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Center Stage: Community Concerts canceled for season in light of pandemic

By MARSHA WAGNER - | Feb 2, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Marsha Wagner

Readers, neighbors and friends, it saddens me to announce that due to the coronavirus the Fort Myers Community Concert Association’s Community Concerts will be canceled for this year. Nothing short of a pandemic would have caused this necessary cancellation. Community Concerts were Barbara Mann’s first venture to bring culture and the arts to Fort Myers.

Personally, I have attended all of the Community Concerts since my first arrival to Florida 40 years ago. They were the one and only artistic theatrical event going on in this area of Florida at the time. We didn’t have the Barbara B. Mann theater or any other theater at that time in all of Southwest Florida. Just imagine that!

My husband, Frank Wagner, and I believed that we had just arrived at an island paradise called Sanibel, but these two Broadway performers felt they had just landed in a culturally deprived paradise. With the exception of the Community Concerts.

It is because of Mann, and the many big city residents who made Southwest Florida their new home, who got the culture movement going with their connections, determination, hard work and dollars. And always at the forefront showing the way was the small but mighty Mann, getting the ball rolling with Community Concerts.

So it is with great sadness that I must announce the Community Concerts will not have a 2021 season. Only a deadly virus could have caused this shutdown. So upward and onward; and remember, once this virus is history, the show must go on!