provided to The Santiva Chronicle
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Southwest Florida Symphony, the only professional orchestra in Lee County and fourth oldest orchestra in the state, will feature “Green Book” as part of its “Cinema with the Symphony” summer movie screening series. The showing will take place at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 11, at the symphony’s Artistic & Operations Center at Bell Tower in Fort Myers, 13499 S. Cleveland Ave., Suite #175.
Lee County Black History Society Executive Director Autumn Watkins Holloway will introduce the film and provide insight into the Green Book’s significance for our local community. The pre-screening remarks begin at 6 p.m.
Autumn has spearheaded community outreach initiatives in her executive director role, as well as in her positions as an administrative leader of the Jesus Christ Outreach Center of Fort Myers, Inc. and the organizer and chartering president of the Southwest Florida Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., where she has brought like-minded black families together for individual and community enrichment.
Drawing from her master’s in educational leadership and her expertise in engaging diverse audiences, Autumn skillfully introduces the film, highlighting its relevance to the history and cultural fabric of Lee County. By amplifying these stories, she promotes dialogue and fosters a sense of shared understanding and empathy among community members.
“I am truly passionate about education and local history and am thrilled to introduce the powerful film ‘Green Book’ to Lee County, Florida,” said Autumn. “By helping to localize the movie, I hope to be able to shed light on the experiences and challenges faced by black travelers within the specific context of the region. Through thought-provoking discussions, we will discover deeper understanding of racial equality, social justice and the significance of historical narratives in shaping our local community.”
Inspired by a true friendship that transcended race, class and the 1962 Mason-Dixon line, the film stars Academy Award nominee Viggo Mortensen and Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali. When Tony Lip (Mortensen), a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on “The Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger as well as unexpected humanity and humor—they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime.
Tickets are $20. Popcorn, wine, soft drinks and movie style snacks will be available for a suggested donation. Proceeds from these fundraising events will be used to support the symphony’s programming and educational initiatives. At all showings, attendees will receive a discount code that can be used toward the purchase of concert tickets during the symphony’s 2023-24 season.
The Southwest Florida Symphony’s “Cinema with the Symphony” features a variety of music-themed movies. The last movie screening of the series featuring “Quartet” will be held Friday, Sept. 22.
To reserve tickets, visit swflso.org or call 239-418-1500.
About Southwest Florida Symphony
The Southwest Florida Symphony made its debut as a community orchestra on April 15, 1961, playing in schools and community centers, with a roster of only 24 volunteer musicians. Today, the symphony boasts a roster of 70 world-class musicians, and is Lee County’s only fully professional orchestra. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s Music Director Maestro Radu Paponiu, the sixth music director in the organization’s history, also serves as the associate conductor and youth orchestra director for the Naples Philharmonic in addition to guest-conducting with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. Learn more at swflso.org.
About the Lee County Black History Society
The Lee County Black History Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and celebrating the rich heritage and achievements of African Americans in Lee County, Florida. Through educational programs, exhibitions and community outreach, the LCBHS aims to raise awareness and foster an inclusive understanding of Black history. The Capital Campaign has commenced for the upcoming Black Cultural Center. For more information, please visit leecountyblackhistorysociety.org.