Southwest Florida College Students Design for Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center's Spring Gala.

A group of Southwest Florida College students helped design the Official Program booklet of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center (SBDAC) spring Gala, “Race 2 the Finish.” The March 27 event will raise funds to complete the remaining $2 million renovations on its downtown historic building headquarters.

Gala programs play a crucial role in advertising and sponsor appreciation notes. This year’s booklet was designed by Southwest Florida College students in Shell Redfern’s Publication Design class. Ms. Redfern, adjunct professor at the college, is Creative Director of the marketing group, Get Groovy, which works closely with SBDAC.

"This is a terrific opportunity for the students to learn first-hand what it’s like in the real world. From deadlines to working with budgets to last minute changes, this is the real deal. The experience gained from this project cannot be taught in a classroom," said Ms. Redfern.

The partnership benefits both sides, says Jim Griffith, Executive Director and CEO of SBDAC. "It's been a wonderful experience for all involved. The students have great ideas and contributed a lot to our event, both inside and outside of the program they designed," he said. The students will also volunteer at the Gala.

Gala Director, Kimberly Becker, explained this year’s unique approach to the Gala. “Galas tend to be high-priced, strictly black-tie events. But this year we’ve designed a gala fit for this economy. We looked for ways to involve everyone. This year’s Gala will be just what the community needs, an upscale relaxing, outdoor event to celebrate our strengths and look forward to the future,” said Ms. Becker.

Student Christine Johnson enjoyed her experience working with the nonprofit organization. "This was great! It moved us from the imaginary realm to the reality of business. Kim met with us several times and really listened to what we had to say. I saw our suggestions used in the final product - that was the best part. No, actually, the best part is that I designed the back cover!” she said.

Southwest Florida College is an accredited private institution of higher learning centrally located in Fort Myers, Tampa, Port Charlotte, and includes the Institute of Interior Design located within the Miromar Design Center in Estero. The College has been providing post secondary education to Floridians since 1974 and offers programs in Allied Health, Business, Design, Education, Information Technology and Legal Studies. Its mission is to provide educational opportunities for individuals to acquire knowledge and skills that will help prepare them for rewarding careers in fields with high growth potential. For more information, call toll free 888-279-2342 or visit http://www.swfc.edu/.

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