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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – August 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 2nd

August at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates includes a Summer’s End Celebration with FREE admission for teachers, school staff and their families; the introduction of a new Estates tour, Edison & Ford Young Inventor’s Family Tour; and Discounts to Southwest Florida Residents as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month of August.  The August schedule of programs and events include:

Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp, Space  Available
For budding rocket scientists, film makers, animators and science detectives, registration is still open for Estates Inventors’ Summer Camp at the Estates. Weeklong camps continue through August 20.  Camp hours are 9 AM – 4 PM, Monday – Friday.  Camps are open for grades 1st – 6th and sessions are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th.  Cost for Estates Members is $200; non members $230.  Scholarships will be available.
Spaceships & Rockets, August 9 – 13
The final Frontier!  Campers will explore the outer reaches of the universe with our resident spaceman.  Campers will get to visit planets, collect samples, float on our Lunar Lander, and tons more!
Eager Engineers, August 16 – August 20
“To be a good inventor you need a good imagination and a pile of junk,” said Thomas Edison.  The Estates will supply the junk and jump start the imagination.  Campers will use recycled materials and develop Green Inventions such as robots that will perform a number of different tasks, conduct science experiments, participate in balloon car races, build bridges, and more!

Behind the Scenes Lab Tour for Estates Volunteers, August 4, 9:30 AM
Estates volunteers are invited to a special behind the scenes tour of the Edison Botanic Research Lab.  Estates curatorial staff will present new Lab findings discovered while moving artifacts into the visible storage area in the Museum.  The tour will include a walk inside the visible storage area and restoration.  Registration is required.  

New Volunteer Orientation, August 10,10 AM
Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information.  This is a mandatory training for all Estates volunteers.  New and potential volunteers are welcome.

Summer’s End Celebration:  FREE Day for teachers, school staff & their families, August 14, tours begin at 10 AM
Besides FREE admission for teachers, school staff and their families, a full day of specialized tours (10:00 AM and 1:00 PM), hands-on sciences performances by the Estates Wild Wizard (12:00 PM), fish printing workshops (1:00PM – 3:00 PM) and the unveiling of the Estates newest tour, Edison & Ford Young Inventors Family Tour (3:00 PM) will be available throughout the day.   Educators and school staff must present a school issued identification badge to receive free admission.  Registration is required for specialized tours designed for educators. To register call the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419. 

Docent Training, August 19, 9 AM
New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming porch, Lab or Museum docents, or leading a group tour of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.

NEW Edison & Ford Young Inventors Family Tour, August 21, 11:00 AM & 1:00 PM
The Estates newest Museum tour offers families an interactive, hands-on inventions experience focusing on children’s science activities including the Ford assembly line; the incandescent light bulb; creating their own rubber product and the history of the first recorded sound “machine” Edisons’ phonograph to the MP3 player. Due to limited space, the tour will be on a first come first serve basis and includes admission to the Lab and Museum.   Cost is $12 adults, $5 children ages 6 -12 and FREE to 5 and under.    

Summer Discounts for Southwest Florida Residents, August 21
Just in time for the end of summer vacation, the Estates is offering half price admissions for all Southwest Florida residents to tour the Estates Museum, Laboratory, Homes and Gardens.  Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5.50 for children (ages 6 -12; 5 and under FREE).  Residents must present a driver’s license or voter registration card with photo ID to show their address in Lee, Hendry, Collier, Charlotte or Glades County. 

Quilting and Stitchery Demonstration, August 21, 10 AM – 1 PM
Quilters from the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild and members of the Southwest Florida Embroidery Guild will demonstrate quilting and stitching and will be available to answer questions on techniques and care.   In the early 1900’s Henry Ford collected, celebrated and displayed quilts and other historical objects. Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Home and Garden Tour ticket.

Sneak Peek Tour, August 26, 9:30 AM
Visitors will enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour inside the Edison and Ford homes.  These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates members and $40 for non members.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours”, space is limited and registration is required.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Southwest Florida Residents Half Price Day

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 21st

Just in time for the end of summer vacation, on Saturday, August 21 from 9 AM – 5:30 PM, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is offering half price admissions for all Southwest Florida Residents to tour the Estates Museum, Laboratory, Homes and Gardens.  Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5.50 for children (ages 6 -12, 5 and under are free).  Groups of 20 or more will also receive a special ticket price but must reserve in advance by calling the Estates.  Residents must present a driver’s license or voter registration card with photo ID to show their address in Lee, Hendry, Collier, Charlotte or Glades County.

In addition to an Estates tour, visitors will enjoy new Museum tours and invention demonstrations throughout the day. Demonstrations include the Edison phonograph every half hour, presentations on antique cars and tours of the Edison Research Laboratory. 
 
The Estates recently completed more than $12 million in improvements and restoration to the homes, gardens, swimming pool and other areas on both the Edison and Ford Estate.  They have been successfully managed by a new non-profit organization since 2006, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc. and have recently won both National Trust and National Garden Council top awards.
 
The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – July 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 28th

July at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of Henry Ford’s Birthday Celebration, a summer  with a Sneak Peek Tour and Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month of July.  The July schedule of programs and events include:

Estates open July 4th
The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will be open July 4th from 9 AM – 5:30 PM.  Estates members are FREE and there are several reciprocal admission programs. 

Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp,  Space  Available
For budding rocket scientists, film makers, animators and science detectives, registration is still open for Estates Inventors’ Summer Camp at the Estates. Weeklong camps continue through August 20.  Camp hours are 9 AM – 4 PM, Monday – Friday.  Camps are open for grades 1st – 6th and sessions are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th.  Cost for Estates Members is $200; non members $230.  Scholarships will be available.
• Spaceships & Rockets, July 5 – July 9
The final frontier!  Campers will explore the outer reaches of the universe with our resident spaceman.  Campers will get to visit planets, collect samples, float on our Lunar Lander, and tons more!
 ESI – Edison Science Investigation, July 12 – July 16 
Thomas Edison, known for his ability to turn normal objects in amazing inventions, made bamboo glow and tinfoil talk.  Now it’s your turn!  Each day, campers will be presented with a different mystery and they will only be given normal everyday items to solve them.  This fun and challenging camp will exercise your mind and body as the clock ticks away to solve the mystery!
• Movie Making Magic, July 19 – 23 
Act, direct, operate the camera and build sets.  Campers will be fully immersed in the art of filmmaking.  Participants will study Foley art (sound effects), movie magic (special effects), and script writing.  Campers will understand the basic techniques the pros use to get their ideas on the big screen.  After the camp is over each camper will receive a DVD of their film.
• Kitchen Chemistry, July 26 – 30
This mind-boggling camp is a combination of the best experiments the Wild Wizard has to offer.  Campers will learn how to take every day things found in the kitchen and make them do amazing things.  Top it all off with a solar cookout with hand made ice cream and root beer float party!
• Spaceships & Rockets, August 9 – 13
The final Frontier!  Campers will explore the outer reaches of the universe with our resident spaceman.  Campers will get to visit planets, collect samples, float on our Lunar Lander, and tons more!
• Eager Engineers, August 16 – August 20
“To be a good inventor you need a good imagination and a pile of junk” said Thomas Edison.  The Estate will supply the junk and jump start the imagination.  Campers will use recycled materials and develop Green Inventions such as robots that will perform a number of different tasks, conduct science experiments, participate in balloon car races, build bridges, and more!

New Volunteer Orientation, July 13, 10 AM
Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information.  This is a mandatory training for all Estates volunteersNew and potential volunteers are welcome.

Docent Training, July 22, 9 AM
New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch, Lab and Museum docents, or leading a group tour of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.

Quilting and Stitchery Demonstration,  July 24, 10 AM – 1 PM
Quilter’s from the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild and members of the Southwest Florida Embroidery Guild  will be demonstrating quilting and stitching techniques on the Edison porch.  Members of the Guild will be available to answer questions on techniques and care.   In the early 1900’s Henry Ford collected, celebrated and displayed quilts and other historical objects.  The Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild presented the Estates with a replica Ford Collection Quilt that is on exhibit in the Estates Museum.  Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Home and Garden Tour ticket

Sneak Peek Tour,  July 29, 9:30 AM
Behind-the-scenes tour inside the Edison and Ford homes open to the public and Estates members.  These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates members and $40 for non members.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours”, space is limited and registration is required. 

Happy Birthday Henry Ford, July 30, 10 AM
The Estates will be celebrating the 147th birthday of Henry Ford and the recently completed restoration of “the Mangoes,” the winter estate of the Ford family.  The morning celebration includes cake and a behind the scenes tour of the Ford Estate.  Estates Members FREE; non members, adults $20, children $11 and includes a tour of the homes, gardens, lab and museum.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – June 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 7th
June at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of the Dead Fish Printing Workshop, Free Admission for Fathers on Father’s Day, and a new Botanic Lab Exhibit in the Museum.   Regular guided tours of the historic buildings and gardens as well as audio wand tours are available daily. Expanded Botanic Tours are available on Thursday and Saturday mornings at 9 AM and they include the botanical gardens as well as the propagating nursery. The Estates are open daily from 9 AM until 5:30 PM. Special activities include:     
 
Fish Printing Workshop, June 19, noon – 3 PM
Just in time for Father’s Day join guest artists and  architects for a Dead Fish Printing Workshop (ancient Japanese art form, gyotaku) on t-shirts or other clothes for a one-of-a-kind gift for dad. The workshop is free (a $5 donation is suggested  for Estates Summer Camp scholarships) and participants are encouraged to bring their own shirts, although shirts in limited sizes will be available for purchase.                                                                                                                                                          

Free Admission for Dads on Father’s Day, June 20

The Estates is offering FREE admission to any father accompanied with their paid child on Father’s Day. Free admission includes a tour of the newly restored homes, the historic botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and Edison’s Research Laboratory.

New Volunteer Orientation, June 8, 10 AM
Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information. This is a mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are welcome. Volunteers receive free Membership in the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and other benefits.
 
Docent Training, June 17, 9AM
New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch docents, Lab and Museum docents, or group tour docents of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory lecture and meeting.
 
Quilting and Stitchery Demonstration, June 26, 10 AM – 1 PM
Quilter’s from the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild and members of the Southwest Florida Embroidery Guild will demonstrate quilting, knitting and stitching techniques. In the early 1900’s Henry and Clara Ford collected, celebrated and displayed quilts and other historical objects in their museums and homes. The Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild presented the Estates with a replica Ford Collection Quilt that is on exhibit in the Estates Museum. Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Home and Garden Tour ticket. 
 
Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp
The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is back again this year and the Wild Wizard is here all summer long. Camp begins on June 7, 2010 and runs through August 20, 2010.  Camps are open for grades 1-6 and sessions are separated by grade levels. Campers will make movies, become science detectives, launch objects into orbit, construct bridges and animate their own short films.  Registratin forms are available online at www.efwefla.org or are available at the Estates.  Estates Members $200; non members $230. Scholarships are available. For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

Historic preservationists and advocates from around the state of Florida will soon gather in Fort Myers and Lee County, Fla., for the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s Annual Conference. Destination Preservation the 32nd Annual Statewide Preservation Conference will take place May 13 – 15, 2010, at the Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa in Fort Myers.

An announcement of the historic properties in Florida included on the 2010 Florida’s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites will be made on May 13, 2010, during the opening session. The Most Endangered Historic Sites program is designed to increase the public’s awareness of the urgent need to save Florida’s neglected or threatened historic resources and nominated properties are reviewed by a designated Most Endangered committee.

Preservation-specific classes will complement programs focused on downtown revitalization and development, and neighborhood design. Included in the schedule of historic site management workshops will be topics related to business management and marketing planning, collaboration and partnership development, and identifying funding sources in today’s economy. The conference program also includes a walking tour in the Historic Downtown Fort Myers which has undergone a terrific and exciting revitalization and restoration in recent years. An architecture and restoration tour is scheduled at the nearby Edison & Ford Winter Estates, and several tours will showcase the rich history of the Lee County area, display the balance between growth and development and its impact on the state’s agricultural heritage, and participants will learn about cultural landscape assessment methods.

“The upcoming conference offers something for everyone involved with and passionate about historic preservation,” said Mathias Bergendahl, Executive Director of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. “Architects specializing in historical restoration, city planners interested in learning about historic preservation efforts in Florida cities and neighborhoods, board members of a non-profit looking to secure funding for preservation projects, or preservation advocates seeking ideas for how to effectively communicate their message to legislators will benefit from attending.”

“Lee County is proud to host the conference for the first time in two decades,” said Chris Pendleton, Edison & Ford Winter Estates President & CEO and Trustee of Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. “The conference will include workshops, seminars, tours and events throughout the county.”  Pendleton serves as State Chair of the conference. Other local committee members include William Grace and Gina Taylor of Lee Trust for Historic Preservation, Local Chairs; Lisa Sbuttoni of Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Events Chair; Jared Beck of City of Fort Myers  and Merry Coffman of Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Tours and Transportation Co-Chairs; Theresa Schober of City of Fort Myers Beach, Workshop Chair; Naomi Goren  of Edison & Ford Winter Estates and Pam Brown of Lee County Visitor & Convention Center, Volunteers Co-Chairs; Jeff Mudgett and Michele Gouley of Parker Mudgett Smith Architects, Restoration Marketplace Co-Chairs; Pamela Johnson of Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, Graphics and Design Co-Chairs.

Founded in 1978, the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation promotes the preservation of the architectural, historical and archaeological heritage of Florida through advocacy, education and stewardship of historic properties. The Florida Trust advocates for the protection of historically significant properties and as part of its membership program offers free or reduced admissions and other special benefits at over 80 historic sites, museums and parks across the state of Florida.

For more information, please contact the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation at (850) 224-8128 or visit www.floridatrust.org.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – May 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 18th

 May at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of the of Mother’s Day Brunch on May 9, Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Statewide Conference and FREE admission to Veteran’s and their families on Memorial Day, as well as a variety of special exhibits, children and adult programs, throughout the month of May.  The May schedule of programs and events include:

• Mother’s Day Sale & Book Signing  in Museum Store, May 8, 11 PM – 3 PM
Looking for the perfect gift for a Mother who has everything?  Estates  Artists and Authors will personalize artwork and books for a one of a kind gift and shopper’s will receive 10% off all merchandise in the store including orchids, herb baskets, jewelry and special gifts for Mom.  Invited authors include John Sheppard, I Can See Clearly Now; Harry Adams, The Dancing Porch; Doug MacGregor, Get Creative, Turn on the Bright Side of Your Brain; and Tom Smoot, The Edisons of Fort Myers.

• Mother’s Day Brunch in the Gardens, May 9, 11 AM
Celebrate your Mom with a delectable brunch in the Estates Coconut Grove overlooking the Caloosahatchee River.  The diverse menu will please every member of your family.  Leave time to enjoy the historical ambience and create treasured memories with a tour of the historic homes, gardens and Museum.  Ticket price includes brunch, entertainment, an Estates tour and a special gift for Mom.  Registration required.  Estates Members, adults $30, children ages 4 – 12 and $12; non members adults $35, children ages 4 -12 and under $12; children 3 and under FREE. In the event of rain, Mother’s Day Brunch will be served in the Estates Museum.

• Free Admission to Mom’s on Mothers’ Day, May 9, 1 PM – 4 PM
The Estates is offering FREE admission to any mother accompanied with their paid child on Mother’s  Day.  Free admission includes a tour of the newly restored homes, the historic botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and Edison’s Research Laboratory.

• New Volunteer Orientation, May 11, 10 AM
Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information.  This is a mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are welcome. 

• “Destination Preservation” 32nd Annual Statewide Preservation Conference, May 12 – 14, Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort and Spa.
The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s Annual Statewide Preservation Conference kicks off on May 12, 2010. Showcasing Lee County, the conference will offer workshops, tours and special events designed to teach participants how historic preservation can play a key role in conserving national resources. To register, please call (850) 224-8128. To download the conference program, please visit http://www.floridatrust.org/news/373.  For information about the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, please visit www.floridatrust.org.

• Docent Training, May 20, 9AM
New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch docents, Lab and Museum docents, or group tour docents of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.

• Home Schoolers:  “Stormy Weather”  May 21, 1 PM – 3 PM
Students will test their skills as meteorologists by learning the science of weather.  Home schooled students and their parents can enroll in a half day of curriculum that follows the Florida Sunshine objectives for learning.  The program follows the Lee County mandated program and addresses environmental science, history and reading SOLS.  Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families.  Registration required. Estates members $5; non members $15 (one adult, one child) additional $5 per child. 

• Quilting and Stitchery Demonstration,  May 22, 10 AM – 1 PM
Quilter’s from the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild and members of the Southwest Florida Embroidery Guild  will be demonstrating quilting and stitching techniques on the Edison porch.  Members of the Guild will be available to answer questions on techniques and care.   In the early 1900’s Henry Ford collected, celebrated and displayed quilts and other historical objects.  The Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild presented the Estates with a replica Ford Collection Quilt that is on exhibit in the Estates Museum.  Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Home and Garden Tour ticket. 

• Free Admission to Veteran’s and their families on Memorial Day, May 31
The Estates is offering free admission to United States Veterans and their families on May 31.  Free admission includes a tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and the Edison Research Lab.  Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission. 

• Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is back again this year and the Wild Wizard is here all summer long.  Camp begins on June 7, 2010 and runs through August 20, 2010.  Camps are open for grades 1 – 6 and sessions are separated by grade levels.  Campers will make movies, become science detectives, launch objects into orbit, construct bridges and animate their own short films.  Registration forms are available on line at www.efwefla.org or are available at the Estates.  Estates Members $200; non members $230.  For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

Canned Food = Discount Admission Easter Weekend at the Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 2nd

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – April 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 23rd

April at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with a National Arbor Day Celebration; the continuation of Sneak Peek Tours; and a new community initiative, a Canned Food Drive Easter weekend, as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month.  The April schedule of programs and events include:

• Estates Open Easter Weekend, April 2, 3, & 4, 9 AM – 5:30 PM

• Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp
The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is back again this year and the Wild Wizard is here all summer long.  Camp begins on June 7, 2010 and runs through August 20, 2010.  Camps are open for grades 1 – 6 and sessions are separated by grade levels.  Campers will make movies, become science detectives, launch objects into orbit, construct bridges and animate their own short films.  Registration forms are available on line at http://www.efwefla.org/pdfs/Summercamp2010.pdf or are available at the EstatesEstates Members $200; non members $230.  For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.
 
•  Sneak Peek Tours  Every Thursday, year round,  10:30 AM – 1 PM
Behind-the-scenes tours inside the Edison and Ford homes open to the public and Estates members.  These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates members and $40 for non members.  In addition, lunch will be served in the historic Edison Caretaker’s House following the tour for $15 per person.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours”, space is limited and registration is required. 

• Estates Canned Food Drive, April 2, 3, & 4
Staff, members and visitors to the Estates are encouraged to make canned food donations to support the Community Cooperative Ministries in Fort Myers (CCMI).  Visitors to the Estates throughout the weekend will receive a $1 off an Estates admission ticket (up to four dollars) for every can of food they donate.  CCMI has been providing food to the homeless, nearly homeless, homebound, seniors and children for twenty six years in Lee County.  

• New Volunteer Orientation, April 13, 10 AM
Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information.  This is a mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are welcome. 

• Docent Training, April 22, 9AM
New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch docents, Lab and Museum docents, or group tour docents of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.

• Home Schoolers:  “Ford Aerodynamics & Flight,” April 23, 1 PM – 3 PM
In addition to cars, Henry Ford built airplanes.  Home schooled students will study the history of science and flight. The programs follow the Lee County mandated program and addresses environmental science, history and reading SOLS.  Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families.  Registration is required.  Cost:  Estates Members $5; non-members $15 (one adult, one child), additional $5 per child.

• National Arbor Day Celebration, April 23, 9 AM
In observance of National Arbor Day the public is invited to join the Estates in planting a tree on the Estates grounds with students from a local school.  In addition, the public can support the Estates Tree Planting Program by contributing funds to purchase a tree.  The Estates will assist with selecting a plant or tree and does not accept gifts of live plants or trees however donors can be involved in a planting ceremony.   

• Mother’s Day Brunch in the Gardens, May 9, 11 AM
Celebrate your Mom with a delectable brunch at the Estates.  The diverse menu will please every member of your family.  Leave time to enjoy the historical ambience and create treasured memories with a tour of the historic homes, gardens and Museum.  Ticket price includes brunch, an Estates tour and a special gift for Mom.  Registration required.  Estates Members, adults $30, children ages 4 – 12 and $12; non members adults $35, children ages 4 -12 and under $15; children 3 and under FREE.

• Destination Preservation, 32nd Annual Statewide Preservation Conference, May 12 – 14, Sanibel Harbour Marriot Resort and Spa
The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s Annual Statewide Preservation Conference kicks off on May 12, 2010. Showcasing Lee County, the conference will offer workshops, tours and special events designed to teach participants how historic preservation can play a key role in conserving national resources. To register, call (850) 224-8128. To download the conference program, visit http://www.floridatrust.org/news/373.  For information about the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, please visit www.floridatrust.org.

Estates Wild Wizard Outreach Program

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 20th

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates was awarded a grant from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation during its Major Annual Grant Cycle (2009-2010) to implement the Estates Wild Wizard Outreach Program in southwest Florida.  On March 26, 2010, 1 PM, the Estates Wild Wizards Outreach Program will visit Tice Elementary School, one of over 70 schools and youth centers in Lee, Glades, Collier, Charlotte and Hendry Countries that have been funded for the outreach science program.

The Estates Wild Wizard Outreach Program is presented by Estates staff and is approximately an hour in length with follow up classroom and home study activities.  In 2008 – 2009 the Estates visited 47 schools, performed 52 shows for 13,735 students throughout Lee County. The Grant from the Southwest Community Foundation has made it possible for outreach programs throughout southwest Florida.

“The project has clearly shown the importance of working with regional schools to provide curriculum-based, hands-on science programming that helps interpret the work of the two famous inventors and their winter homes, laboratory and research gardens,” says Chris Pendleton, Estates president & CEO.  “Students are engaged in the contemporary theatre style presentations of science that characterized the project and tie them to examples of scientific method and specific inventions.” 

The focus of this year’s program is “Henry Ford:  Innovation, Invention and Green Science Wizard.”  The objectives of the program include engaging students in learning and experiencing basic science concepts through hands-on demonstration science.  The program enables students to learn about the basic elements of scientific inquiry, the scientific method, the nature of invention and how science has moved mankind forward.  The program creates an environment where students will “have fun while learning” as well as challenging students to read and explore more through follow up activities in their classrooms and at home. 

“The mathematics, science and reading skills ability of southwest Florida students are a primary focus of the schools and families in the community,” says Pendleton. “School budgets are particularly challenged at this time.  There is a need to offer assistance to remedy this situation for our young students and create a learning opportunity which will encourage them to learn and grow.”

Although only a few years established as a non-profit institution, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates has initiated new programs and educational activity including the Estates Wild Wizards Outreach Programs, monthly Estates Homes School programs, Edison & Ford Inventor’s Summer Camp, scholarships, adult education, horticultural workshops, and a variety of events and programs.   For more information on the Estates educational programs contact the Estates education coordinator at 239-334-7419.

International Film Festival Returns to Southwest Florida

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 5th

What:   Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival
When: Fri., March 26, 7:30 PM, Edison & Ford Winter Estates (rain date March 28)
           Sat., March 27, 7:30 PM, Edison State College
           Mon., March 29, 7:00 PM, BIG ARTS, Sanibel

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Edison State College and BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island  will host the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival in Florida for a fourth season since the Festival began its national tour in 1981.  The Festival has the added attraction of being shown outdoors in the gardens of the Estates as well as indoors in the newly renovated Auditorium in the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College and the Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island. 

The award winning festival will be held on March 26, 2010 at the Estates; March 27, 2010 at the Auditorium at the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College; and March 29, 2010 at Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island.  Black Maria Film Festival Board Directors Member and filmmaker, Clayton Hemmert will introduce the films and facilitate discussion afterwards.  Hemmert was awarded a 2010 Director’s Prize from the Black Maria Film Festival for his film Banana BreadBanana Bread will be shown at all three sites as well as an additional thirty films. 

The Black Maria Film Festival, named after Thomas Edison’s first motion picture studio, honors Edison’s pioneering work in cinema.  The Festival is hosted by museums and colleges throughout the country and showcases independent and experimental film and video.  The films include a variety of contemporary works drawn from the annual juried selection of award winning films and videos.  The Black Maria is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an Academy Awards qualifying festival for short films. 

Tickets may be bought in advance at the Estates, 2350 McGregor Boulevard; and BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel Island.    The cost is $7 per evening for adults, $5 for students.  Tickets for all three nights can be purchased at a discounted rate of $15.  Estates Members are free on March 26 and Edison State College students are free on March 27.  Seating is limited.  For more information call 239-334-7419 or visit the following websites: Edison & Ford Winter Estates at www.efwefla.org, Edison State College at www.edison.edu/artsedison/events.php, BIG ARTS at www.bigarts.org, and the Black Maria Film Festival at  www.blackmariafilmfestival.orgOn March 26th  the Estates will host the Festival along Caloosahatchee River in the Royal Palm Allee at the historic Ford Estate.  This year the Estates is offering “Dinner and a Movie.”   Viewers can enjoy a BBQ dinner under the night skies at “The Mangoes,” the winter home of Henry and Clara Ford, for an additional cost (reservations must be made in advance by calling the Estates 239-334-7419).    In the event of rain the Festival will be held on March 29th.  Films to be screened at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates include:
 
Pickles to Nickels 8 min. by Danielle Ash, of Brooklyn, New York, NY

STELLAR ANIMATION SELECTION
Enter a cardboard world where monkeys steal pickles and store fronts shift and disappear and two eccentric characters enjoy a certain simpatico. An elder Jewish pickle vendor and a bakeshop owner find that change is everywhere, even on their zany old neighborhood.

Second Hand Dolls 5:31 min. by Anthony Weeks, San Francisco, CA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this parallel story documentary the filmmaker and his central individual address our throw away culture, where anything that is not of the moment or no longer young is too often dismissed. But an elder dancer asserts her vitality in this engaging black and white documentary.

Balance 3:46 min. by Debra Sea, Greensboro, NC
The product of a 30 day video diary project and made with a simple flip camera. Balance’s images are taken from the perspective of a camera mounted on the handlebar of a bike. The front wheel transitions across landscapes, textures, and seasons from rain to gravel, desert to snow, and into the lovely green of springtime, all woven together in an energetic package.

Banana Bread 9 min. by Barton Landsman and Clayton Hemmert, New York, NY
Perhaps owing part of it’s sensibility to the work of director Quentin Tarantino, this droll fictional film with a clever plot twist breaks boundaries but for those who can appreciate irony, incongruity and over-the-top action, this will be a hoot.
Coda  2:40 min. by Vincent Grenier, Ithaca, NY, 2009
This is a work which is about the moment, about seeing, absorbing, distilling the essence of something and which places the viewer in a garden where the veteran filmmaker seemingly meditates on the space through elegantly articulated framing and graceful camera moves.

 Breaking Boundaries: The Art of Alex Masket 19 min. by Dennis Connors, Montclair, NJ
This gripping and insightful documentary chronicles the story of 22 year Alex Masket, an extraordinary, young man who has created a rich and varied body of work through which he expresses himself vibrantly. Appraisals of Alex’s work by art experts testifies to the quality of his creations. The wholly individualistic style of Alex Masket helps bring ideas about artistic communication and the creative impulse into focus. “Is Alex’s art not clear evidence of a highly articulate, even amazing visual language that is just as meaningful as verbal language?” “Is it not our own limitations that establishes the primacy of verbal communication over the visual, and in fact is not Alex just as much a fully realized, creative human being as anyone?” More about Alex and his art can be found in Esopus magazine’s cover story. (Esopus.org).

Jelly Fishers 5:48 min.  by Steven Subotnick, Providence, RI
Jelly Fishers is a mischievous hand drawn animation in which a fly visits a family floating at sea but there is nothing to eat, so granny goes fishing. While she is away, the stormy sea engulfs everything. In the end, they are all saved by jellyfish. The offbeat story line is enhanced by the filmmaker’s artistry.
My Girlfriend Sleeps Like Superman  2:13 min. by Steve Gentile, Boston, MA
A droll animated portrait of the artist’s nightly battle for bed space where insomnia and romance intersect and restful sleep is a prized commodity owing to partner’s dream maneuvers.

My Dearest Love 3 min. by Marc Wiskemann, Columbus, OH
In this poignant short the viewer sees a bride dressed in a traditional silk sari as she’s being attended by her bridesmaids, in moments before her marriage. The bride wistfully turns her attention to a nearby window and love note is left behind as she arises to meet her awaiting husband to be.

Thomas Edison’s Last Film 16:12 min. by Eli Shapiro, West Orange, NJ
YOUNG FILMMAKER/AUDIENCE CHOICE SELECTION
In this work made by a high school senior the protagonist is on a quest to find an cinematic artifact of his hero, Thomas Edison, the inventor of motion pictures. A buddy and the young man embark on a madcap adventure and finally dig up a long missing film at a hidden location in the town that is the birthplace of motion pictures.

On March 27th at the Auditorium in the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College, films to be screened include:

LOOPLOOP 5 min. by Patrick Bergeron, Montreal, Quebec
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
The 1000 images in this experimental work are based on video shot from a train going to Hanoi Vietnam and are stitched together in one long panoramic strip that is stacked upon itself. Using digital manipulation of images and sounds warping with time shifts this video runs forwards and backwards looking for forgotten details, mimicking the way memories are replayed in the mind. That internal slice of life samplings, houses, fences, textures, bicycles, a woman dancing, become more apparent as the images become more magnified. There’s a sense of humor in the juxtapositions of the image ribbons as they slide and shift across the screen.

The Passenger 7 min. by Julie Zammarchi, Marshfields Hills, MA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this polished animated, dreamscape narrative a woman peers out her window to see an almost Disney-esque rabbit being chased by a cat as a car pulls up which carries her toward her own euthanasia death. She applies lipstick as if it’s all quite normal and upon seeing herself in the mirror, visions and memories crowd her consciousness. The film is a ride through the disparate images of her mind’s eye and a quest to piece together her life’s meaning.
Balance 3:46 min. by Debra Sea, Greensboro, NC
The product of a 30 day video diary project and made with a simple flip camera. Balance’s images are taken from the perspective of a camera mounted on the handlebar of a bike. The front wheel transitions across landscapes, textures, and seasons from rain to gravel, desert to snow, and into the lovely green of springtime, all woven together in an energetic package.

Second Hand Dolls 5:31 min. by Anthony Weeks, San Francisco, CA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this parallel story documentary the filmmaker and his central individual address our throw away culture, where anything that is not of the moment or no longer young is too often dismissed. But an elder dancer asserts her vitality in this engaging black and white documentary.

When Herrons Dream 10:34 min.) by Serge Gregory, Seattle, WA
JURY CITATION SELECTION
This distinctive black and white observational work imagines the perspective a Great Blue Heron as it moves throughout the seasons of a Northwest landscape. But more that this, When Herrons Dream is a distilled meditative, elegantly simple and subtly rewarding film.

Banana Bread 9 min. by Barton Landsman and Clayton Hemmert, New York, NY
Perhaps owing part of it’s sensibility to the work of director Quentin Tarantino, this droll fictional film with a clever plot twist breaks boundaries but for those who can appreciate irony, incongruity and over-the-top action, this will be a hoot.

Coda  2:40 min. by Vincent Grenier, Ithaca, NY, 2009
This is a work which is about the moment, about seeing, absorbing, distilling the essence of something and which places the viewer in a garden where the veteran filmmaker seemingly meditates on the space through elegantly articulated framing and graceful camera moves.

Bouy 6:21 min. (2008) by Seoungho Cho, Elmhurst, NY
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
A hauntingly beautiful and arid, semi abstract desert landscape in yellow ochre belies the title of this visually poetic work accompanied by Brian Eno music performed by Steven Vitiello.

Corporate Art Policy 5:30 min. by Neil Needleman, Katonah, NY
This ironic send up of fickle corporate taste features a cascade of images found on the walls of the filmmaker’s employer. Copies of works by artists ranging from Kandinsky to the kitschy are satirized by the filmmaker. Neil Needleman is perhaps best known as an experimental filmmaker but also is a crazed humorist whose work is always engaging.

Fuzzy Insides 5:20 min. by Michael A. Olsen, Bedford, NH
A model animation has vaguely voyeuristic scene which peek into the secret nightlife of the suburbs. Four stop-motion vignettes portray awkward relationships that fitfully develop romantically and sexually as realized by the deft creativity of the filmmaker.

Hourglass 4 min. by Fern Seiden, Stockholm, Sweden
Rain pours and rubbish soars while light-bulb creatures party up a storm at the edge of the earth. In this photo-collage animation – laced with a turn of the century scientist in his laboratory – a child realizes that the state of the planet hangs in the balance. The film’s lyrical hourglass/alarm clock sounds a critical warning to humanity.

Never Too Late 7:45 min. by Wendy Weinberg, Philadelphia, PA
After 25 years together, two middle aged San Francisco hotel maids decide it’s finally time to marry. Then along comes Prop. 8. What to do? Never Too Late inserts new dialogue into vintage TV show and movies clips to achieve a biting commentary on popular culture’s insensitivity to bans on gay marriage. The filmmaker states that it’s her way of injecting ironic humor into what is the painful inequity which Lesbians and Gays face daily.

Spectrology 11 min. by Kerry Laital, San Francisco, CA
Interest in Spectrogy (the “Spectral” realm) is said to be related to Spiritualism and especially in the 19th century there was a fascination such ideas. This elegiac film is evocative of the apparitional images sometimes found in pre-20th century magic lantern shows. Spectrology is very much an illusionist-like work employing reprocessed vintage films and images that are redolent of the paranormal realm.
Missed Aches 4 min. by Joanna Priestley, Portland, OR
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
This uproarious animation by one of the nation’s iconic animation artists colorfully serves up a cascade of malapropisms.

Young Continent 6:30 min. by Sarah J. Christman, Brooklyn, NY
On a geologically young island, the earth’s heat rises bubbling through the surface, volcanoes hibernate below ice caps and glaciers recede. Containing both unrestrained forces and energy harnessed for human use, the landscape of Iceland
conjures echoes of medieval sagas and whispers of an imagined future.

March 29th in the Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS, Sanibel, films to be screened include:

Breaking Boundaries: The Art of Alex Masket 19 min. by Dennis Connors, Montclair, NJ
This gripping and insightful documentary chronicles the story of 22 year Alex Masket, an extraordinary, young man who has created a rich and varied body of work through which he expresses himself vibrantly. Appraisals of Alex’s work by art experts testifies to the quality of his creations. The wholly individualistic style of Alex Masket helps bring ideas about artistic communication and the creative impulse into focus. “Is Alex’s art not clear evidence of a highly articulate, even amazing visual language that is just as meaningful as verbal language?” “Is it not our own limitations that establishes the primacy of verbal communication over the visual, and in fact is not Alex just as much a fully realized, creative human being as anyone?” More about Alex and his art can be found in Esopus magazine’s cover story. (Esopus.org).

Pickles to Nickels 8 min. by Danielle Ash, of Brooklyn, New York, NY
STELLAR ANIMATION SELECTION
Enter a cardboard world where monkeys steal pickles and store fronts shift and disappear and two eccentric characters enjoy a certain simpatico. An elder Jewish pickle vendor and a bakeshop owner find that change is everywhere, even on their zany old neighborhood.

Making Merit Buddhist Daily Duties 8 min. by Dennis Darmek, Milwaukee, WI
A procession of colorful images depict brightly robed monks as they process, chant, collect alms, and practice traditional rituals. Arresting close-ups of Elephants are a powerful presence throughout the film. The pachyderms occupy a special place in the film and culture as they sway in sync with the monks’ chants, and make for a fanciful addition to this sumptuous video.

Missed Aches 4 min. by Joanna Priestley, Portland, OR
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
This uproarious animation by one of the nation’s iconic animation artists colorfully serves up a cascade of malapropisms.

Corporate Art Policy 5:30 min. by Neil Needleman, Katonah, NY
This ironic send up of fickle corporate taste features a cascade of images found on the walls of the filmmaker’s employer. Copies of works by artists ranging from Kandinsky to the kitschy are satirized by the filmmaker. Neil Needleman is perhaps best known as an experimental filmmaker but also is a crazed humorist whose work is always engaging.

Second Hand Dolls 5:31 min. by Anthony Weeks, San Francisco, CA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this parallel story documentary the filmmaker and his central individual address our throw away culture, where anything that is not of the moment or no longer young is too often dismissed. But an elder dancer asserts her vitality in this engaging black and white documentary.

Banana Bread 9 min. by Barton Landsman and Clayton Hemmert, New York, NY
Perhaps owing part of it’s sensibility to the work of director Quentin Tarantino, this droll fictional film with a clever plot twist breaks boundaries but for those who can appreciate irony, incongruity and over-the-top action, this will be a hoot.

Worlds of Sound:  The Ballad of Folkways Records 52:25 min. by Andrea Kalin – Director, Richard Carlin (Book Author) Washington DC
This is a fulfilling and energetic chronicle of Folkways records with Pete Seeger, Lightn’ Hopkins, Jean Ritchie, Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, Woody Guthrie, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Ella Jenkins, Oscar Brand, Furry Lewis, Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan and a raft of other songsters all delivering lively performances.

Film selections are subject to change. 

In 1892 the world’s first motion picture studio was built by Thomas Edison and nicknamed the Black Maria.  The studio has become an emblem of the exploratory spirit in film which the Festival celebrates.  The Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival  celebrates Edison’s pioneering contributions to the film industry.