By Don Manley
Kevin O’Fee believes that the arts are an important element in the composition of a vibrant community.
So he was indeed excited to discover a thriving art scene after moving to Marco Island last August from Providence, R.I., by way of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.
“I’ve always been involved in the arts and when I came to Marco, I was really quite excited to find the (Marco Island) arts center here,” said O’Fee, who is a financial advisor with Edward Jones investments on the island. “It’s really a quality of life issue. Having a thriving arts community only adds to the quality of life for residents and the people who visit each year.”
O’Fee is doing his part to promote the local arts scene, having joined CAMIG – the Cultural Alliance of Marco Island and Goodland, which is comprised of seven organizations devoted to the arts, history and entertainment. In fact, he is the chairman of CAMIG’s first annual “Cultural Carnivale,” set for 6 AM to 8 PM, February 3 at Rose History Auditorium. The free event will provide a glimpse into the area’s varied cultural offerings, as well as games, live music by JRobert, food from CJ’s on the Bay, champagne, and a raffle that includes jewelry, a round of golf, gift baskets, the works of local artists, and more.
The raffle items, food and services donated by local residents and businesses for the event are indicative of the community’s level of support for the arts, said O’Fee.
Formed in 2014, CAMIG’s members include the Marco Players, the Marco Island Center for the Arts, the Greater Marco Family YMCA, the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts, the Marco Island Historical Society, the Island Theater Company and the Goodland Arts Alliance.
“The purpose of Carnivale is to share in a fun, hopefully compelling format, with these different organizations,” said O’Fee. “People should come, check it out and get a good sense of what’s happening on the island. It’s important for people to support the arts, even if they‘re only here for a short time. In the end, one of the things that makes a community a more interesting place to live is when people come together to support institutions such as these.”
O’Fee said the arts communities on Marco and in Goodland are thriving. “I don’t think anybody wants to sits back,” he added. “We all want to take it to the next level when it comes to membership, awareness and getting the youth of the island involved.”
Rose History Auditorium is located at 180 South Heathwood Drive. For more information about CAMIG, including Cultural Carnivale, visit www.CAMIG.org.