ArtFest Fort Myers is best known for its annual juried fine art festival, which nurtures the artistic and cultural environment of our entire community.
On the first weekend in February 85,000 people come to the riverfront in downtown Fort Myers and enjoy the special opportunities the festival provides:
- meeting visual artists from across the country and around the world,
- sampling fun cuisine,
- visiting special exhibits and artist demonstrations, and
- entertaining their families with interactive art activities and performing arts.
ArtFest Fort Myers also supports arts in education through art education and outreach programs.
As a not-for-profit organization, ArtFest Fort Myers relies on support from grants, sponsorships, artist and food vendor entry fees, beverage sales, and festival T-shirt and poster sales to fund the art festival and outreach programs.
We are also committed to the best practices in the art festival business. We belong to International Festival & Events Association, Florida Festival & Events Association as well as our local Chamber and Alliance for the Arts. The annual Festival & Events Association Conventions, behind-the-scene trips to events, frequent calls with festival directors throughout the country and local trainings keep us up-to-date for best practices and innovative ideas.
ArtFest Supports the Community
ArtFest Fort Myers is committed to supporting the community that supports us.
Our Executive Director, Sharon McAllister, serves as the immediate Past Chairman of the City of Fort Myers Public Art Committee and as President of the Fort Myers Conference & Convention Council. Sharon also served for 3 years as the Vice Chair of the Florida Festival and Events Association (FFEA) and remains active in support of that organization.
Our staff actively attends meetings of the Visitor & Convention Bureau; the Fort Myers City Council; the Greater Fort Myers Chamber; the Southwest Florida Attractions Association; the Tourist Development Council to provide support and input in our areas of expertise.
As one of our community’s most popular, well-known, and respected arts organizations, we are ever-aware of our responsibility to be involved in the success of art & culture throughout the area. We are members or attendees and supporters of all the arts organizations in Lee County.
2015 International Festival & Events Association
- Best Ad Series – Publix Run To The Arts – GOLD
- Best Single New Sponsorship Opportunity – Copa Di Vino– GOLD
- Best Event (within an Existing Festival) – Publix Run To The Arts – GOLD
- Best Sponsor Partner – Publix Super Markets – SILVER
- Best Single New Sponsorship Opportunity – CenturyLink – SILVER
Best Sponsorship Program for Individual Sponsor – Florida Blue – BRONZE
2015 Florida Festival & Events Association
- Best Sponsor Program – Publix Run To The Arts & Publix Art Yard – GOLD
- Best Website – GOLD
- Best Printed Material – Publix Run To The Arts – BRONZE
2014 International Festival & Events Association
- Best Event within an Event to benefit a cause
- Best Sponsorship to benefit the sponsor
- Best T-shirt Design
- Best Ad Series
- Best On-Site Decor
2014 Florida Festival & Events Association
- Best Website
- Best T-shirt Design
- Best Brochure
2013 International Festival & Events Association
- Gold Pinnacle Best New Targeted Sponsorship (Truly Nolen Pest Control)
- Gold Pinnacle Best Event within an Event (Pedal or Paddle Lee Memorial)
- Gold Pinnacle Best Printed Material (TravelHost Magazine Special Section)
- Gold Pinnacle Best Newspaper Insert (Florida Weekly)
- Gold Pinnacle Best T-shirt Design
2013 Florida Festivals and Events Association Awards
- Best Printed Materials
- Best Event with-in an Event
- Best T-shirt design
2010 Chrysalis Award Winner for Sales & Marketing
Appreciation & Outstanding Support Award 2009 for Art Education Funding to Lee County Schools
Alliance for the Arts Award: Arts Organization Leader of the Year 2006 — Sharon McAllister
Florida Festivals and Events Association Awards
- Best Press Communications, 2004 – 2009
- Artistic Excellence for Graphic Design Work, 2007
- Best Community Partnership, 2007
- Best Sponsorship Package, 2006
Board of Directors
ArtFest Fort Myers, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts and cultural corporation whose mission is exclusively:
The creation of public access to a broad array of visual art; nurturing the development and understanding of diverse art forms; supporting arts in education and encouraging the appreciation of the arts in Southwest Florida.