SoCo Second Saturday is the new arts and cultural monthly event in Fort Myers, FL. It is a rain or shine event, held on the second Saturday of the month from 6:00pm to 10:00pm, with an after party at a selected venue. It is a family event with art gallery receptions, vendors, live music and much more. There is a map delineating the various Cultural Venues or stops, which includes instructions for a monthly contest.
It all happens south of Colonial now. That is what this group of artists, entrepreneurs and performers are stating, and they will prove it. The new SoCo, which stands for south of Colonial [boulevard], will be an area defined not only by geographical lines, but also by the consistent presence of venues that represent the arts in southwest Florida.
This new art district block runs from Colonial Blvd down McGregor Blvd to Royal Palm Blvd, over to Summerlin Rd, up to Colonial Blvd and returning to McGregor Blvd.
The Alliance for the Arts, located on McGregor Blvd, is one of the headliners in the event. Executive Director Lydia Black and Educations Coordinator Krista Johnson became part of the newly formed SoCo Committee, after getting a call from artist and gallery owner David Acevedo, who recently inaugurated the largest cooperative art gallery in the city of Fort Myers, DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts, located in the Royal Palm Square on Colonial Boulevard. “We thought it was a great idea and immediately jumped at the opportunity to be a part of it.” – says Black, whose member-supported art center is the designated arts agency by the Lee County. “We have worked with David [Acevedo] before in many projects and we know his passion for bettering the arts in our city.” – adds Black. Will Prather and Melissa Vogt from the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater were also recruited by Acevedo. Together with Yoga Bird owners Anna and Chip Withrow, David Gittleman from Gittleman Studios and artist Jeffrey Scott Lewis from the Union Artist Studios, they plan to continue a collaborative effort and make this district a destination for arts and cultural lovers.
First on the agenda is the creation of a monthly event, with the intention of uniting all of the arts represented by their respective establishments. Visual and performing arts will take center stage as the driving force behind the SoCo Second Saturday event. Starting Saturday, October 8, 2016 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, the cultural venues of the SoCo District will open their doors and provide guests the opportunity to attend a variety of scheduled events, such as artist demonstrations and talks, musical and theater performances, art exhibition receptions, wine tastings, and more. The proximity of all the participating venues conveniently allows for a self-guided walking tour or there is plenty of parking space available at both the Alliance for the Arts campus and the Royal Palm Square. An after party, starting at 10:00pm, will be held at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater.
The current participating cultural stops are:
· Alliance for the Arts
· Broadway Palm Dinner Theater
· DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts
· The Union Artist Studios at the Art Loft
· Ocasiocasa at the Art Loft
· Luciano Deandrade’s Studio Os Urbanos
· A Sweedish Affair
· Catch 22 Live Music & Sports Bar
· Suzanne's Dance Fitness
· City of Palms Studio
The SoCo Second Saturday event differs from the downtown Fort Myers Art Walk, which Acevedo also co-founded. For SoCo, the participating cultural stops will host a variety of scheduled events, which will be included on a program available on the district’s website. A map of the cultural stops will be located at all participating venues and can also be printed online at socoswfl.com. Guests can select which events to attend and design their own tour within the district. Along the way, there will be performers and vendors, making this event a complete cultural experience.
First SoCo Second Saturday Map, for inaugural event