Lemon Bay Playhouse updates after Hurricane Ian

Oct. 11 update:

Lemon Bay Playhouse has made changes to its season due to Hurricane Ian. Unfortunately, Sleeping Indoors will be cancelled this season. With this cancellation, we are moving You Know I Can’t Hear You When The Water’s Running into that time slot. This means that there are no shows until November 30. Some of the cast will change due to conflicts and we will update the website when the cast is confirmed. Information about already bought tickets and tickets for the new dates are available at www.lemonbayplayhouse.com.

From emailed newsletter released Oct. 11:

Lemon Bay Playhouse

96 West Dearborn Street, Englewood

 Lemon Bay Playhouse had some damage due to Hurricane Ian. Set building has been delayed due to the storm and the shed that holds our construction equipment was damaged. At this time, we have to wait and make decisions on the next show of our season.


You Know I Can’t Hear You When The Water’s Running: Oct. 19 to Nov. 6

Each act of this four separate one-act plays is an individual story. The Shock of Recognition breaks in on a difference of opinion while a quarrel develops. The Footsteps of Doves a couple picks out a new bed. I’ll Be Home for Christmas shows parents discussing the sex education of their almost adult children. I’m Herbert is a sketch about two old people sitting on a porch in rocking chairs and talking. Cost: $25, $18 students.

Sea Grape Gallery’s 2022 Art Scholarship Recipient

On June 9, 2022, Sea Grape Gallery was proud to host a reception for Kaitlyn Carey, their 2022 scholarship recipient. Many of Kaitlyn’s friends, family and teachers attended the reception to celebrate this talented young artist’s accomplishments. Kaitlyn, a 2022 graduate of Port Charlotte High School, has had an interest in art her entire life and has experimented in many different art mediums but has found photography and filmmaking to be her favorites. This fall Kaitlyn will be attending Ringling College of Art and design majoring in film.
Many examples of Kaitlyn’s art will continue to be on display at
Sea Grape Gallery until the end of June. Please stop by the Gallery to view the beautiful artwork created by this talented artist.
Sea Grape Gallery is proud that they have been able to award a monetary scholarship each year since their inception to a deserving young artist.
Sea Grape Gallery is located at 113 W. Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda and can be reached at 941-575-1718.  The Gallery’s summer hours are Tuesday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Kaitlyn’s art and the artwork of all Sea Grape Gallery artists can be viewed at www.seagrapegallery.com.


A few of the art organizations in Charlotte County will begin 2022-23 season in the Fall:
The Charlotte County Jazz Society is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1990 to support and promote live jazz, provide financial assistance to help educate young musicians and to communicate with jazz enthusiasts everywhere. Events often begin in October.
Punta Gorda Symphony is Charlotte County’s premier professional orchestra. From presenting world-class musicians to enriching the lives of young people and adults through educational initiatives, Punta Gorda Symphony strives to foster vibrant community connections through orchestral music. Originally formed in 1978 as a small chamber group, the symphony has grown to more than 70 professional musicians drawing audiences from around the world. Main stage concerts begin Nov. 20 and Jazz on the Lawn begins Dec. 3.
The Charlotte Chorale is vocal ensemble of more than fifty all volunteer singers who have been performing in Charlotte County for more than thirty years. For more information, call 941-204-0033.
Paint every Monday, 8:30 a.m. to Noon. Anyone with a desire to paint outside may join. There are no fees and no instruction. For those who wish, at 11:15 a.m. paintings are shared and discussed. This group meets at a different location each week. Email peaceriverpainters@gmail.com. These events will resume Oct. 10, 2022.
96 W. Dearborn Street, Englewood
The first play of the 2022-2023 season, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, begins Sept. 7. The first showcase is Nov. 12.
Langdon Playhouse, 1182 Market Circle, Port Charlotte
The first play of the 2022-2023 season, The Play That Goes Wrong, begins Sept. 9. Cost: $22, $11 students. The first special event is Nov. 17.
First Presbyterian Church of Punta Gorda (25250 Airport Road)
Bion Cantorum performs three annual concerts as a chamber vocal ensemble and at other locations by invitation. Bion Cantorum translates to singers of beautiful sound. The concept of developing a choral group dedicated to providing beautiful, exciting music to area residents and to provide the opportunity of these residents to participate in a mixed community chorus was a seed planted and encouraged by Maestro T. Francis Wada, former Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.

Visual Arts Center Board Selects New Executive Director

Janet Watermeier, Executive Director of the Visual Arts Center for the past six years has decided to move on to manage personal pursuits including more quality time with her family.





Recognizing the importance of organizational continuity, VAC leadership moved quickly to ensure qualified leadership. After conducting a comprehensive national search, the Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Lisa Gallucci of North Port, FL has accepted the position of Executive Director of the Visual Arts Center effective July 1, 2022.

After a career in human resources, finance and dance, Lisa worked as a consultant and coach guiding small companies, non-profit organizations, and business owners toward developing their leadership skills while implementing new policies and procedures strategically designed to enhance their business acumen.

Lisa relocated to Southwest Florida in early 2022, when she traveled across the country in search of new career challenges and to be nearer to her twin adult sons. She is excited about the opportunity to utilize her skills in furthering the progress of the VAC while becoming a member of the Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, and North Port communities.

“Being associated with the arts has always been a part of my life and career,” said Lisa, “and growing up and working in a dance school, a public television station, and participating as a member of the board of directors for a ballet company are just a few of the career steps that I feel will contribute to continuing successful management of the Visual Arts Center.” In her spare time, Lisa loves to paint and write children’s books. She is currently writing a Sci-Fi mystery novel.

Donna Peterman, President of the Visual Arts Center applauded the board’s decision to hire Lisa Gallucci and said, “I am confident that we have selected an extremely qualified candidate who will bring fresh ideas and new energy to the center. We all look forward to working with Lisa to enhance productivity and position the facility for today’s challenges and future growth.”

Additionally, said Peterman, “We are tremendously indebted to outgoing director, Janet Watermeier for her formidable accomplishments and her vision which has successfully culminated in the development of a widely recognized state-of-the-art facility solidifying the center as the cultural gem or our community.

Lisa Gallucci can be reached at the Visual Arts Center at (941) 639-8810. The center is located at 210 Maud Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.

Charlotte County Jazz Society awards five scholarships

The Charlotte County Jazz Society was pleased to award scholarships in the amount of $11,500 to five graduating seniors from three local high schools in 2022.

Shown left to right, with their high schools and college choices are:

  • Hunter Fisher, Charlotte High School – accepted at Florida State University
  • Nichlas Nease, Port Charlotte High School – accepted at Duke University
  • Julia Sloane, Port Charlotte High School – accepted at Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Xavier Gauthier, Port Charlotte High School – accepted at Florida State University
  • Matthew Grannan, Lemon Bay High School – accepted at Florida State University

Presenting the awards was Ennis Bisbano, Scholarship Committee Chairman

Congratulations to these students and their families.  We wish them the very best as they pursue higher education in their chosen fields.

Charlotte County Concert Band’s 2021 high school scholarship winners

The Charlotte County Concert Band proudly announces the 2021 high school scholarship winners. Even though the pandemic kept the band from performing, our scholarship committee, headed by Bev MacMahon, was able to choose winners. This year’s recipients are Anne Marie Arthington from Charlotte High School and Baoshi Caren from Lemon Bay High School. Port Charlotte High School had no applicants this year. Students who apply must be actively involved in their high school bands and be quality students.


Sea Grape Gallery announces 2021 art scholarship winner

Sea Grape Gallery is pleased to announce Anabel Dent as our 2021 scholarship winner.  Anabel is a 2021 graduate of Lemon Bay High School and has lived in Florida since she started her freshman year, having moved from Albrightsville, Pennsylvania.  Anabel has been drawing and painting ever since a young age.  Currently, she focuses both on 2-dimensional art and 3-dimensional sculpture pieces.  As Anabel states, “I focus a majority of my work on the journey of outer-body experiences, representing the external and internal feelings of these experiences”.  Many of her 3-D creations are designed around her passions for the environment.  Anabel has spent time looking into her cultural identities and seeing how she can explore the representations of her experiences being of Filipino and Romanian descent.  Anabel plans to attend the University of Florida in the fall, double majoring in Art and Business.
Sea Grape Gallery is proud to display several of Anabel’s art, both 2-D and 3-D, at the Gallery starting June 5 through the entire month of June. Please stop by the Gallery to view the beautiful artwork created by this talented artist.
In addition, Sea Grape Gallery will be hosting a reception for this wonderful young artist on June 17 from 5:00 to 6:30 at the Gallery.  The public is invited to come meet this creative young artist and enjoy her art. Sea Grape Gallery is located at 113 W. Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda and can be reached at 941-575-1718.  The Gallery’s summer hours are Tuesday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Anabel’s art and the artwork of all Sea Grape Gallery artists can be viewed at

Peace River Painters

A Personal Note, Farewell and Thank You from Sharon Yarbrough

As some of you already know, I am stepping down as Coordinator/Director and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer of Peace River Painters.   My nine years with PRP has been marked with milestones of learning and creativity and sharing the joy of plein air painting with many artists who have passed through our proverbial gates.   Through all the challenges and successes, my one aim was to create a place where painters of all skill levels and interests could congregate, learn and flourish in an atmosphere of camaraderie.

Together we’ve learned and laughed and maybe even cried a little.  The annual shows, quickdraws, demos and Plein Air with a Pro workshops expanded our horizons as artists and improved our community through promoting art.   Thank you to all the artists, teachers, judges, and sponsors who took part.  We got to experience the beauty of this paradise we call home through our weekly plein air excursions up and down the coast.  Many artists told me they would never have known about a location if it weren’t for Peace River Painters.

It’s gratifying to look back over the past nine years and see what was accomplished and too it makes it difficult to say farewell.  I’ve always welcomed change and know it’s time to move on.  I can do this knowing Peace River Painters has a strong foundation and will continue to serve artists under the guidance of Susan Hoffman who will be taking over the reins next season.

So, keep art front and center in your life and I hope I’ll see you in the field.

Peace River Painters is on hiatus for the summer months.  Monday morning sessions will resume in October 2021. Visit website peaceriverpainters.com for more details on locations.  Anyone with a desire to paint outside may join us any Monday. There are no fees and no instruction. For those who wish, at 11:15 a.m. paintings are shared and discussed.

Zimmer Named CCIL Managing Director

Longtime Charlotte County educator Christine “Chris” Zimmer recently was appointed Managing Director of the nonprofit Charlotte County Imagination Library (CCIL). She has been a member of the CCIL Advisory Council since 2012 and has taken a leadership role with data analysis, the United Way, grant writing, marketing, and speaking to community groups. She will do doing those things and more as Managing Director.

The Charlotte County Imagination Library is an affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which mails one free, age-appropriate book to registered children each month until the child’s fifth birthday. All children under age five are eligible to be registered at no cost.

Worldwide, the Imagination Library has grown to serve over 1.5 million children across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom Australia, and the Republic of Ireland. In Charlotte County, 2,234 children are enrolled in the program, 2,619 children have graduated, and 119,922 books have been mailed.

“I am humbled and honored to expand the work I can do to help CCIL reach our goal of serving all the preschool children in Charlotte County,” Zimmer said. “I’ll be speaking to community groups, writing grants, attending events, communicating with our directors and donors, and helping wherever I can to reach that goal. Right now, we are serving about 50 percent of the preschool population.”

Zimmer’s new, part-time position was created by CCIL founder Shawn Gilstad and Charlotte Players Executive Director Sherrie Moody. Gilstad and Moody joined forces when the CCIL was launched in 2011.

A native of Rochester, N.Y., who has called Charlotte County home since 1985, Zimmer has a doctorate in Educational Leadership. She has worked in Charlotte and Lee County public schools, Edison Community College (now Florida SouthWestern State College), and Florida Gulf Coast University. Now retired, she spent most of her career in the Charlotte County Public School system, where she taught Spanish and Social Studies, served as Dean of Students at Charlotte High School, and was principal of Murdock Middle School.

The CCIL is part of a collaboration with the Punta Gorda Symphony, Charlotte Community Foundation, Charlotte County Government, and several other groups participating in “Arts in the Park” events for families this summer.

Carmel Kisiday is the newest member of the CCIL Advisory Council. A longtime friend and colleague of Zimmer, Kisiday is the Director of Preschool and Elementary Learning for Charlotte County Public Schools.

“Her expertise and contacts will be very valuable to CCIL and the families we seek to serve,” Zimmer said. “Also, we are saying a fond farewell to former school superintendent Dr. Doug Whittaker, who was responsible for creating the partnership with CCIL and Charlotte County Public Schools.

For registration, additional information, or donations, visit the Charlotte County Imagination Library website at [http://www.charlottecountyimaginationlibrary.%20org]www.charlottecountyimaginationlibrary. org. The CCIL is a 501(c)3 organization in partnership with Charlotte Players, the oldest 501(c)3 in Charlotte County.

Century: A People’s History of Charlotte County

Century: A People’s History of Charlotte County

This 270-page volume includes more than 500 full-color photos, charts, maps, and graphs. James Abraham, editor and publisher, produced Century as a labor of love to commemorate the county’s 100th anniversary.

The book is what Abraham calls a cafeteria-style read. Information is delivered in four ways: his own narrative, a chronology, essays from other historians or community experts and elected officials, and an assortment of full-color visuals. The forms not only complement one another but offer discrete entry points for readers to absorb history at one’s own pace and inclination.

Century” is available on Amazon, at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, or by contacting Abraham at 941-258-4920.

Charlotte County Centennial Events

Charlotte County was created on April 23, 1921, when Gov. Cary A. Hardee signed a bill passed two days earlier by the Florida Legislature that divided DeSoto County into Charlotte, Hardee, Highlands, Glades and DeSoto counties. Learn more about the county’s history and events to celebrate the anniversary at https://www.charlottecounty100.com/