The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum's colorful exhibits and collection of rare specimens entertain and educate visitors on a wide range of nature's shell-encased organisms. The multi-chambered museum houses about 150,000 lots of mollusks from all over the world and 28 exhibits that give museum goers a glimpse at notable shell collections, fossilized shells from Florida, and humans' use of shells throughout history. Inside the exhibit Calusa: the Original Shell People sits a life-sized statue depicting a father showing his son how to use tools fashioned from scavenged shells. A short walk across the building takes patrons to the Children's Learning Lab, where interactive displays, games, and a live shell tank prove to youngsters that shells don't only exist in mermaids' underwear drawers.
Understanding that each customer has their own sense of style and aesthetic, the knowledgeable framers at The Great Frame Up strive to meet various needs through a wide assortment of frames and the latest technology. With the ability to craft one-of-a-kind frames, the team can also help customers discover a new way of framing their family portraits, artwork, or sports memorabilia. By consulting clients on the style of their home or office, the experts put their know-how and creativity to work in crafting a distinct frame for each space. To further assist customers, the framing specialists offer an online list of tips and trends.
The Alliance for the Arts' concerts, exhibitions, and art classes have become a staple for the aesthetically inclined since the institution's founding in 1975. The center’s three art galleries elicit awe with ongoing exhibits, and its educational programs inspire students to express their feelings through painting and drawing. The Alliance’s schedule of events keeps fans of the performing arts intrigued with plentiful music festivals and dance recitals.
Groups sip cocktails and socialize as they discover hidden creative talents through painting sessions and classes at The Painted Conch. A team of experienced artists guide students step by step through the painting process as guests mingle with friends over glasses of wine, leaving sessions with beautiful portraits of their own creation.
“Pirates in the Park” is an afternoon romp with a high-seas dress code and activity cartel for all ages. The event-wide costume contests award prizes for the most authentically sea-ravaged ensembles, and a treasure hunt rewards tykes for their sandy sleuthing. Tot-sized swabbies can craft nautical-themed crafts as well as walk a childproofed plank, readying them for the literal plank-walkings popular in high-school cafeterias. Face paintings, performances, dancing, and midair bounce-house rendezvous round out the event's attractions.
The Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida traces its origins back to a middle-school classroom exhibit curated by teachers and their students. More than a decade since its opening, the museum’s modest initial exhibit has expanded into a permanent collection of more than 1,000 artifacts and original photos from the Holocaust and World War II, arranged chronologically from Nazism's rise to the Nuremberg Trials. In addition to these historical artifacts—a majority of which have been donated or loaned by local survivors and liberators—the museum regularly hosts special exhibits and tours.
On loan to the Museum from the Nortman Family is a 10-ton railway boxcar from the Holocaust era, which travels to local schools as part of an exhibition known as the Boxcar Transportation & Education Project. Additional educational programs include talks from survivors and liberators, teacher training, and a film lecture series.