It was an evening of word stamps — “interconnectivity,” “indoor-outdoor integration” and “program flexibility” — to summon up the future of Artis—Naples for curious patrons.
And there were hints at how those words can translate into concrete opportunities.
An estimated 600 came to Hayes Hall for a presentation by Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, the New York-based husband-and-wife team whose company won the bid to design a master plan to take Artis—Naples through the next 30 years.
Those who came saw works the team has done: creating an origami-inspired waterfront sculpture park in Seattle, bringing a park indoors for a U.N. retreat center and adding a visitor center to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
They also got glimpses of where the consulting group already sees possible opportunities:
“When we got to the top of the Stabile building it was terribly apparent — that connection to the water that we want to capture,” Marion Weiss told the group.
The climate that makes Florida so popular came up time and again, in the notion of offering an area for walking and some sort of outdoor visuals, including landscaping.
Weiss and Manfredi emphasized they want to take advantage of every physical potential to encourage and expand the types of events that happen there. The potential for more dining with concerts came up, as did classes (such as yoga) that might have a tangential relation to culture.
“The thing that came back to us is that you have a multicultural, multidisciplinary venue here that is really unique. Not many places have such opportunities,” Michael Manfredi told the crowd.
The idea of the forum Thursday was to solicit questions and ideas from the audience as well as the planners.
There will be more opportunities to offer ideas, through a survey and form that is expected to go live on the Artis—Naples site next week.
The organization even recorded video to enable those who couldn’t attend to hear all the questions, and there will be a form to fill out and mail in, much like the postcards the crowd at Hayes Hall received.
Most of the audience participation focused on logistical questions such as protecting pedestrians from the sun and keeping parking viable. But the ideas were starting to come in. By the end of the evening, staff had collected moe than 100 cards with ideas.
To participate in the survey and download a form, see artisnaples.org.