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Cape Coral Arts & Music Festival Art festival in South Cape this weekend, to feature music

January 11, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Three hundred artists will line Cape Coral Parkway this weekend during the annual Cape Coral Arts & Music Festival.

John Jacobsen, event chairman, said the annual festival began 33 years ago after he suggested the Rotary Club put on an art festival so artists like himself did not have to leave town to display their work.

"We started it 34 years ago. We took a year off to plan it. In all 33 years I only exhibited in it once and that year it rained all weekend. They made me promise to never exhibit again," he said, laughing.

Over the years the festival has grown in both exhibitors and attendees, something Jacobsen is very pleased with because it has exceeded what he hoped in bringing art to town.

"Most people who don't have an art background, or art education are afraid to go see art in art galleries," he said. "People don't feel comfortable going to an art gallery because they feel intimidated. Here is a non-threatening way to see fine art and, more importantly, talk to the creator of it as well."

The art festival gives patrons an opportunity to speak with the artists, give feedback and ask questions.

"They are happy to talk to you because this gives them a very rare opportunity as well to get feedback from the public. To be able to talk to people and ask them why and what is appealing can be very interesting to an artist," Jacobsen said. "Art is a basic form of communication. People are trying to tell someone else an emotion or feeling. All art is designed for some form of communication between the creator and the receiver. To be able to have the chance to communicate... this is an excellent way to break barriers down."

In addition, the money raised during the Rotary Club fundraiser is something Jacobsen is proud of because is has enabled the group to give away multiple scholarships, as well as helped in building Rotary parks and Rotary gardens for the community.

"That makes me feel good. I'm very pleased to have accidentally started all of this," he said.

This year the Cape Coral Arts & Music Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, on Cape Coral Parkway between Del Prado Boulevard and Southeast 10th Place, and north to Southeast 47th Terrace.

Among the 300 exhibitors will include such art as fine art, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, photography, metal works and mixed media. A new category this year is digital art.

"Digital is becoming a very qualified art medium," Jacobsen said. "They enhance their photographs digitally and that is what they take them with, a digital camera. Here you are doing your color corrections digitally. It is not a big step in saying move this person over there. It's a realm beyond photo manipulation. It seemed to become worthy of a category."

New to the festival this year - live music.

Jacobsen said every year the event has grown and over the last five years it has become the largest special event in Lee County.

"That is pretty neat for little Cape Coral that we have more attendants than any other festival, or special event in the county," he said.

With the Rotary Club continuing to do exactly what they intended to do 33 years ago, setting up a community service event that brings the arts to the people, they decided to add another element of artistry - performing arts.

"It never worked out well because we put it in line with the artists. The exhibitors complained that the music was too loud to talk to people," Jacobsen said. "We probably didn't have the quality of bands that I would have liked."

With a new idea surfacing, getting nearby venues to participate, the music portion of the event is sure to appeal to all music lovers. All of the music events will be held in various restaurants and night clubs in the South Cape Coral, all indoors.

"Each one will have music indoors and no charge to get in," he explained. "You can sit and listen to the music. You can have a drink and dinner."

Jacobsen has paired up with the South Cape Hospitality and Entertainment Association to put on the music portion of the festival. Each place, he said will feature a different genre of music, such as country, rock and jazz.

"They are supposed to start at 3 p.m. and run until at least 9 p.m.," Jacobson said of the event on Saturday. "They jumped on it very well. They are all going to have different kinds of music. People can enjoy music of every different flavor."

Venues participating include Dixie Roadhouse, Rack'em Spirits & Times, Big Blue Brewing, BackStreets Sports Bar, The Dek, The World Famous Cigar Bar, Ralph's Place, Two Amigos Restaurant and Nevermind Awesome Bar and Eatery.

Another new addition is added space for businesses and nonprofit organizations to have a booth at the event. This will be displayed the next block over, he said.

"Anyone who wants to pay a booth fee can have a space. That will be something that continues to grow and an added thing for people to see," Jacobsen said.



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