Calusa Culture Night showcases region’s best asset

If the water could talk, you’d hear its voice loud and clear on Calusa Culture Night. That’s when the brilliant history of Southwest Florida’s water takes center stage at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers. Storytellers, historians, artists and musicians will come together for a one-of-a-kind show on Wednesday, April 24, during Calusa Waterkeeper’s Big Calusa Week water celebration and cleanup. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event runs from 6:30-9 p.m. Reservations are required. Limited seats are still available for $20 online at https://www.sbdac.com/calusa-culture-night.

“To truly understand the intrinsic value of the water that makes Southwest Florida what it is, we need to hear from the people who know it best,” Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani said. “The gifted speakers and entertainers at Calusa Culture Night will give us all a new appreciation for what we have right here in our own backyard.”
Speakers include fifth-generation Fort Myers resident Woody Hanson, third-generation Sanibel native Ralph Woodring, Seminole Tribe member Brian Zepeda, Randell Research Center Coordinator Cindy Bear, The News-Press journalist and historian Amy Bennett Williams, and lifelong environmentalist and educator Dr. Bill Hammond. Cassani will also present, and the electric-acoustic duo Roots 2 Vine will premiere a song written for the occasion called “The Big Calusa.”

All of it will take place in front of a Seminole dugout canoe on display along with water-themed works of art by prominent Naples-based painter Paul Arsenault and noted Sanibel artist Myra Roberts.

“The talented individuals we have gathered under one roof for this exceptional evening of water culture tell us we were perhaps better stewards of the water at one time than we are today,” said Calusa Waterkeeper Executive Director and creator of The Big Calusa, KC Schulberg. “On Wednesday, we will listen and learn. Future generations are counting on us to get this right.”

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Email Schulberg at kc@calusawaterkeeper.org to find out how to get involved. For the latest on The Big Calusa, go to calusawaterkeeper.org/bigcalusa or follow Calusa Waterkeeper on Facebook at facebook.com/calusawaterkeeper.

Big Calusa sponsors already include “Golden Sawfish” sponsors Pinchers Marina at Edison Ford and Severus Foundation; “Silver Manatee” sponsors Manatee Eco & River Tours and CONRIC PR & Marketing; “Roseate Spoonbill” sponsors Millennial Brewing, Captains for Clean Water, Kayak DIY, Three Fishermen Restaurant, Edison Sailing Center, Pure Florida, Metro Blinds, Keep Lee County Beautiful, Jensen’s Cottages and Marina, Hans Wilson Associates, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill, Breeze Newspapers, Marcus Jansen, Myra Roberts and Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center; “Blue Heron” sponsors Edison & Ford Winter Estates, John R. Wood, Caloosa Coast Rowing Club, GAEA Guides, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, Lee County Parks & Recreation Conservation 20/20, LightHawk Environmental Flights, The Little Toot & Captain Chris Robin, and CCRC; and Official Hotel Sponsor Best Western Waterfront Hotel.

Volunteers are welcome to participate in Big Calusa events throughout the week. Fill out a volunteer form at calusawaterkeeper.org/events/big-calusa/ or email info@calusawaterkeeper.org for volunteer opportunities.

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This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.