More than 300 people gathered on March 22 for the BIG ARTS Annual Benefit, one of the most fun, exciting nights on the islands – complete with lavish buffets by Jamie’s Cuisine, open bars, post-show desserts, and champagne. Guests were on their feet when they heard The Doo Wop Project, featuring stars of Broadway smash hits Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical. The musicians brought unparalleled authenticity of sound and vocal excellence to recreate – and in some cases creatively reimagine – some of the greatest music in American pop and rock history.

BIG ARTS raised more than $270,000 from this year’s benefit. Proceeds will help the organization, now in its 45th year, continue to provide an array of quality entertainment, arts, and educational programs that inspire and enrich the lives of Sanibel and Captiva residents and visitors.

Exclusive Producing Sponsors for the Annual Benefit were Gustav and Vibeke Christensen and Jim and Gaye Piggott.  Corporate Presenting Sponsor was Bank of the Islands.

“My heart is full. After all we have endured, words cannot express the sheer joy of seeing the community coming together to support the arts … oh what a night!” said BIG ARTS Executive Director Lee Ellen Harder.

Great communities create great organizations. BIG ARTS was created in 1979 by and for the community and owes its rich history to a small band of dedicated artists who drew inspiration from each other and from the breathtaking island beauty that infused their work with grace and authenticity. They set out to create a special gathering place where artistic and educational experiences were accessible to all. Today that vision is alive and well. With the help of loyal donors and supporters, BIG ARTS will carry that vision forward – providing joy, inspiration, and a sense of community for generations to come.

The BIG ARTS season has much more to offer, including a free Family Fun Day, performances, art exhibits and receptions, films, and workshops. The gift shop featuring unique items by local artists and artisans is open year-round. To learn more, visit, or call 239-395-0900.