The Fort Myers Film Festival presents a screening of the independent documentary "Farewell to Factory Towns" at the Alliance for the Arts Friday, Aug. 8, at 7:30 p.m. The one-hour film centers on the former factory town of North Adams, Mass., where a huge museum of contemporary art was seen as a key engine of economic development for the community.
The film asks, "Can Art Save North Adams?" In doing so, it examines the role that the museum and the influx of artists in the community are playing economically and socially.
Through interviews and dynamic footage, the film looks at other key sectors in the community like the college and human service agencies. A wide range of interviewees include the last chief executive officer of Sprague Electric (a "Fortune 500" company headquartered in North Adams, whose buildings now house the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), the mayor of North Adams, high school students concerned about their future, social scientists and historians, union activists, a co-founder of a community garden, and artists new to the city.
The film includes newsreel footage, data and trends that point to the toll taken on other former factory communities from the events of the past 35 years.
Since the financial crisis that hit in 2008, some of the broad questions that are raised in the film are quite germane to the rest of the country.
Doors at the Alliance will open at 7 p.m.. A $5 suggested donation supports educational programming at the Alliance.
The screening follows the opening reception of the Annual Alliance Member Exhibit "Diametrically Opposed" which begins at 5 p.m.
The Fort Myers Film Festival will also present a screening of the film "Heroes for a Semester" Friday, Sept. 12.
The Fort Myers Film Festival will be screening films every first Monday of the month, called TGIM, leading up to the 5th annual festival which will be held March 25-29, at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Alliance for the Arts and Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, all in Fort Myers. Visit www.fortmyersfilmfestival.com for more information.
The Alliance for the Arts supports the Fort Myers Film Festival as the state designated Local Arts Agency for Lee County. The Alliance campus and galleries, which are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, are located at 10091 McGregor Blvd., just south of Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.
For information, call 239-939-2787.