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The arts will be alive all week at NFMAA

By Staff | May 6, 2015

As a school devoted to the arts, it’s only natural that the North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts devote an entire week to pay tribute to all the performing arts.

Beginning on Friday, “Arts Alive!” will devote seven days to performing arts of all kinds, from music to drama, climaxing with the school’s own Academy Awards ceremony on Saturday, May 16.

Dr. Douglas Santini, principal at NFMAA, said the event started five years ago. The school had been doing an auction at the Italian American Club, but Santini wanted to do something different for his school and the West Zone.

“I wanted to do something with the arts for the West Zone and North Fort Myers, and the teachers said ‘Why don’t we do something like that for our school,'” Santini said. “That way everyone involved in the school can bid on the items and see a performance every night. It really puts the kids in the spotlight.”

All “Arts Alive!” events begin at 6:30 p.m. in the theater and will begin Friday with a strings performance, with additional performances every weeknight thereafter.

Monday will feature elementary dance and keyboards, drama will be highlighted Tuesday, with middle school chorus and keyboards featured Wednesday.

Thursday brings middle school dance and Friday will feature band before finishing up next Saturday with a banquet (in the cafeteria) at 5 p.m. and the Academy Awards show at 7, featuring student performances and NFMAA alumni who will emcee and present the awards.

“Everyone will get dressed up in gowns and suits, and we invite the students who used to come here to present the awards. It’s a beautiful evening,” Santini said. “The awards show is probably the best thing we do here.”

The awards, which light up, will be given for the top male and female performers in dance, music and other forms of art, most of which are chosen by the instructors. Santini personally picks the best actor and actress.

“Some years, it’s easy to pick the best actors and actresses because it’s obvious. Some years, that’s not the case,” Santini said.

The event is actually one day longer because, in a switch from last year, the elementary and middle school dance will be broken up. Santini said the theater was so packed that more than 100 people had to watch the event in the media room on TV.