Arts of the Inland (AOI) is the new name for a private, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that was established in 1984, more than 25 years ago, under the name of "Lehigh Community Chorus," which later evolved into the name "Lehigh Singers." This 501(c-3) corporation has been functioning for these many years in the musical realm of the art world.
The Arts of the Inland is currently doing business as the Lehigh Singers. The board of directors of the Lehigh Singers determined in 2010 that this community and the surrounding inland area needed a local umbrella organization that would encompass all the aspects of the art world, inclusive of not only music, but also drama, visual arts, literary arts, dance, etc.
Inland communities are defined as Eastern Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Alva, Labelle, Muse, Immokalee, Clewiston, Moore Haven, Bay Haven, and other rural areas within the area East of I-75 on the west coast of South Florida. This area also includes reservations of the Seminole Tribe of Florida in Immokalee, Big Cypress, and Hollywood.
Arts of the Inland met for the first time March 1, 2011 at Majestic Golf Club in Lehigh Acres, and continues to meet monthly.
The enthusiasm and membership are building steadily. During 2011 the organization has worked to define itself. A "set direction" poll was taken of the membership to determine the specific mission and objectives of the organization. The urgent desire among the members to have an outlet for their arts and to begin community outreach resulted in the planning of the Constitution Day Festival on September 17, 2011.
Artists, dancers, writers and musicians joined together to provide an enriching cultural experience. Community support and participation for this festival created a strong demand for more festivals and opportunities for community outreach in the future.
Arts of the Inland will bring a unified approach to render art, art education and cultural enrichment services to the populace of this needy geographic area.
The rich history of Lehigh Singers has now been expanded upon, and instead of simply operating choral events, now the organization Arts of the Inland will appeal to a much larger audience, offering a much fuller and wider range of art appreciation.