culture; followed by an art, dance or theater project
that challenges, engages and enlightens students, as well as connects the historical and cultural
emphasis of the lectures and art activities. Over 4,700 students participate.
Saturdays Activity Days
This program consists of a two hour family activity that takes
place two Saturdays a month for the duration of a travelling exhibition. Upon arrival, children of all ages
and their families are given a tour of a major travelling exhibition at our visual arts campus via a guest
or in house lecturer. Once the tour is complete, an art project coinciding with said exhibition is completed
in a campus studio.
This free performing arts program offers year round creative
opportunites for all ages. The program includes full length theater productions, dance,
voice, and musical entertainments. Participants build self-confidence and hone their performance skills.
Our Community Theater is a vital, growing troupe.
Year round evening and Saturday classes focusing
on ballet, modern, jazz and lyrical. Recitals provide students, family and friends with a
spectacular experience. 70% of our students receive over 75% scholarships.
Student Showcase Exhibition
Two juried gallery exhibitions--one featuring artwork
created by local high school students; and the other features elementary and middle school. This
free, annual program includes receptions and a scholarship awards presentations. Over 500 students
participate each exhibition.
Children’s Summer Camps
June, July and August--students can attend a
half or full day. Art activities include sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, creative
crafts, dance and theater. Over 80% of our students receive scholarships. Last year we awarded
over $90,000 in scholarships to deserving students.
Families participate at no charge in a day of visual
and performing arts. Multi-cultural activities include drawing, painting, puppet making; collage;
sculpture, storytelling and creative writing sessions; a variety of musical performances from
voice to musical instrument; multi-cultural dance performances—ballet, jazz, theater performances;
moving sculpture; as well as professional visual artist demonstrations in a variety of media
throughout the day. Over 4,000 participate in this phenomenal multi-cultural experience.
Our mentor program begins early -- in elementary and
middle school and runs through high school. At-risk students are recommended by parents or
faculty, administrators or counselors in their school. Unique classes for elementary and middle
school students like “Things That Fly”, “Eager Engineers” “Global Explorers” and “Earth Explorers’
creatively link various academic curriculum components with fine arts, helping at-risk students
struggling in their academic environment. Our high school mentor program provides free advanced
art experiences not accessible in their school. Working with faculty or visiting artists, students
collaborate on a large-scale project or participate in unique class experiences, such as Stone
Carving Sculpture, Video, Animation or Film.
We evaluate each segment of our programming upon
completion not only from the standpoint of the success and sense of accomplishment youth
and their families’ experience; but our own success as a group committed to our community.
We make recommendations for future growth and additional areas of focus to meet the
growing needs of local youth and their families.
Our programming is very successful in bringing to
each child and family the joy of artistic creation; new capabilities in problem solving and
creative thinking skills; and development of new and future audiences in the arts. For most
of these at-risk youth, however, the financial cost of attending is far out of their reach.
We identify students who need our help using
various methods within our communities --school administrators, faculty, counselors, and local
social service organizations. Often, parents contact us, asking for help. Our goal—never turn
any student away. Children who attend our programs live in Bonita Springs, Naples, Estero, Fort
Myers Beach and Fort Myers.