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Captiva Memorial Library debuts Cultural Fest

By Staff | Jan 23, 2009

The Captiva Memorial Library’s first annual Cultural Fest is in full swing and bringing in authors, historians and musicians, all with ties to Captiva, to speak and perform for the public.

Two authors who have already shared their stories are James Harford, author of “Merton and Friends: A Joint Biography of Thomas Merton, Robert Lax and Edward Rice,” and Richard Gilbert, who recently authored a book called “Marching Up Madison Avenue,” which details his 40-year career in the advertising business.

“I think people, the writers and artists, they have an interest in Captiva and they’re giving back to the community. All of these people have some relation and tie to the island,” said library branch manager Ann Bradley, noting that she thinks that these programs will act as a kind of cultural forum for authors, artists and their guests.

Bradley is thrilled to have had so many interesting authors and artists sign up to participate in the series.

“It’s so exciting. It’s fun having people who love Captiva, coming in and offering to share their stories,” she added.

On Jan. 28, Sanibel native Sam Bailey will share his stories about what it was like to grow up on the tiny, but extraordinarily beautiful Sanibel Island. Bailey will also be available to answer questions and sign copies of his new book, “A Sanibel Son Looks Back.”

“Coming to America: Immigrant Stories from Literature” will be presented by author Chris Godwin on Feb. 4. Godwin will discuss stories from our national literature, detailing the experiences of America’s immigrants throughout our nation’s history.

Next up on Feb. 11 is local author Charles Sobczak, who will be discussing and signing copies of his latest novel “Chain of Fools,” a fictional memoir set in northern Minnesota.

On Feb. 18, part-time island residents and accomplished violinists Renata Arado and Espen Lilleslatten will present a small concert of chamber music entitled, “Mozart and More.”

The following week, on Feb. 25, local author Bob Sabatino will talk about and sign copies of his new book, “Every Day Is Saturday,” which takes a humorous look at Sabatino’s life on the islands, beginning in the 1950s.

On March 4, local author Tom Smoot will make a presentation and sign copies of his book “The Edisons of Fort Myers: Discoveries of the Heart,” a look at Edison’s life within his tropical jungle retreat, away from the demanding lifestyle at his New Jersey home and laboratory.

On March 11, Eugene Gavin and Yvonne Hill of the newly opened Cultural Heritage Center of the Islands will present “Preserving and telling the story of Captiva through pictures,” offering attendees a glimpse into the past and the lives of some of Sanibel island’s first settlers.

Next, the library will host authors Peter Blaze Corcoran and A. James Wohlpart on March 18, as the two men, both from the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, present their latest book, “A Voice for Earth.” This book is a collection poems, essays and stories that give give a voice to the ethical principles outlined in the “Earth Charter,” a document addressing the economic, social, political, spiritual and environmental problems confronting the world in the twenty-first century and offering solutions for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society.

The last event for the library’s first annual Cultural Fest will feature island photographer Charlie McCullough, a long-time island resident, and his photographs chronicling the islands over the years.

Cultural Fest events take place every Wednesday beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Each event is free and open to the public. If you would like more information about an event, contact Ann Bradley at the Captiva Memorial Library at 472-2133.

The Captiva Memorial Library is located at 11560 Chapin Lane.