What: Bonita Springs National Art Festival
When: Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: The Promenade at Bonita Bay, 26811 S Bay Dr, Bonita Springs, Florida
Admission: Optional $5 donation
Information: 495-8989 or www.artcenterbonita.org

It’s National Art Festival time again in Bonita Springs, with hundreds of staff members and volunteers of the Art League working around the clock to ensure a successful, and well-run, show.

So what exactly does it take to put together a national art show, and how do you make sure it earns high national rankings, and keeps them?

According to Festival Director Barry Witt it takes a lot of hours and a lot of people working together and a good cause to push them forward.

“The things to remember is that this show isn’t a promoter show,” Witt said. “This event not only gives you the highest quality of art work, but it is supporting an art center in your community that functions year round.”

One hundred percent of the profits generated by the show go to the Art League of Bonita Springs, according to Witt. A large portion of these dollars go into the Children’s Scholarship Program which allows students to take art, theater and dance classes at the Art League for little, or no cost.

“There are two things major things that go into this show to make it successful,” Witt said. “One is that we consistently deliver a high quality product and people build confidence in that. And two, is the comfort factor of our location. The Promenade is very easy to walk around in with plenty of places to stop and take a break.”

Besides those two factors, there are many more numbers put into this show. We’ve broken down the numbers here.

  • 378 volunteer hours on festival weekend.
  • 500 phone calls to recruit volunteers for the festival.
  • $1000 spent on average by each artist in the show on hotels, travel and expenses to come to the festival.
  • 16 working hours each day the week of the festival for director Barry Witt.
  • 1700 e-mails (plus phone calls) from artists pertaining to the show.
  • 210 artists in the show.
  • 309 cities that artists come from (from U.S., Canada and Europe).
  • 30,000 number of people who come to the festival each March.
  • $5 optional donation requested at gate that goes toward scholarships, programming and community events at the Art League.
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