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Southwest Florida is a destination known for its sun and sand but every February the town of Fort Myers is also known for a free two-day art festival that attracts artists from destinations across the United States and all the way around the world. More than 200 artists display their creative work during the festival, which includes art activities for children and entertainment appropriate for both children and adults. Stage performances include magic shows, dance troupes, dramatic performances and musical groups.
Tourists and locals attending the festival have the opportunity to view and purchase the artworks on display and speak with the artists personally. The Publix Art Yard provides demonstrations of artists at work and a special exhibition of young artists who sell their work for as little as $5.00.
In addition, the Art Education Piggy Bank Raffle allows visitors to buy a chance of winning a collectible piggy bank handmade by a local artist. Each of these piggy banks is stuffed with gift certificates valued at $500 to $1000. Funds generated by the raffle are used to support art outreach programmes for local youth such as the Visiting Artists Program.
Visitors to the ArtFest Fort Meyers can also attend Art Under 20, a competition and art exhibit for students attending the 15 high schools located in Lee County. More than 250 talented students display hundreds of photographs, drawings, paintings, and three-dimensional creations as they compete for thousands of dollars in cash prizes.